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Cotton production spike ahead

Washington — As China continues to ramp up textiles production and eat up an ever-increasing share of the available cotton supply, world cotton production is expected to increase by 7 percent to 20.5 million tons next year, the third largest crop on record, the International Cotton Advisory Committee, a worldwide consortium of cotton growers, reported in a monthly update of its global forecast.

And as production and demand both increase, so does the cost of cotton, said the cotton cartel. After jumping up by a third, to an average 56 cents a pound this year from 42 cents a year ago, cotton prices are forecast to increase again next year by almost 13 percent, to 63 cents a pound.

Textiles mill cotton consumption, moving hand in hand with textiles production, continue to migrate to the East as China continues to grow as a global player, and that trend will only accelerate as all quotas on textile and apparel trade are eliminated in another 18 months, said the cotton cartel.

And at the same time that low-cost imports are taking a toll on the U.S. textiles industry, a strong euro vs. other currencies could decimate production in Europe as well, shifting even more production to China and other eastern nations, said the trade group.