The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cotton projections for 2010/11 indicate that world cotton mill use is forecast to decrease about 2 percent as prices continue at unprecedented levels amid tight supplies. This season’s modest decline follows 2009/10’s 8-percent increase that followed the global economic crisis.

China and Pakistan, two of the world’s three largest spinners, are projected to have lower cotton mill use in 2010/11. However, with mill use rising in India this season, the combined share of global cotton mill use for the 3 countries remains near last season. In 2004/05, these 3 countries accounted for 59 percent of the world’s cotton mill use; for 2010/11, these countries are projected to contribute more than 67 percent. China’s share dominates, spinning over 40 percent of the global total since 2006/07. Shares for India continue to grow and are expected to reach 18 percent in 2010/11, while Pakistan is forecast to account for around 9 percent.