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September 2, 2022

Flooding and drought wreak havoc on global cotton industry

Flooding and drought are having a crushing impact on the global cotton sector, with the devastating floods in Pakistan expected to lead to a large reduction in the crop for the 2022/23 season, while the West Texas crop has been gravely damaged by drought.

By Beth Wright

Floods have devastated Pakistan, with nearly 1,200 people killed to date and the impacts of climate change are being felt in multiple major cotton-producing countries, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) says.

As the world’s fifth largest cotton producer, countries across the globe will likely feel the repercussions of the flooding devastation in Pakistan which will strangulate cotton supply in weeks to come and see prices soar, experts recently told Just Style.

In its latest update, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) says while the impact on the cotton crop will not be fully realised until the water subsides, sources on the ground are reporting a large reduction in the expected crop for the 2022/23 season. The ICAC is reducing the estimated production for Pakistan from 1.5m tonnes to 1m tonnes.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the effects on the cotton crop in Texas have been devastating and currently amount to an estimated loss of over 1m tonnes compared with the previous season, ICAC says. This puts the current US crop at just over 2.7m tonnes. And while the West Texas region has received a good amount of rain in the past few weeks, the precipitation has come much too late to help the dry land cotton — and if bolls are open in irrigated fields, it could spell trouble for quality.

The Secretariat’s current price forecast of the season-average A index for 2022/23 ranges from 99 cents to 157 cents, with a midpoint at 126.95 cents per pound. 

As the 2022/23 cotton season got underway in August, the ICAC said the market is looking at a very uncertain future over the next few months.

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