Global cotton production for the 2018/19 season was revised slightly down in February, despite the forecast of bigger crops for China, Brazil and Australia. This is mainly due to important markets such as India, the US and Australia being expected to have a smaller crop in comparison to the previous year. Cotton production is forecast down 12% y-o-y in the US and 45% y-o-y for Argentina, despite a revised higher figure in February. As a result, global cotton production is forecast down 4% y-o-y for this season.
On the other hand, Brazil is expected to produce a record high volume of cotton in 2018/19. Consequently, Brazilian cotton production was revised even higher in February – up 4% m-o-m and 24% y-o-y. In addition, the Brazilian cotton market is currently benefiting from strong demand from China, as high Chinese tariffs on US cotton made Brazilian cotton a more attractive alternative. China’s import of cotton is forecast up 31% y-o-y in 2018/19, with numbers revised up to almost 8m tonnes from 7m tonnes in December, despite an increase in domestic production. The January Mintec price for Brazilian cotton is up 5% y-o-y.