Current USDA estimates show global cotton consumption in 2020-21 down is likely to decline by 15 per cent. The 2020-21 world production forecast remains unchanged, and COVID-19’s negative impact on cotton demand was too late in the season to shift planting decisions away from cotton for most major producing countries. This has pushed the stocks-to-use ratio back up into the 90 per cent range.
The US department of agriculture (USDA) Outlook in February of 2020 projected that 2020-21 would be similar to 2019-20, with modest consumption growth and a modest decline in world stocks. Then COVID-19 spurred record downward adjustments to global cotton demand.
Looking ahead, with government support programs in the two largest producing countries—China and India—shielding producers somewhat from price volatility, lower prices will have limited impact on global production.