Declining Consumer Confidence Will Slow Cotton Consumption and Trade

For Immediate Release 
Date Posted: 1 November 2019

Executive Summary
Highlights from the November 2019 Cotton This Month include:
  • The US-China trade war is dragging down both the global economy and international cotton trade
  • In 2019/20, India is projected to lead the world in production despite low yields
  • With production expected to grow by 1 million tonnes, and consumption projected to remain flat, prices will be under heavy pressure throughout the year
Declining Consumer Confidence Will Slow Cotton Consumption and Trade
Due to slowing mill use and cotton imports in China — largely the result of the ongoing economic burden of the US-Sino trade war — both global cotton consumption and trade are expected to decline in 2019/20. Current projections estimate production in the coming year at 26.7 million tonnes, consumption at 26.2 million tonnes and overall trade at 8.8 million tonnes.
India is expected to lead the world in overall cotton production at 6 million tonnes, despite the country’s low yields of 440 kg/ha, among the world’s lowest and considerably below the global average of 780 kg/ha. Similarly, China is projected to be the world’s top consumer at 8.05 million tonnes despite that figure being a 2% decrease from 2018/19. Both Mexico and Pakistan are expected to increase their imports, however, by 48% (to 141,000 tonnes) and 8% (to 711,000 tonnes), respectively.
The Secretariat’s current price projection for the year-end average of the Cotlook A Index has been revised to 75.5 cents per pound this month.

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Cotton This Month is published at the beginning of the month with the Cotton Update published mid-month. The Cotton Update is a mid-month report with updated information on supply/demand estimates and prices. The next Cotton Update will be provided on 15 November 2019. The next Cotton This Month will be provided on 2 December 2019. Please feel free to contact the author, Ms. Lihan Wei, with questions.

About the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)
Formed in 1939, the ICAC is an association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. It acts as a catalyst for change by helping member countries maintain a healthy world cotton economy; provides transparency to the world cotton market by serving as a clearinghouse for technical information on cotton production; and serves as a forum for discussing cotton issues of international significance. The ICAC does not have a role in setting market prices or in intervening in market mechanisms. For more information, please visit