WASDE Cotton: Larger Consumption, Exports, Ending Stocks

Ginned cotton bale coming off conveyor at Mill Creek Gin. ©Debra L Ferguson

The U.S. cotton forecasts for 2020/21 include larger beginning stocks, consumption, exports, and ending stocks compared with the year before. Production is forecast at 19.5 million bales—400,000 bales less than the year before, based on 13.7 million planted acres as indicated in the NASS March Prospective Plantings report.

Planted area is expected to be virtually unchanged from 2019/20, but harvested area is projected 2 percent lower, as abandonment rises from 2019/20. The yield is projected only slightly higher, using 10-year regional averages.

Domestic mill use and exports are expected to rebound as the world economy begins to recover. Mill use is expected to rise 200,000 bales, and exports by 1 million; but ending stocks are expected to rise 600,000 bales to 7.7 million, equivalent to 41 percent of use.

This would be marginally higher than in 2019/20 and the highest since 2007/08’s 55 percent. The price received by upland producers is forecast at 57 cents per pound, slightly below 2019/20.

For 2019/20, U.S. cotton production is raised slightly from last month. The export forecast is unchanged, but expected consumption is 200,000 bales lower, and ending stocks 400,000 bales higher.

World ending stocks in 2020/21 are projected to rise for a second consecutive year, but at a much slower pace. With harvested area down globally, production is expected to decline 3.7 million bales, while consumption is expected to rise 11.5 million bales as the global economy begins recovering.

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Global ending stocks are expected to rise 2.3 million bales, but fall as a share of consumption, from 93 percent in 2019/20 to 85 percent.

For 2019/20, the world consumption forecast is reduced to 105.0 million bales, down 5.6 million from the previous forecast and 12.7 percent below the previous year. This would be the largest annual decline in world consumption since the 19th century.

World production is raised 1 million bales from the previous month, and 2019/20 ending stocks are 5.9 million higher. The revised year-to-year increase in global ending stocks is 16.9 million bales.

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