India will surpass China to become the world's largest cotton producer in 2019-20 season, according to latest estimates from the US department of agriculture (USDA).
India’s cotton production during the season is forecast to increase by 3-million-bales to 28.5 million bales, while China is likely to produce 27.75 million bales.
“For 2019-20, India’s cotton area is forecast to rise slightly to 12.35 million hectares (30.5 million acres), as price expectations remain favourable for cotton. The national yield is also projected to rebound from last season’s below-average level, supporting the 3-million-bale increase in cotton production to 28.5 million bales in 2019-20,” the USDA said in its latest ‘Cotton and Wool Outlook’ report.
China is forecast to produce 27.75 million bales of cotton in 2019-20, equal to the previous season, as slightly lower area is offset by a higher yield expectation. Harvested area in China is projected at 3.45 million hectares (8.5 million acres), as Government policies keep area nearly unchanged. However, with area further concentrated in the high-yielding Xinjiang region, the 2019 national yield is forecast to rise to 1,751 kilograms per hectare (1,561 pounds per acre), the report added.
In contrast, cotton production in Brazil and Australia is projected to decrease in 2019-20. For Brazil, production is forecast at 12.0 million bales, 800,000 bales below the 2018-19 record, as both area and yield are expected to decrease slightly. In Australia, cotton production is expected to decline 12 per cent (300,000 bales) to 2.2 million bales-the lowest in a decade-as the national yield is reduced with unchanged area.
World cotton production in 2019-20 is estimated to expand to 125.5 million bales, 7.0 million bales (6 per cent) above the 2018-19 estimate. Modest increases foreseen in both global cotton harvested area and yield together support the higher production estimate. Global area is projected at 34.5 million hectares (85.3 million acres), 4% above 2018-19 and the highest in 8 years. The world yield is also forecast higher in 2019-20, at 791 kilograms per hectare (706 pounds per acre).