For China, 2015/16 cotton production is forecast to decrease 10%

For China, 2015/16 cotton production is forecast to decrease 10%

Cotton production in China is declining, with India forecast to overtake the country as the world's largest producer of the commodity, according to a new report.

Production of cotton is concentrated among only a few countries, with the world’s five largest cotton-producing countries forecast to produce nearly 80% of world production in 2015/16.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), India and China together account for more than 50% of global cotton production, but in latter country, production is declining while increasing in India.

In 2015/16, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s largest cotton producer for the first time on record, with a crop forecast at 29.5m bales, pushing India’s share of world production to 26.5%.

For China, 2015/16 production is forecast to decrease 10% to 27m bales, the lowest since 2003/04. Its share of global production is forecast at 24% as area continues to trend lower.

"The difference in the production outlook for China and India can be traced in part to China’s rising wages and increasing production costs, while new technology and production practices have driven India’s yields and output significantly higher in recent years," the report notes. "Its output surpassed the US for the first time in 2006 and is now poised to surpass China, which had been the world’s largest cotton producer since 1982."