India will lead in production of cotton in 2015-16, and it will surpass China as the top producer this season, according to the latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates.
While yields in India remain well below the world average, the country is forecast to produce 29 million bales in 2015-16 or 27 per cent of the global cotton crop. India’s ascension to the world’s leading-producer status largely results from having the most cotton area, USDA said.
Harvested area in India is expected to account for nearly 38 per cent of the global total in 2015-16, and is more than three times that of either China or the United States.
India surpassed the United States in cotton production in 2006-07, and is poised to overtake China this season as area declines there for the fourth consecutive season.
For 2015-16, USDA has projected global cotton production at 108.7 million bales, nearly 9 per cent below the previous season and the lowest since 2009-10.
The three largest cotton-producing countries remain India, China, and the United States and in 2015-16, these countries are expected to account for 63 per cent of world production.