The world stockpile of cotton reached a record 22.2 million tonnes, with nearly 60 percent of it held by China. The government sold 2 million tonnes of surplus cotton from May to September of this year and the International Cotton Advisory Committee estimates China will sell an additional 1.7 million tonnes, partly because it is restricting the domestic supply by holding imports to the minimums required under trade agreements.
Low oil prices are translating into low prices for polyester fiber, especially in China, which produces nearly three-fourths of the world's polyester, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee.
China will remain the world's largest cotton importer but its purchases during the current trade year, estimated at 1.6 million tonnes, would be only 30 percent of the total of 2011/12, when they peaked, said the International Cotton Advisory Committee.
The cotton harvest worldwide will drop by 9 percent this year as growers plant less land because of low market prices for the fiber, says the International Cotton Advisory Council.
The U.S. cotton industry promotes the crop as "the fabric of our lives," yet synthetics account for a growing share of imported textiles and apparel.
The global cotton surplus will climb by 11 percent this marketing year to nearly 22 million tonnes, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee. China, the world's largest importer, is limiting imports while trying to use up some of its large reserves
China, India and Pakistan are providing supports to cotton growers in the face of low market prices, said the International Cotton Advisory Council.
With China scaling back on its imports of cotton, world prices "dipped below 70 cents in early October, a level not seen in five years," said USDA, forecasting a 6 percent cent increase in global cotton stocks this marketing year.