Owing to high recent shipments and sales to all major markets, US cotton export outlook for 2016-17 is hiked by 500,000 bales to 13.2 mn bales for 2016-17, the US department of agriculture (USDA) has said in its March 2017 report ‘Cotton: World Markets and Trends’. The report also projects US cotton exports to remain at 13.2 mn bales in 2017-18.

Among other major exporters, India’s cotton exports in 2016-17 is projected to go up by 100,000 bales to 4.5 mn on increased overland demand from Bangladesh, substituting for lost Chittagong shipping. While, exports from Brazil are likely to be lower by 100,000 bales and fall to 2.7 mn on competitiveness with US cotton and declining available supplies. Also, exports from Uzbekistan are likely to fall by 100,000 bales to 1.7 mn on continued weak shipments to major markets.

“For 2016-17, global production is raised, while use is essentially unchanged, resulting in higher global ending stocks. Global trade is raised. US production is raised, partially offsetting higher US exports. US ending stocks are reduced. The US season-average farm price forecast is lowered half a cent to 68.5 cents/pound,” the report reads. The USDA expects a six mn bale decline in global ending stocks in 2017-18, all of which is expected to occur in China, as consumption continues to significantly exceed production while imports remain restricted, eliminating much of existing stockpiles.

Outside of China, forecasts for growth in use are more moderate, at just about 1 per cent growth, while production is expected to rise for another year. Greater production in 2017-18 will largely be driven by higher area, while global yield is likely to decline slightly. Area increases will result from favourable cotton prices around Northern Hemisphere planting times