Global cotton consumption expected to exceed production

WASHINGTON— World cotton consumption is expected to grow modestly during the 2016-2017 marketing year, reaching 110.8 million bales, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. That is similar to 2014-2015 levels after dipping slightly in 2015-2016.

 “A rise in consumption is good and is a reflection of improved economic conditions around the globe,” said Spencer Neale, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation vice president of commodity marketing. “While this is good news, Virginia producers will not see any drastic changes in price.

“Unfortunately, the cotton industry has experienced low prices for the past several years due to a variety of factors, including an oversupply of raw cotton in the world market and competition with petroleum-based fibers that are driven by oil prices.”

Modest growth in the global economy and relatively low cotton prices are expected to support mill use in most countries. China, India and Pakistan are expected to lead world cotton mill use and account for a combined 62 percent of the total, similar to 2015-2016.

Global cotton production is forecast at 104.4 million bales in 2016-2017, a modest increase following a 16-percent reduction in production in 2015-2016—the result of inclement weather and pest damage.

Cotton is grown in the southern and southeastern parts of Virginia.

The USDA Cotton and Wool Outlook report is available at

Media: Contact Neale at 804-290-1156.

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