World cotton production expected to fall to 24.6 million tons, as consumption increases to 24.7 million tons.
According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), world cotton production is forecast to fall 6 percent to 24.6 million tons, which is the lowest volume since 2009–10. At the same time, world cotton consumption is expected to increase by 2 percent to 24.7 million tons, making 2015–16 the first time in five seasons where consumption overtakes production. Although consumption could surpass production by about 100,000 tons, this would be a small dent in the stockpile of cotton.
World cotton consumption is forecast to grow in 2015–16 due to a moderate improvement in global economic growth of 3.5 percent, as forecast by the International Monetary Fund. Prices for polyester have fallen faster than cotton prices for much of the season, eroding the price attractiveness of cotton.
Consumption in China is forecast to remain stable at around 8 million tons, accounting for around one third of world consumption. High domestic cotton prices, rising labor costs and the availability of cheap yarn imports in China have hurt its spinning sector, and the expansion of the spinning industry to other countries in Asia should continue to grow. In 2015–16, consumption in India, projected at 5.3 million tons and in Pakistan, at 2.4 million tons, will account for nearly a third of world cotton consumption. Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam are projected to represent 10 percent of all lint consumption in 2015–16. World cotton trade is expected to rise 4 percent to 7.9 million tons due to a partial recovery in consumption, particularly in countries that rely on imports in 2015–16.