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World cotton consumption buoyed by synthetic concerns

A new and generally upbeat forecast suggests cotton consumption is set to continue to rise, helped by strong textile demand in emerging markets, the rising cost of synthetic fibres and concerns over microfibre pollution.

"If developments continue as expected, the short-term outlook for cotton is a positive one," according to the latest outlook from the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).

It says consumption – which has increased steadily over the last three seasons – is expected to continue rising, with increases of 3.6% and 4.4% projected in 2017/18 and 2018/19, respectively.

Factors buoying cotton are strong textile demand in emerging markets, the rising production costs of synthetic fibres, and growing awareness of the environmental damage being caused by microfibre pollution.

However,, the inter-governmental group also notes that global cotton production is expected to outpace consumption in the 2017-18 season, at 25.7m tons versus 25.4m tons. And ending stocks will likely will increase 1.5% to 9.1m tons.

Concerns also include the threat of pests and inclement weather. This season, the world's largest producer, India, suffered yield losses due to a pink bollworm infestation and is expected to decrease to 12m hectares in planted area in 2018/19.

Planting intentions for the world's largest exporter, the US, reflect an increase to 4.9m hectares in 2018/19, but drought conditions will need to be monitored closely, both in the US and in Australia.

nal cotton prices are concerned, the price projection for 2017/18 is between 75 and 87 cents per pound, and between 67 and 106 cents per pound for 2018/19.

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