World cotton production for the 2018-19 season is forecast up slightly, led by larger crops in China, Brazil, and Australia. But this will offset lower production in Turkey and India. US production is down almost 2,00,000 bales and consumption is reduced by 1,00,000 bales.
The harvested area in Australia is estimated at 0.3 million hectares, down 43 per cent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1.887 tons per hectare, two per cent below the five-year average. Yield is expected to increase from last year because of an estimated decrease in the share of the area sown to lower-yielding dryland cotton.
Brazil is expected to have record exports, driven by a record crop. November and December 2018 Brazil exports showed record monthly numbers. Continued improvement in grading and classification of Brazil’s cotton is also supporting strong interest from overseas buyers.
Stagnant demand from Brazil’s domestic yarn and textile industry is expected to encourage future shipments. Brazil’s exports are forecast to be more than a third higher than last year. A weak monsoon has dragged Indian cotton production by nearly seven per cent. Yield is down five per cent from last year. The below-average monsoon rainfall coupled with pest infestation has truncated India’s cotton harvesting. After the first picking, farmers in Gujarat abandoned non-irrigated areas.