COTTON: The U.S. cotton projections for 2012/13 include higher supply, demand, and ending stocks compared with 2011/12. Projected production is raised 9 percent based on Prospective Plantings and average yields. Above-average abandonment is projected at 20 percent due to continued drought on the Texas High Plains.
Domestic mill use is projected at 3.5 million bales, 100,000 bales above 2011/12. Exports are projected at 12.0 million bales, 5 percent above last season due to the larger available supplies. Ending stocks are raised to 4.9 million bales. The projected stocks-to-use ratio of 32 percent is well above the last three seasons, but only slightly above the 10-year average of 30 percent. The forecast range for the marketing-year average price received by producers is 65 to 85 cents per pound, compared with 91.0 cents estimated for 2011/12.
The initial 2012/13 world cotton projections show record world ending stocks for the second consecutive season, resulting from an expected 6.7-million bale surplus of production over consumption. World production is projected 5 percent lower than last season at 116.7 million bales, with reductions predicted for nearly all major cotton-producing countries except the United States.
World consumption is expected to rise 3.3 percent due to modest growth in both world GDP and cotton’s share of world fiber demand, as lower cotton prices relative to polyester improve cotton’s competitive position. World trade is expected to fall 10 percent, as sharply lower imports by China are partially offset by increases for other countries where cotton demand is projected to rise.
China’s national reserve stocks are currently estimated at nearly 20.0 million bales. The government of China has announced a 2012/13 support price above both the 2011/12 support price and the anticipated world price; therefore, the reserve is likely to acquire a significant proportion of the 2012 crop.
China’s government has not indicated how it will manage the expected deficit in production relative to consumption. The China 2012/13 import projection of 14.0 million bales is based on USDA’s assumption that China will limit the growth of national reserve stocks by releasing a portion of the reserve. China’s total ending stocks are expected to grow 14 percent to 28 million bales, representing 38 percent of total world stocks.
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