World cotton mill use is forecast to reach a new record in 2018/19

A chart showing cumulative cotton mill use growth since 2015/16 for selected countries

The latest USDA cotton projections for the 2018/19 marketing year (August-July) indicate that world cotton mill use will reach a new record high, in large part reflecting additional expected growth in the world economy. Global cotton consumption is projected at 127.0 million bales in 2018/19, 3.9 percent above 2017/18. Mill use, a proxy for consumption, is forecast to rise in each of the leading raw-cotton spinners in 2018/19, with China accounting for more than one-third of the world total. Cotton mill use growth varies by country and year of comparison. Using 2015/16 as the base year, 2018/19 world cotton consumption is projected 12 percent higher. Relative to 3 years ago, cotton mill use in China in 2018/19 is expected to be 18 percent higher, while India and Pakistan increase by just 2 and 4 percent, respectively. Cotton mill use in Bangladesh and Vietnam continues to expand, and the growth since 2015/16 has been remarkable. For Bangladesh, 2018/19 mill use is projected 27 percent higher than in 2015/16, while the growth for Vietnam is even more dramatic, with 2018/19 mill use expected to be nearly 67 percent above the 2015/16 level. This chart appears in the ERS July 2018 Cotton and Wool Outlook newsletter.

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