The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has predicted that India’s cotton area will increase by seven per cent to 11.3 million hectares in 2017-18 as farmers are encouraged by better returns due to high cotton prices and improved yields in 2016-17.
High cotton prices have prevailed in 2016-17, which are expected to encourage farmers to expand the area under cotton by five per cent to 30.8 million hectares in 2017-18 globally.
Assuming yield is similar to the five-year average, production could increase by three per cent to just under six million tonnes. After contracting in the last five seasons, China’s cotton area may expand by three per cent to 2.9 million hectares due to the stable cotton policy and high cotton prices.
Production in China is expected to rise by one per cent to 4.8 million tonnes, the first increase in five seasons. Farmers in the United States are forecast to expand harvested cotton area by 12 per cent to 4.3 million hectares, and assuming a yield of 938 kg/ha, production could grow by eight per cent to four million tons.
Unlike the other top cotton producers, area in Uzbekistan is expected to contract by four per cent to 1.2 million hectares in accordance with government plans to reduce areas where yields are low, and use them for other agricultural products. However, plentiful soil moisture may improve the average yield by one per cent to 638 kg/ha, which will limit the loss in output.
Uzbekistan’s cotton production is projected to decline by two per cent to 770,000 tonnes. Anticipating falling cotton prices in early 2017-18, cotton area expansion may be more limited for producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
Cotton area in Brazil and Australia is forecast to increase by two per cent to 950,000 hectares and three per cent to 574,000 hectares, respectively. Production in Brazil is projected to reach 1.4 million tonnes while Australia’s production is forecast to rise by four per cent to one million tons.
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