By admin       2019-03-29

29 Mar '19 - World cotton production in 2018-19 is forecast at 118.9 million bales, 4 per cent below last season but above the 5-year average of 113.2 million bales. World harvested area in 2018-19 is estimated slightly lower than the year before at 33.1 million hectares (81.8 million acres), while the global yield is forecast at 782 kg per hectare (698 pounds per acre). “Although returns for cotton were more favourable than those for many alternative crops— encouraging cotton plantings for 2018-19—weather issues in a number of countries, including the United States, increased abandonment and reduced harvested area,” the Economic Research Service of the US department of agriculture (USDA) said in its latest ‘Cotton and Wool Outlook’ report. Among major cotton producing countries, most of them are projected to harvest smaller crops in 2018-19, except for Brazil and China. In 2018-19, China is expected to become the leading cotton producer, as its crop is again estimated at 27.5 million bales. Despite a slight reduction in area, China’s national yield is forecast at a record 1,787 kg per hectare, as a larger share of the crop is produced in western China where yields are significantly better than in eastern China. For India—the second largest producer—2018-19 cotton production is forecast at 27.0 million bales, 7 per cent below last season but equal to 2016-17; along with lower area, reduced pickings associated with limited monsoon rainfall are projected to lower the yield 5 per cent from 2017-18 to 480 kg per hectare and below the 5-year average of 517 kg per hectare, the USDA report said. For Brazil, a 32-per cent increase in harvested area—to its highest since 1991-92—along with the second highest yield on record (1,640 kg per hectare) pushed the Brazilian cotton production estimate to a record. The crop is forecast at 11.75 million bales, 27 per cent above 2017-18, as growing conditions have been favourable this season. In contrast, Pakistan and Australia are expecting smaller crops in 2018-19. For Pakistan, improved yields are projected to limit the effect of an 11-per cent reduction in area; with only 2.4 million hectares of cotton in 2018-19—the lowest there since 1985-86—Pakistan’s crop is forecast at 7.7 million bales, equal to 2016-17 production and one of the lowest of the 2000s. For Australia, a lack of rainfall in the cotton-producing regions reduced dryland area significantly and limited irrigation supplies for the remaining cotton. As a result, harvested area in Australia is forecast at 300,000 hectares, the lowest in 4 years, while the yield is expected to be 8 per cent lower, the report said. (RKS)

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