Recovery continues in cotton production for 2017/18 with a projected 11% growth due to increased area to a projected 25.4 million tons. Following the sharp drop in production in 2015/16, the 2016/17 production recovered by 7% to 23 million tons. Production in the USA for the current season is expected to increase 25% to 4.7 million tons, a 930 thousand increase. India remains the world’s largest producer with 2017/18 production expected to be 6.2 million tons with 8.7% growth. The second largest producer, China, has production currently projected at 5.2 million tons with a 7.1% increase. Pakistan’s production projections for 2017/18 show a 11.5% increase to 1.9 million tons. Production increase in Turkey is estimated to grow 18% to 829,000 tons. Other major cotton producing countries are expected to have positive growth attributed to increased area and yields.
Cotton prices have remained high in 2017/18 at an average of 83.5 cents per pound. Higher prices are again expected to impact planting decisions to expand area under cotton for the 2018/19 season. World area under cotton has averaged 32.4 million hectares over the last ten years and is projected to grow moderately during the next season with support policies being passed in the US. Planted cotton area is expected to increase in 2018/19 by 11% in the US to 5.08 million hectares, however drought conditions remain a concern for the cotton area in West Texas which represents approximately 25% of the US production. Planted area in India is expected to decrease to 11.9 million hectares in 2018/19. Chinese planted area is expected to remain stable based on the continuation of support policies.
International cotton prices have continued to rise over the last few months as the season has been underway. From the season low of 77 cents per pound at the start of season, prices are at a season high at the end of this calendar year up to 88 cents per pound. The current season average of 80 cents per pound is lower than the 2016/17 average of 83 cents per pound. With a lower international price from the previous season and the rising price of competing fibers, global consumption is expected to grow. After stagnating in 2016/17, global cotton demand is expected to increase 3% in 2017/18 to 25.2 million tons. Chinese mill use is expected to remain stable at 8.1 million tons, while India and Pakistan are expected to increase 3% and 4% respectively. Consumption in Vietnam is expected to grow 12% to 1.3 million tons. Moderate growth of 2-3% is expected for other major consumers including Bangladesh, Turkey and the United States.
The production of cotton has been decreasing this year with 11.581 million bales produced, but with a consumption of 11.3 million bales. Cotton is a major cash crop and the lifeline of textile industry. It accounts for 8.2 per cent of the value-added in the agriculture sector and about two per cent to GDP, adds over $2.8 billion to the national economy. Concentrating on basic issues of Pakistan “The canals of cotton growing areas including Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan are dry, government should do something to provide irrigation water, this will help in improving yield,”.
Only option is to increase production by applying modern cotton technologies that have successfully been adopted in many countries to improve crop yield. Need to commercialize and extension department should pay its role in dissemination of BT seed and growing technology.