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World Production and Trade Rising in 2003/04

USDA's forecast of 2003/04 world cotton production is 92.7 million bales, the largest crop since 1995/96 and 4 million bales higher than output in 2002/03. Consumption in 2003/04 is forecast at 97.2 million bales, down 1 percent from 2002/03, its first decline since 1998/99.

World trade in cotton is forecast to reach 32 million bales in 2003/04, its highest since the end of the 1980s. World trade has fallen in recent years as Russian imports plunged and the textile industries in Japan and the European Union shrank. But, in 2003/04, China's imports are expected to more than double to a record 7 million bales, boosting expected world trade significantly.

World ending stocks for cotton are forecast at 32.5 million bales in 2003/04, 4.3 million bales lower than in 2002/03, and the lowest since 1994/95. Most of the decline in stocks is once again expected to occur outside of China, with stocks outside of China falling 3 million bales from the year before to their lowest since the end of the 1990s.


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