China cotton production set to grow in 2022 as Xinjiang offsets drought-hit Yangtze River region
- Total cotton production in China is expected to reach 6.138 million tonnes in 2022, which would represent a 5.8 per cent year on year increase
- Some 5.634 million tonnes is expected to be produced in Xinjiang, although demand has weakened, while the US’ Uygur Forced Labour Prevention Act has hurt the market
China’s total cotton production this year is expected to increase by 5.8 per cent year on year, despite a significant drop in production in the drought-hit Yangtze River region, according to an industry report.
Total cotton production nationwide is expected to reach 6.138 million tonnes in 2022, of which 5.634 million tonnes is expected to be produced in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, according to the China Cotton Market Monitoring System report.
The survey was conducted nationwide from late October to early November by China’s Ministry of Agriculture and the China National Cotton Reserves Corporation.
Northwest China’s Gansu province and Xinjiang are set to see cotton production increase by 22.8 per cent and 7.2 per cent year on year, respectively, the report added.
The Yellow River Basin in northern China is also expected to report a 7.1 per cent year on year decline to 308,000 tonnes following periodic droughts and heavy rain that hit cotton growth.
Last year, Xinjiang produced almost 20 per cent of the world’s cotton, but this year’s deliveries have slowed due to labour shortages caused by strict coronavirus controls and lower-than-expected cotton prices affecting farmers’ confidence in selling.
The average Chinese cotton delivery price is down by 44.6 per cent year on year, with cotton stocks set to reach 8.467 million tonnes, up 1.8 per cent year on year, according to data released by the China Cotton Association on Tuesday.
Cotton stocks in China are likely to experience further pressure, with demand weakening in October due to a slowing global economy, a sluggish textile industry and global inflation.
The act has effectively blocked American imports of all products wholly or partially sourced from Xinjiang, where China has been accused of committing rights abuses such as forced labour against Uygur Muslims and other minorities – allegations that Beijing has repeatedly denied.
“Lower yarn imports and domestic cotton consumption are driven in part by domestic Covid lockdowns, foreign trade policies barring imports of China’s cotton products, and slowing global demand for apparel,” said the USDA in its November update.