The National Cotton Council (NCC) says 2016 will be another challenging year for the U.S. cotton industry. At the 2016 NCC annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, a market economist warned of the challenges amid low cotton prices, ample global stocks and uncertainties regarding global mill cotton use.
While export markets continue to be the primary outlet for U.S. raw fiber, in recent years, United States export customers have changed. China is importing less raw cotton fiber, leading to a reduction in world trade and drastic reductions of imports from the United States. As a result, NCC estimates 2015 U.S exports at 9.5 million bales, down 15.5 percent from 2014 and below the most recent USDA estimate.
NCC predicts cotton acreage at 9.1 million acres, about 6.2 percent more than 2015. Although world cotton stocks are projected to decline by 6.3 million bales in 2016, the reduction is not large enough to significantly reduce global inventories that began the year at 103 million bales.