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Global cotton use seen up; output may slip

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, Sept. 17

AFTER remaining sluggish for three years, world cotton consumption in marketing year 2002-03 is expected to expand by 2.4 per cent, slightly above the long-term trend, to a new high, while world production is slated to decline by almost 10 per cent.

World cotton use in 2002-03 is forecast at 21.06 million tonnes (20.55 mt) as consumption is set to increase in the US, Turkey, India and Pakistan, according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In particular, cotton use in the US which had gradually declined from the record level of 2.47 mt in 1997-98 to 1.68 mt in 2001-02 is expected to turn around and reach 1.72 mt. Consumption of major Asian markets will trend upwards but at a more moderate growth rate than was seen over the past few years.

World cotton output is seen falling 9.7 per cent to 19.28 mt (21.35 mt) following major declines in China, the US and India. These three origins will together produce 1.47 mt less.

With global output trailing consumption demand by 1.7 mt, ending stocks are expected to decline by an impressive 16.4 per cent to 8.53 mt. The steepest fall will be in China at 33 per cent.

USDA has placed India's cotton production for 2002-03 at 2.33 mt (2.68 mt) and consumption at 2.96 mt (2.89 mt). India's cotton imports in 2002-03 are seen rising by a whopping 25.7 per cent to 479,000 tonnes (381,000 tonnes), while China's imports are seen rising four-fold to 435,000 tonnes (98,000 tonnes).

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