China has overtaken India’s lead in cotton production. At the end of the 2018-2019 season, China will be again the world’s largest producer of this raw material. China’s cotton production will increase by one per cent. India, by contrast, will reduce it by seven per cent due to lack of rain.
India had maintained leadership for the last two years, since China changed its policy of incentives to cotton. Meanwhile consumption of cotton in general will not be affected by the trade war between the United States and China, but could have an impact on the textile trade if it slows down economic development. On the other hand, the increase of production in countries such as China, Brazil, regions of West Africa, Turkey and Uzbekistan will not be enough to compensate for the fall in the United States, India, Australia and Pakistan.
The increase in cotton prices is directly related to the decrease in production and the increase in demand, which will cause a reduction in global stocks during 2019. In fact, cotton reserves will decrease by 6.6 per cent in the 2018-2019 season. This is the lowest figure since the financial year 2011-2012 when crops in the United States and China were affected by climatic factors and the price of cotton registered historic peaks.