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Global cotton trade at 4-year high in 2017-18, says USDA

World cotton trade in 2017-18 is forecast to expand 3 per cent from last season and reach a 4-year high, according to the latest US department of agriculture (USDA) projections. Global trade is projected at 38.5 million bales in 2017-18, 1.2 million bales above last season, mainly due to the above-average growth expected in world cotton mill use in 2017-18.

In 2017-18, however, world cotton trade remains 17 per cent below 2012-13’s record of 46.5 million bales.

Most of the world’s primary spinners of cotton rely on imports, and the leading importers this season are considered non-producing countries. As a result, this import demand is satisfied by producing/exporting countries, viz the US, India, Australia, Brazil, Uzbekistan and other countries. Export prospects for the United States are once again expected to remain strong in 2017-18, while those from Brazil and Australia are forecast to increase as they harvest larger high-quality crops; these three countries are projected to attain a combined 60 per cent of global trade. “In contrast, cotton exports from India and Uzbekistan are forecast to decline again in 2017-18,” the ‘Cotton and Wool Outlook’ report released by the Economic Research Service of the USDA said.

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