Pakistan’s need for cotton drives global demand, production inches lower

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has raised Pakistan’s consumption this month by 500,000 bales to 10.1 million. This demand is forecast to be met by higher imports, which are raised this month by 600,000 bales to 2.9 million, the second highest level on record.

It said in its latest monthly report that strong textile exports, especially of apparel and bedwear, have forced Pakistan’s textile sector to look to imported cotton, especially from India, to make up for a significantly smaller crop. The 2015 crop is down by one-third from the previous season due to serious pest damage. Domestic cotton usually supplies over 90 percent of Pakistan’s consumption but represents just 70 percent this season.

As the situation with production became clearer in the latter part of 2015 the consumption forecast was lowered, as shown in the chart at the right. This reduction was based in part on weakening cotton yarn import demand in China and the progressively more pessimistic outlook for India’s crop (India is the major cotton exporter to Pakistan). However, recent textile export data from Pakistan (chart at left) suggests that the sector has not suffered as much as previously expected.

While total cotton consumption is still forecast below last season, exports during the most recent 3 months of apparel and bedding are all up from year-ago levels. Additionally, recent export data from Indian and other suppliers testifies to robust Pakistan lint imports (India’s export forecast this month is raised 250,000 bales to 5.75 million)

Overview For 2015/16

World production is lowered, mostly due to smaller crops in West Africa. Consumption is raised, as higher consumption in Pakistan and China is partially offset by lower consumption in Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey. Trade is virtually unchanged. The U.S. balance sheet has production down slightly, higher imports, and ending stocks are lowered 100,000 bales to 3.5 million. The U.S. season average farm price is down a half-cent to 58.5 cents/pound

Trade Outlook 2015-16

Major Importers:

  • Pakistan is hiked 600,000 bales to 2.9 million on stronger consumption demand.
  • Indonesia is slashed 400,000 bales to 2.7 million on lower mill use forecasts.
  • Bangladesh is reduced 100,000 bales to 5.7 million a slightly weaker mill use forecast.
  • India is lowered 100,000 bales to 800,000 on a recent slowdown of imports.

Major Exporters:

  • Mali is lowered 200,000 bales to 1.0 million on a lower production forecast.
  • India is boosted 250,000 bales to 5.8 million on strong demand, especially from Pakistan.
  • Cote d’Ivoire is cut 150,000 bales to 650,000 on a much lower production forecast.
  • Brazil is up 100,000 bales to 4.3 million on recent stronger-than-expected shipments.


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