Cotton prices will hold stable in December, as harvesting is now well under way in the northern hemisphere and the expectation is that global ending stock will be higher than earlier predictions. But there does not appear to be significant pressure on prices. This is to a large extent result of China taking an active role in both its domestic market and as buyer in the international market. Chinese purcheases are also supporting the market for cotton yarn, and spinners throughout Asia report they are able to work with current market replacement costs.
Recent estimates for this season by the USDA, Cotton Outlook, and ICAC still pegs production at 25.5-26.0 million tons, down on the 27 million of last season. Consumption is put at 22.0-23.4 million tons, slightly up on last season, and ending stocks, as put by the USDA, are at around 17.5 million tons, two million tons up on the season.
In Pakistan cotton prices will remain firm since the harvest is turning out smaller than expected. In India, too prices will see a rise and remain above the minimum support prices of the government. Cotton interests in India are calling on the government to abolish all remaining export restrictions while spinners are also accruing the benefits of Chinese demand for cotton yarn.