Cotton and Wool Outlook, December 2019
Global Cotton Imports Projected at 7-Year High
The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cotton estimates for 2019/20 project that world cotton imports will reach 44.4 million bales, 1.9 million (nearly 4.5 percent) above last season, and their highest since 2012/13’s record of 47.6 million bales.
Global cotton imports are forecast to rise for the fourth consecutive season in 2019/20, as increases are expected in many non-cotton-producing countries as well as some producing countries (fig. 1). Although China—a major producer—is projected as the leading importer in 2019/20, imports are expected below a year ago as cotton mill use there is forecast to decline for the second consecutive season. In contrast, all other major importers are expected to secure additional imports this season. For Bangladesh and Vietnam, higher cotton imports are seen supporting the recent textile and apparel industry expansion. At the same time, a 3-decade-low production forecast for Pakistan in 2019/20 is expected to result in record-high cotton imports to help sustain its spinning industry. Meanwhile, higher imports are also forecast for Turkey, Indonesia, and India in 2019/20.