To say the 202/21 season was disappointing for the global cotton industry is a major understatement, given the mayhem and confusion that occurred when the Covid-19 virus ground the global supply chain to a halt, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) says in its latest update.
While it would be naïve to say things are back to normal — only about 3% of people in less-developed countries have been vaccinated, far behind those in richer countries — there are some signs that the recovery is in full swing, it notes. Three of the world’s top five producers (Brazil, Pakistan, and the USA) are showing increases in production versus 2020/21 and while that will not quite bring things back to ‘normal’, it is a sign that the industry’s recovery is still in full swing. Current projections show an increase of 6% in global production in 2021/22 versus the prior season. Nowhere is that more evident than in West Africa, where all countries are reporting production increases, with the region being up nearly 48% on the 2020/21 season.

The Secretariat’s current price forecast of the season-average A index for 2021/22 ranges from 87 cents to 126 cents, with a midpoint at 104.26 cents per pound.

The ICAC recently announced it has partnered with the International Trade Centre and is working to double the yields of at least 50,000 smallholder cotton farmers in Zambia by January 2024.