USDA ups 2017-18 global cotton output estimates to 120.9 mln bales.

USDA has scaled up its estimate for global production of cotton in 2017-18 (Aug-Jul) to 120.86 mln bales (1 US bale = 480 pound) from 120.75 mln bales projected in September. Globally, production is seen rising despite a reduction in the forecast for the US–due to higher output in Argentina, Brazil, and Greece. Production of cotton in the US, one of the largest producers, is projected at 21.12 mln bales, down from 21.76 mln bales estimated in the previous month, following output loss largely in Texas and Georgia due to Hurricane Irma. However, the department has kept India’s production steady at 30 mln bales. India is the world’s largest producer of cotton. India’s export is seen higher at 4.6 mln bales, from 4.2 mln bales projected in September, while estimate for domestic use is seen steady at 24.50 mln bales, the report said. For 2017-18, imports of cotton by India are seen at 1.6 mln bales, higher from 1.3 mln bales. The department has estimated the ending stocks of cotton in India at 14.62 mln bales in 2017-18, compared with 14.64 mln bales estimated in September.