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World cotton stocks may decline

For 2018-19 global cotton stocks are projected to decline by six million bales, the lowest level since 2011-12. Stocks in China are expected to fall significantly as consumption continues to rise at a rate faster than the world average, production declines slightly, and imports will be limited, thus allowing continued reductions in the State Reserve.

Outside China, despite a forecast of lower production, rest-of-world stocks are expected to rise for the third consecutive year as an expected modest growth in consumption and relative weak import demand by China leave supply higher than demand. US cotton exports are projected at a 13-year high of 16 million bales in 2018-19, due to expectations of a large exportable surplus. The US share of world trade is projected to rise. Ending stocks are projected little changed at six million bales, but would be the highest level since 2008-09.

Greater supplies outside of China are expected to pressure cotton prices in 2018-19 with the average price received by producers falling within the range of 58 to 68 cents per pound, compared with the 2017-18 current forecast of 69 cents.

For 2017-18, global production and trade are both raised. Production is raised due to expected higher production in Australia and Sudan, partially offset by lower production in Uzbekistan and the United States.