Cotton is expected to continue losing market share this season. Cotton prices are substantially higher than polyester prices in China. And as per Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), the Cotlook A Index averaged 93 cents per pound in August, while polyester in China averaged 76 cents per pound. Despite the loss of market share, world cotton consumption is rising in absolute terms and is estimated at 23.7 million tons in 2013-14. However, world cotton production will be down 3.5 per cent from last season. US production alone is likely to fall by 25 per cent. Shipments from all major exporters are expected to fall, except from the CFA or franc zone in Africa, where producers are increasing production in 2013-14 and thus exports in response to higher cotton prices.
World trade in cotton is forecasted to decline by 1 million tons to less than 9 million, with this decline almost entirely accounted for by reduced imports into China. Falling mill use of cotton in China due to its cotton procurement policy - which is keeping cotton prices at levels above manmade fibers - is encouraging a significant shift in mill use to other countries.