Higher production and vigorous trade are expected in the 2021/22 season but while world cotton production is estimated at 25.7m tonnes, the figure remains below what it was before the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest update from the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).

Australia, Brazil and the USA all expect production to increase, which should offset the declines expected in the world’s top two producers, China and India.

Global consumption, meanwhile, is estimated at 25.9m tonnes, and with ending stocks for 2020/21 having been revised downward to 20m tonnes, world cotton supply is estimated to be 45.8m tonnes for the 2021/22 season.

The industry saw some of the highest levels of trade ever in 2020/21, ICAC adds, noting the estimate of 10.29m tonnes for the coming season shows that industry sentiment remains positive — especially given the robust levels of retail sales of textiles seen in many developed countries.

The Secretariat’s current price forecast of the season-average A index for 2021/22 ranges from 82 cents to 127 cents, with a midpoint at 101.60 cents per pound.

Formed in 1939, the ICAC is an association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. It acts as a catalyst for change by helping member countries maintain a healthy world cotton economy; provides transparency to the world cotton market by serving as a clearinghouse for technical information on cotton production; and serves as a forum for discussing cotton issues of international significance.

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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.