SA cotton production doubles

The local cotton crop was estimated to double year-on-year while world cotton demand was projected to exceed production in 2015/2016, as world cotton stocks contract for the first time in six seasons.

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According to Cotton SA’s Koot Louw, the eighth local estimate for the 2014/2015 production year indicated a total crop of 96 832 lint bales, up 101% from the previous season, but 4% less than the previous month’s crop estimate due to lower dryland yields.

About 93 232 lint bales were estimated to be produced from SA seed cotton, up 113% from the previous season.

The expected 2% growth in world cotton consumption would not have a significant impact on world stocks, which were expected to be reduced by 6%, or just over one million tons, to 20,4 million tons, a Cotton SA report said.

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The high global cotton stock levels would continue to place downward pressure on international prices, while lower prices was set to curb world cotton production.

The limited growth in global cotton consumption could be partly ascribed to the fact that international cotton prices remained higher than that of competing man-made fibres. High domestic cotton prices and low polyester prices in China, the world’s largest consumer of cotton, have made its cotton spinning sector less competitive, according to the report.

“Locally, we produce less than our demand. South Africa also produces extremely high quality cotton with 70%-80% exported,” Louw told Farmer’s Weekly.