"CHINESE IMPORTS BOOST COTTON TRADE"
A surge in cotton imports into China is set to boost global cotton trade this season, and is also likely to keep cotton prices low. World cotton area is expected to fall in response to lower prices, rising agricultural production costs and the improving attractiveness of alternative crops
The forecast comes as cotton plantings get underway in the northern hemisphere for the 2012/13, which runs from August 1st to July 31st, 2013. U.S. production could rise by 11% despite reduced plantings, assuming improved weather and lower abandonment than in 2011/12.
With global production exceeding global consumption, global stocks are expected to continue increasing by 9%, or 59% of world mill use.
The International Cotton Advisory Council (ICAC) estimates world cotton shipments will rise by 13% in the 2011/12 season -(through July 31st )- driven by record imports from China.
Efforts to build China's cotton stockpiles mean there is less cotton available for other countries. US cotton exports are dropping by 21%, due to reduced supplies, but shipments from India, Brazil and Australia could reach record levels.
The projected accumulation of cotton stocks will weigh on international cotton prices in 2012/13.