World cotton output is expected to rise by two per cent in 2017-18, International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) in its first estimate of the 2017-18 crop. The growth is the result of an increase in planted area, which is expected to grow by five per cent after two seasons of contraction. But after improving by 13 per cent in 2016-17, the world average yield is projected to decline by two per cent.
In 2016-17, the cotton area in India, the largest cotton-producing country, fell by 12 per cent due to competition from food crops. However, the average yield recovered by 16 per cent and production in 2016-17 is estimated to rise by two per cent. In 2017-18, India’s area is forecast to recover by seven per cent as firm domestic cotton prices and less attractive prices for competing crops attract more farmers to cotton.
Cotton area in China has declined for five consecutive seasons. However, output has not fallen as quickly due to the fact that the share of cotton grown in Xinjiang, which has higher yields than other producing regions in China, has increased considerably. In 2017-18, China’s cotton area may expand by three per cent. Following a season of higher than expected yields and firm cotton prices, cotton area in the United States is expected to expand by 10 per cent in 2017-18.