World Cotton Trade Projected at 6-Year High
The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections for 2018/19 indicate that global cotton trade is forecast to rise nearly 2 percent from last season and reach its highest since 2012/13. World trade is projected at 41.7 million bales in 2018/19, 700,000 bales above last season but still 4.7 million bales below the record set 6 years ago.
World cotton trade is expected to increase for the third consecutive season in 2018/19 as mill use growth in non-producing countries—like Bangladesh and Vietnam—continues to support import demand. In addition, China—a major producer and spinner of cotton—is also expected to increase its imports once again this season. This import demand is satisfied by a number of producing/exporting countries (fig. 1). In 2018/19, export prospects for the United States are projected to remain strong despite a reduction from 2017/18. Similarly, exports from India and Australia are forecast lower with reduced production prospects. Meanwhile, exports from Brazil are forecast to expand considerably as rising production over the past several seasons increases exportable supplies.
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