Market Outlook

See the the latest Cotton & Wool Outlook report.

Record World 2021/22 Cotton Mill Use Supporting Global Prices

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates indicate that world cotton mill use in 2021/22 (August–July) is projected at 124.2 million bales—2.8 percent above 2020/21 and matching the record set in 2006/07. With global mill use above production, world ending stocks and the stocks-to-use ratio are forecast to decline for the second consecutive season, supporting the higher global cotton price projection for 2021/22—the highest price in 11 years.

World cotton production is projected at 121 million bales in 2021/22, 8 percent above 2020/21 but equal to the 2019/20 crop. The larger production this season is the result of increased harvested area and a rebound in the global yield to a record 805 kg per hectare (718 pounds per acre). World cotton trade is forecast at nearly 46.6 million bales in 2021/22, below 2020/21’s record but still the second highest. U.S. cotton exports are expected to account for about one-third of the global total this season. Meanwhile, China and Bangladesh are projected to be the leading cotton importers in 2021/22. World cotton stocks are forecast to decline nearly 4 percent in 2021/22 to 85 million bales—a stocks-to-use ratio of 68 percent—the lowest in 3 years.