World cotton production in 2010/11 is forecast at 115.5 million bales, up 14 percent from a year earlier, as producers respond to strong market prices for the fiber. Production in major cotton producing countries, such as Australia, Brazil, and India is expected to rise to record highs, and, in others, the 2010/11 crop is estimated at levels not attained in recent years.

Australia’s 2010/11 production is forecast at a record 4.0 million bales, up 125 percent from a year ago, due to significant improvement in water supplies and strong market prices. At 4.0 million bales, Australia’s share of world cotton production will be 3.5 percent, the highest in a decade. Australia’s 2010/11 harvested area is estimated at a record 560,000 hectares; a 180-percent increase from the previous year as more irrigated area and dryland area are put under cotton cultivation. Australia’s overall 2010/11 cotton yields—which until now were the world’s highest—are expected to decline 20 percent to 1,555 kg/ha from the preceding year due to increased use of lower-yield dryland area. This expected yield decline will rank Australia second to Israel among countries with the world’s highest cotton yields. Planting in Australia—a Southern hemisphere country—has been completed in some areas but the recent excessive rainfall could delay planting progress and cause crop damage.

Brazil is expected to produce a record 8.1 million bales in 2010/11, up 49 percent from the previous year as favorable market conditions spur area response in this Southern hemisphere country. Planting is well underway and Brazil’s 2010/11 harvested area is expected to increase 45 percent to 1,215,000 hectares, from a year ago. Brazil’s 2010 cotton yield is expected to increase 2 percent from the previous year to 1,452 kg/ha. It its December 2010 report, Brazil’s National Food Supply Company, Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB), forecasts Mato Grosso and Bahia to produce 51 percent and 32 percent, respectively, of the 2010/11 crop. The Brazilian agency also expects the two leading cotton growing States to account for 83 percent of the harvested area in 2010/11, shy of the previous year by just 1 percent.

Except for China and Pakistan, 2010/11 production is expected to increase in all other major cotton producing countries. India’s 2010/11 production is estimated at a record 26.0 million bales, a 12-percent increase from the preceding year. Area harvested in India in 2010/11 is expected to increase 7 percent from a year ago.

The United States is expected to produce 18.3 million bales in 2010/11, up 50 percent from a year earlier. Area harvested in the United States in 2010/11 is estimated to increase 43 percent from a year ago to 4.36 million hectares, the highest since 2006/07.

China’s 2010/11 crop is estimated to decline 6 percent to 30.0 million bales from the previous year. Wet and cold weather conditions in October this year in several cotton growing regions damaged some cotton bolls, negatively affecting both yield and quality of the fiber. China’s 2010/11 cotton yield is estimated at 1,281 kg/ha, down 3 percent from a year ago. Pakistan and Uzbekistan are expected to produce 8.8 million bales and 4.8 million bales in 2010/11, down 8 percent and up 23 percent, respectively, from the previous year.

World total harvested area in 2010/11 is expected to increase 11 percent to 33.3 million hectares from the previous year and global yield is forecast at 754 million hectares, a 3-percent increase from a year earlier.

World 2010/11 cotton trade to surge due to robust Chinese demand

World 2010/11 cotton trade is forecast at 38.7 million bales, a 9-percent rebound from the previous year and the highest in 3 years. The United States, the world’s leading exporter of the fiber, is expected to export 15.8 million bales in 2010/11, up 31 percent from the preceding year and highest export volume since the 2005/06 marketing year. India, which continues to put restrictions on cotton exports, is expected to export 4.8 million bales in 2010/11, a 27-percent decline from a year earlier.

Australia’s 2010/11 exports are expected to increase for the second consecutive year to 2.7 million bales, up 28 percent from the previous year. Brazil is forecast to export 2.65 million bales in 2010/11, an increase of 33 percent from a year earlier. Increased demand for cotton from China and restrictions on cotton exports from India are expected to contribute to strong export responses from several major exporting countries.

China’s 2010/11 imports are expected to rebound 38 percent to 15.0 million bales from the previous year amidst growing concerns over declining Chinese production and ending stocks. At 15.0 million bales, China’s share of global imports will be 39 percent, the second highest trade share on record.

Bangladesh, currently the world’s second largest importer of the fiber, is forecast to import a record 34.95 million bales in 2010/11, up 4 percent from a year earlier. In Turkey, Indonesia, and South Korea, 2010/11 imports are expected to decline 29 percent, 8 percent, and 1 percent, to 3.1 million bales, 1.9 million bales, and 1.0 million bales, respectively, from the previous year.