The area of cotton cultivation in China this year is expected to decline 8.7 per cent compared with 2013 and cotton yield is also forecast to fall. The cotton growing area in the Yangtze River basin and the Yellow River basin went down by about 12.1 per cent and 14.5 per cent. Hebei and Jiangsu, two of the country’s major cotton regions, saw their growing areas decline 16.4 per cent and 20 per cent.
The relatively low profitability of cotton and the end of the government’s purchases to prop up prices are to blame for declining cotton growing area. In Jiangxi province, another important cotton growing region, some major cotton counties, such as Pengze and Duchang, have seen their cultivation areas fall by at least 10 per cent, and some major cotton growers have cut their planting areas by nearly half.
This decline is expected to continue for the next years. And this shrink will result in a big supply gap in the cotton market. However, China will remain a big consumer of cotton due to its large population, growing incomes and increasing export demand. In China, cotton is sown from April to May and harvested from September to November.