Cotton consumption this year will be the highest in six years, with total global consumption of about 112 million bales, predicted Dr. Gary Adams of the National Cotton Council.
Adams, NCC president and CEO, made his remarks during a special Lubbock Chamber of Commerce meeting on October 18 at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, TX.
The meeting was organized by the Chamber to highlight the economic impact of cotton to Lubbock and High Plains region. In opening the session, Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, said that the meeting was a way to celebrate agriculture as harvest nears in the High Plains.
Adams stated that although cotton use is on the growth side, it will be 12 million bales lower than the peak consumption levels from a decade ago. Competition from synthetics, with excess capacity of polyester, is one of the important factors influencing the cotton market.
Citing the October USDA supply/demand report, Adams pointed out that the United States is expected to produce 16 million bales, which is three million more than the 2105 crop. Globally, production will see an increase of six million bales over last year. Even with this increase, the crop output is expected to lag consumption by nine million bales.
In discussing China, Adams stated, “The world needs China’s consumption of cotton to maintain a growth path.” He reminded the group that China alone has the capacity to produce manmade fibers equivalent to two and half times global cotton output in one single year.
The key to stay ahead is to innovate and adapt new technologies, noted Adams. He praised the U.S. cotton industry for making efforts in the past two decades to reduce its environmental footprint and produce quality cotton, which is wanted by global textile mills.
Ending his speech on an optimistic note, Adams stated that 20 million bales of production is not a thing of the past in the United States, and he expects to see it again soon.