India may replace China as top cotton producer in 2014-15 season

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China may lose its top cotton producer status to India in the next cotton season starting from September 2014. According to a International Cotton Advisory Committee’s (ICAC) report, Indian cotton production for the 2014-15 season is estimated to be 6.3 million metric ton (MT) whereas, China’s cotton production to decline 10% from the present level to be around 6 million MT during the same period. ICAC estimates that India’s cotton production to decline by two percent from the current level due to potential irregular monsoon. On the other hand, the changes in the China’s cotton policy in the will reduce the area under cotton crop in the 2014-15 season. Chinese Government has decided to restrict its support for cotton farming in the Xinjiang region only, which will adversely affect the area outside this region. However, China to remain the largest consumer of the fiber with 7.8 million MT followed by India. But China’s import of the fiber to decline by 30% from the current season to 2.2 million MT. Due to expected lower import by China, world trade of cotton is expected to decline in 2014-15 season to 8.2 million MT from 8.7 million MT in the current season. However, growing demand for cotton from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam is expected to partially compensate the decline in trade.

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