China’s cotton output fell in 2015 as growing area shrunk

China’s cotton yield continued to decline in 2015 as the growing area decreased, official data showed.

Cotton yield in the world’s second-largest economy fell 574,000 tonnes, or 9.3 percent, year on year to 5.6 million tonnes, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Last year, the cotton growing area went down 423,400 hectares, or 10 percent, to 3.799 million hectares, in China, Xinhua quoted Hou Rui, senior statistician of the NBS, as saying.

The Yangtze River Basin and the Yellow River Basin went down by about 17.8 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively, according to the NBS.

The relatively low profitability of cotton and the government’s abolishment of its “temporary purchasing policy” to prop up prices were to blame for the declining cotton growing area, said agronomist Pan Xiufen.

China will remain a big consumer of cotton due to its large population, growing income and increasing export demand, the ministry of agriculture said, adding that the shrinking growing area would result in a supply gap in the cotton market.

While most parts of China saw cotton growing area and yield down, northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was growing more.

In 2015, Xinjiang, home to half of the country’s cotton growing area, produced 3.5 million tonnes of cotton, accounting for 62.5 percent of China’s total, compared to 59.5 percent in 2014, NBS data showed.

Cotton yield per hectare in Xinjiang stood at about 1,840 kilograms, 24.6 percent higher than the national average.

China’s cotton yield peaked in 2012 at 6.84 million tonnes, more than 2.2 times than that of 1978, official data showed.

 

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