U.S. Cotton Exports are Projected at a 13-year High

U.S. cotton exports are projected at a 13-year high of 16.0 million bales in 2018/19, due to expectations of a large exportable surplus, according to the The U.S. share of world trade is projected to rise. Ending stocks are projected little changed at 6.0 million bales, but would be the highest level since 2008/09. Greater supplies outside of China are expected to pressure cotton prices in 2018/19 with the average price received by producers falling within the range of 58-68 cents per pound, compared with the 2017/18 current forecast of 69 cents, according to the USDA.

For 2017/18, global production and trade are both raised. Production is raised due to expected higher production in Australia and Sudan, partially offset by lower production in Uzbekistan and the United States. Trade is up on higher imports in Turkey, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China. U.S. exports are raised. World consumption is marginally higher with world ending stocks up reflecting the increased production. The U.S. balance sheet has lower production, higher exports, and lower ending stocks. The forecast U.S. season-average farm price is unchanged at 69 cents per pound.

USDA released its first 2018/19 cotton projections at the Agricultural Outlook Forum in late February, which included a 6-million bale decline in global stocks to 82.7 million bales, the lowest level since 2011/12. The 2018/19 projections are available at www.usda.gov.