China expects to see a slight year-on-year increase in cotton yield for 2007, despite an international decline in output and rising demand, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday.
The area of cotton sown nationwide also increased slightly over last year, a ministry spokesman on market information added, declining to give an exact figure.
The spokesman said continuous rain and low temperatures haunted some cotton production areas in the early stages of growing this year, but the weather later turned favorable.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China produced 6.73 million tons of cotton in 2006, a growth of 17.8 percent over the previous year. The area of cotton sown stood at 5.4 million hectares last year, 340,000 hectares more than the previous year.
General Administration of Customs figures show China imported 1.66 million tons of cotton in the first eight months, a decrease of 45.06 percent from the same period last year. The imports were valued at US$2.27 billion, down 43.77 percent. The trade deficit stood at US$2.25 billion. Imports between September 2006 and August 2007 amounted to 2.28 million tons, down 44.6 percent.
The International Cotton Adversory Committee (ICAC) forecast the 2007-2008 period would see a global cotton yield of 25.41 million tons, down 2.3 percent 2006-2007 period. But the cotton consumption worldwide would reach 26.97 million tons, up 2.5 percent. With yield failing to meet demand, the global inventory of cotton will decrease 12.5 percent to 10.93 million tons, the lowest since the 2004-2005 period.
(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2007)