Global cotton production in 2019-20 is forecast to rise 5 per cent (nearly 6.5 mn bales) above the previous year to 125.3 mn bales, according to the US department of agriculture (USDA). This would be the second largest crop on record after 127.2 mn bales produced in 2011-12. Cotton yield shall remain similar to the average of the last 2 years.

Larger production is forecast for a number of the major-producing countries in 2019-20, led by the United States (+3.6 mn bales) and India (+2.5 mn bales), the Economic and Research Service of the USDA said in its ‘Cotton and Wool Outlook’ report of June 2019.

For 2019-20, India is forecast to return as the leading cotton-producing country, supplanting China, which had surpassed India in 2018-19. For 2019-20, India’s cotton crop is projected at 28.5 mn bales—10 per cent above the previous year—as both higher area and yield are expected. India is forecast to account for 23 per cent of the world’s cotton production in 2019-20.

Production in China is projected unchanged in 2019-20 at 27.75 mn bales, as slightly lower area is offset by a higher national yield of 1,751 kg/hectare (1,562 pounds per acre); cotton production is concentrated in the high-yielding Xinjiang region in north-western China, where approximately 80 per cent of the crop is grown.

Cotton production in Pakistan is forecast at 8.0 mn bales in 2019-20, 4 per cent (300,000 bales) above 2018-19, as a rebound in area and a nearly unchanged yield lift the crop above the 3-year average. Meanwhile, cotton production in Brazil and Australia is expected to decrease in 2019-20 as lower area and yield are projected. For Brazil, production is forecast at 12.0 mn bales, 6 per cent (800,000 bales) below the record 2018-19 crop currently being harvested. For 2019-20, lower cotton prices are expected to reduce area slightly while yield declines from the record set in 2018-19—1,747 kg/hectare (1,558 pounds per acre).

For Australia, production is forecast at 1.9 mn bales, 21 per cent (500,000 bales) below the 2018-19 crop, as low reservoir levels are expected to help reduce area and yield to their lowest in 5 years and 3 years, respectively.

World cotton harvested area in 2019-20 is projected at about 34.5 mn hectares (85.1 mn acres), nearly 4 per cent above 2018-19. The global cotton yield is forecast at 792 kg/hectare (706 pounds per acre) in 2019-20, slightly above the previous year.