Cotton consumption and commerce have fallen in the midst of containment measures taken to control the coronavirus outbreak and all significant consuming countries are affected by retail declines which have contributed to decreased orders along with the closing of mills, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) said in its monthly report.
International consumption for its 2019-20 season is currently forecast to be 23 million tons, an 11.3 percent decrease from the previous season. With global manufacturing for the current crop year expected to enter at 26.2 million tons--a 2 percent increase from the previous season-ending stock levels are expected to rise to 21.75 million tons, the highest level in the past five seasons, ICAC said.
The high inventory levels, very low consumption rates and high production rates for the 2020-21 year have put cotton costs under continued pressure, ICAC said. Its current price projection for its year-end 2019-20 typical of the A Index of global costs has been revised into 72.8 cents per pound this past month. The price projection for the year-end 2020-21 average of the A Index is now 58.8 cents per pound.
This was down from 53.88 cents per pound per week before and below the 63.56 cents per pound reported the corresponding week in 2019.
Consumption in China, the world's top nation for mill-use, is projected to fall 12 percent to 7.25 million tons from the previous year. With reduced international cotton prices and as trade discussions with the U.S. move forward, China's consumption and import quote have increased month to month. Cotton imports are now estimated at 1.9 million tons to 2019-20, as production action begins to resume and to refresh book stocks.
Consumption in India is seen falling 12 percent to 4.75 million tons, according to ICAC.
Together with high minimum support prices, a high degree of stocks has accumulated, placing downward pressure on domestic and global rates. With intake slowing across the globe, the continuing closure of the decrease in the labor force, domestic mill-use has decreased to the lowest level in seven seasons, according to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI). An increase in exports is anticipated as the CCI seeks export opportunities in nearby production nations.
Consumption decreases for 2019-20 are anticipated across the world, with losses concentrated in Asia and Southeast Asia, ICSC said. Consumption is expected to drop 7 percent in Pakistan to 2.2 million tons, 8 percent in Turkey to 1.4 million tons, 8% in Vietnam to 1.4 million tons and 25 percent in Bangladesh to 1.2 million tons.
Consumption from the U.S. is forecast to drop into 580,000 tons in 2019-20, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Ending stock level in the U.S. is expected to be 1.9 million tons at the end of the harvest year, as exports are estimated to drop to 3 million tons, an 8 percent decrease in the last year.
Agricultural support policies for cotton persist and the 2020-21 harvest is now projected at 4.25 million tons around 4.6 million hectares, a two percentage contraction in the implanted region, according to USDA estimates.
Recovery for the coming season is predicted to be small under the current IMF projections for economic recovery, ICAC noted. In order to recuperate to the cotton consumption levels of this 2018-19 year at 26 million tons, consumption growth would need to be greater than 12 percent. The ICAC's latest consumption projection for 2020-21 is at 23.75 million tons, a 3 percent increase from this year.
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