For the fourth consecutive season, India is expected to be the largest producer of cotton in 2018-19, with the crop projected at 28.5 million bales, unchanged from the previous year, according to the latest US department of agriculture (USDA) cotton projections for 2018-19. India is forecast to account for 24 per cent of the world’s cotton output in 2018-19.
A rebound in yield, offset by a reduction in harvested area, is expected to keep India’s crop at 28.5 million bales, the largest since 2014-15, the Economic Research Service of the USDA said in its latest ‘Cotton and Wool Outlook’ report.
The report projects cotton production in China at 26.5 million bales (down 1.0 million bales) in 2018-19, as area is reduced slightly and yield declines from the 2017-18 record 1,761 kg/hectare to 1,722 kg/hectare—the second largest—as approximately 80 per cent of China’s cotton is now grown in the high-yielding Xinjiang region in northwestern China.
Meanwhile, in Australia, 2018-19 production is estimated at only 3.8 million bales (down 1.1 million bales) as area and yield are expected below a year earlier. In US too, production is anticipated to decrease by 1.4 million bales, the report said.
On the other hand, cotton production in Brazil and Pakistan are projected to increase for 2018-19, as area gains are expected to offset yield declines. For Brazil, production is estimated at 9.0 million bales (up 0.1 million bales) in 2018-19, the largest since a similar amount was produced in 2010-11. For Pakistan, cotton production is forecast at 8.5 million bales (up 0.3 million bales) in 2018-19, the highest in 4 years.
Overall, world cotton production in 2018-19 is forecast at 120.4 million bales, 2 per cent (2.4 million bales) below the previous year, but still one of the largest crops during the last five seasons. Global cotton harvested area in 2018-19 is projected at 32.9 million hectares (81.3 million acres), 1 per cent below 2017-18. The world cotton yield is forecast at 797 kg/hectare (711 pounds per harvested acre) in 2018-19, slightly below the previous year but 4 per cent above the 5-year average.