The USDA cotton projections for August-July indicate that global cotton ending stocks will increase by 570,000 bales (0.6 percent) to 94.5 million bales. That’s the second-highest level since 2014-2015. As production exceeds mill use for a second year in a row, world cotton prices are forecast lower than the $1.01 per pound estimated for 2022-2023 and the recent high in 2021-2022 of almost $1.32 per pound.
Although the world harvested area is projected to increase two percent, or 600,000 hectares, a projected decrease in the global yield reduces the production estimate year-over-year. Global cotton production is forecast to decrease by 1.1 million bales, or one percent, from 2022-2023 to 116.8 million bales in 2023-2024. The largest gains in the world are expected to come from Pakistan and India.
World trade expectations (43.5 million bales) show a considerable increase from 2022-2023, rising with the projected rebound in 2023-2024 global cotton mill use.