Market Outlook


Cotton and Wool Outlook: April 2021



Higher World Cotton Imports Help Support 2020/21 Mill Use Growth

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cotton estimates indicate that global imports for 2020/21 (August-July) are projected at 45.5 million bales, 11.6 percent (4.7 million bales) above last season and their highest since 2012/13’s record of 47.6 million bales. As the global economy rebounds, rising imports are supportive of higher world cotton mill use—estimated at 117.8 million bales. China is expected to account for much of the import and mill use growth in 2020/21.

World cotton production is forecast at 113.0 million bales in 2020/21, the smallest in 4 years and the result of lower harvested area. Major producers—the United States, Brazil, and India—are leading global cotton exports higher though, accounting for more than 70 percent of the total cotton trade this season. Meanwhile, world cotton stocks (93.5 million bales) and the stocks-to-use ratio (79 percent) are both forecast lower in 2020/21, bolstering this season’s cotton price expectations.

 See the Cotton and Wool Outlook.