The Cotton and Wool Outlook study of the Economic Research Service indicates that, for June 2020, the global economic downturn has substantially reduced world marketing year (MY) demand for cotton 2019 (August 2019-July 2020). While the global consumption estimate for June is at a 16-year low, the expected year-over-year decline is nearly 15 per cent.
Worldwide cotton mill use has decreased more than 5 per cent year-over-year in just 10 years since MY 1920, with much of those declines correlated with global recessions, including the Great Depression. More recently, the uncertainty surrounding the global financial crisis significantly limited world cotton demand in MY 2008, while a dramatic upturn in cotton prices in MY 2010 to levels not experienced since the US. In MY 2011 the civil war hampered the use of mills. Although the ultimate magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain, historically the immediate shock to global use of cotton mills has been significant.