Cotton and Wool Outlook, September 2018
Global Cotton Production Slightly Lower in 2018
The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates for 2018/19 indicate that world cotton production is projected at 122.0 million bales, 1 percent below the previous season. While relative prices favored cotton plantings this season, the effects of weather on production are expected to be mixed. India, China, and the United States remain the largest cotton-producing countries (fig. 1). In 2018/19, these countries are projected to account for 62 percent of global cotton production, slightly below the previous 3-year average.
In 2015/16, India accounted for 40 percent of the world’s cotton harvested area and surpassed China as the leading cotton producer that season, contributing 27 percent of the global crop. For 2018/19, India is expected to remain the leading producer—accounting for nearly a quarter of world production—and harvest 36 percent of the total cotton area. In comparison, cotton harvested area for the United States and China is expected to account for 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Yields in India, however, are projected at about one-third the 2018/19 world average of 808 kilograms/hectare (kg/ha).