Cotton South Africa market report

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According to the latest cotton estimate production should increase 153% over the previous season. Cotton plantings under irrigation increased by 167% compared to last season. There is renewed interest in cotton, combined with favourable prices.

Latest cotton crop estimate
As far as the local outlook is concerned, the 10th estimate for the 2017/18 production year indicates a cotton crop of 196 206 lint bales for South Africa, an increase of 153% over the previous season and more or less unchanged from the previous month's estimate. Dryland and irrigation hectares show increases of 68% and 167% respectively over the previous year, mainly due to the more favourable prices of cotton in relation to competitive crops, but also due to renewed interest in cotton production.

Cotton SA market report
While cotton production increases in 2017/18 came from area increases due to high prices from the previous season, additional production growth is not expected by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) in 2018/19, as global area is expected to decrease.

Production decreases are expected from the world's top three cotton producing countries: India, China and the United States in 2018/19. The ICAC's current cotton production forecast for India for 2018/19 is 6,05 million tonnes. However, even with a 5% decrease from the previous season, India would continue to remain the leading global producer with a 23% share of global production.

The latest cotton situation in South Africa
As at the end of September 2018 there were 43 849 tonnes of seed cotton and 6 013 tonnes of cotton lint in stock at cotton ginners. Local cotton ginners produced 3 298 tonnes of cotton lint in September and sold 2 273 tonnes of cotton lint.

Local cotton spinners consumed 1 666 tonnes of cotton lint in September 2018, down 15% from September 2017 (mainly due to the closure of the Swaziland spinning mill towards the end of last year) whilst 2 452 tonnes were in stock on 30 September 2018. Press Release