Market Outlook

Cotton and Wool Outlook, December 2017 

The December 2017 Cotton and Wool Outlook report presents and discusses USDA's 2017/18 U.S. and world cotton supply and demand projections, including USDA's latest survey-based production estimate for the United States. Updates to 2016/17 are also provided, as well as the latest U.S. textile and apparel trade data.

Below is a summary of the report:

Global Cotton Trade at 4-Year High in 2017/18

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections for 2017/18 indicate that world cotton trade is forecast to expand 3 percent from last season and reach a 4-year high. Global trade is projected at 38.5 million bales in 2017/18, 1.2 million bales above last season. However, 2017/18 world cotton trade remains 17 percent below 2012/13’s record of 46.5 million bales.

The rising trade outlook is largely attributable to the above-average growth expected in world cotton mill use in 2017/18. Most of the world’s primary spinners of cotton rely on imports, and the leading importers this season are considered nonproducing countries. As a result, this import demand is satisfied by producing/exporting countries (fig. 1). In 2017/18, export prospects for the United States are once again expected to remain strong, while those from Brazil and Australia are forecast to increase as they harvest larger high-quality crops; these three countries are projected to attain a combined 60 percent of global trade. In contrast, cotton exports from India and Uzbekistan are forecast to decline again in 2017/18.

See the December Cotton and Wool Outlook report and previous reports.