India will be world’s largest cotton grower this year, toppling China for the first time in over 30 years, according to the US government. If the estimation by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) proves accurate, it will put an end to China’s dominance of the global cotton market. The estimation has come at a time when Beijing has scrapped its stockpiling programme.
The possible switch has been made more certain after Chinese farmers cut plantings amid uncertainty over the state support programme and a planting frenzy in India after a late monsoon favoured growing conditions.
In the report, USDA increased its projection for India by 1 million bales to 30 million 480-lb bales of cotton for the 2014-15 crop year that began in August. The figure would be lower than the estimated 2013-14 output of 31 million bales, but would be high enough to propel the country into top spot. While China is projected to cut output for a second straight year with output of 29.5 million bales this year, down from 32 million bales last season.