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Cotton stocks set to rise: USDA data shows 5.4 million bales surge in supply in 2024-25

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released its World Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) for May 2024, forecasting a significant increase in global cotton supplies for the 2024-25 season.

According to the report, cotton production is expected to rise by 5.4 million bales, each weighing 480 pounds, with total global production projected at 119.05 million bales.

This boost in production is anticipated to lead to a rise in both global consumption and ending stocks.

Domestic and international cotton dynamics

The report highlights that of the total production, 116.86 million bales will be consumed domestically in the producing countries. Global cotton consumption is projected to increase by 3% year-on-year.

With production growth expected to outpace consumption, ending stocks worldwide are forecasted to rise by 2.5 million bales to 83.0 million bales.

Regional contributions to global supply

Notable increases in cotton crops from Brazil, the United States, and Turkiye are expected to more than offset smaller outputs from China and India.

This elevation in global supplies is projected to boost world trade to its highest level in four years.

Revisions to previous estimates

The WASDE report also revises the global estimates for the 2023-24 season, showing higher production and consumption than previously reported.

Adjustments include an increase in Australia’s crop by 200,000 bales and India’s by 500,000 bales. While consumption adjustments in China and India have risen, lower use rates in Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, Turkiye, and Uzbekistan were noted.

Consequently, global ending stocks for 2023-24 have been adjusted downward by 2.6 million bales to 80.5 million, primarily due to historical consumption revisions in Brazil and India.

Outlook for the US cotton crop

For the 2024-25 season, the USDA projects a larger US cotton crop, forecasting production at 16.0 million bales.

This increase is attributed to slightly higher planted areas and significantly reduced crop abandonment rates compared to the previous year.

Despite a lower national yield forecast, increased planted and harvested areas are expected to produce nearly 4 million bales more than the last season.

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