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China Cotton Production Forecast Down by Nine Per Cent

16 May 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

CHINA - China cotton production for 2012/13 is forecast at 30.5 million bales (6.64 million tons), down 3.0 million or 9 per cent from last year. The forecast area of 5.0 million hectares is down more than 9 per cent from a year ago and down 1.2 million hectares from its peak of 6.2 million in 2007/08.

The forecast yield of 1326 kilograms per hectare is nearly the same as last year and slightly below the record yield of 1335 kg/ha from 2009/10. Yields have been fairly flat (between 1300 and 1335 kg/ha) since 2006/07.

According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), the surge in Chinese cotton imports has reduced the amount of cotton available in the rest of the world this season. US exports are dropping by 21 per cent to 2.5 million tons due to reduced supplies, but shipments from India, Brazil and Australia could reach record levels.

Planting-intention reports from several sources all agreed that Chinese farmers would reduce cotton area in 2012/13 by 5 to 10 per cent nationally. The provinces with the largest reductions (as much as 20 per cent) are located in eastern and central China.

Area reductions are expected to be relatively small in Xinjiang province, which now accounts for about one-third of China’s cotton area and nearly one-half of cotton output. Cotton planting started in mid-April and progressed without major problems.

Temperatures, rainfall, and soil moisture levels in April and early May were generally favorable for planting, germination and emergence. Spring sandstorms in Northwest China and locally excessive rainfall in parts of eastern China may have caused minor damage to the newly planted cotton crop, but no significant losses were reported.

Further Reading

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May 2012

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