China, the world’s top textile market, will grow more cotton than originally expected after favourable weather over the summer, according to an industry survey carried out as farmers prepare to harvest the 2016/17 crop. Total output will be 4.91 million tonnes in the season which ends in September 2017, down 5.6 percent from the current year, but up 1.6 percent from the previous estimate released in June, cncotton.com, a government-backed trade publication, said in a report.
That will be the fourth year in a row that output will fall, but the increase in the forecast from earlier in the summer may stir concerns about a global glut and pressure prices as Beijing seeks to sell off its bulging reserves. The weather has been better than expected in the country’s main cotton production areas including the northwestern province of Xinjiang, it said.
The estimate is slightly higher than US government’s prediction of 4.6 million tonnes. Weak prices and the government withdrawal of its support programme have deterred farmers from growing more cotton over the past two years. Overall planted acreage this season was down 14 percent, with a decline to 358,933 hectares in inland areas and 130,200 hectares in Xinjiang, according to Zhai Boyang, analyst at cncotton.com.