Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates this month’s report was released on 12th January 2018. United States is expected to produce 21.26 million bales (480 lbs. each), this season. Global production estimate for the 2017/18 season is projected to be 120.97 million bales (480 lbs. each).
Indian production is estimated by USDA to be 29.3 million bales (each 480 lbs.), making it the largest cotton producer. This estimate fairly matches with the latest Cotton Association of India’s recent estimate of 37.5 million bales (374 lbs. each), which translates to 29.22 million bales (480 lbs. each).
There has been slight downward adjustment regarding United States’ cotton production for the 2017/18 season by about 177,000 bales, compared with the last report, while the export numbers are maintained at the same level of 14.8 million bales (480 lbs. each). The reduction in the production will leave an ending stock of about 5.7 million bales.
China’s production is projected to be 26.4 million bales, which will be the second largest producer. As ginning this season’s cotton is nearing completion in the United States, the production figures are getting clearer, as reflected in today’s report. “We are closer to knowing what actually the production is,” stated Steve Verett, executive vice president of Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers (PCG), Inc.
Echoing the above sentiment, Shawn Wade, director of policy analysis at PCG stated, “there has not been huge reduction in the production estimate, but reflects yield adjustments across regions.” About seventy percent of ginning has been completed in the High Plains area of Texas, said Verett of PCG. Some gins may be running beyond February, but that number will be small, added Verett.