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Commodity Intelligence Report
December 1, 2017

China Cotton: Record Yield

China’s cotton production is estimated by USDA at 25.0 million 480 lb. bales (5.44 million metric tons), up 2 percent from last month, and up 10 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 3.13 million hectares, up 8 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 1,742 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), up 2 percent from the previous record of 1,708 kg/ha in 2016/17.

There have been reports of harvest delays in Xinjiang province due to a shortage of labor, while in the Yellow and Yangtze River basins, the delays were mainly caused by heavy rains. Weather conditions have improved and harvest is almost complete. According to the China Cotton Association, as of mid-October, 70 percent of the Xinjiang crop had been picked. In the eastern provinces of Shandong, Hebei, and Jiangsu, nearly 80 percent of the crop had been harvested by end of October. Since the season began in April, most major cotton growing regions received normal to above-normal rainfall, resulting in ideal planting conditions, plant growth, and a favorable finish to the season. The satellite derived NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) data was significantly above average throughout the season across the major cotton growing regions including Aksu prefecture in Xinjiang province. The NDVI, used as a measure of crop conditions, indicated significantly higher potential yields compared to last year and to the long-term average.

During the 2017/18 season, China cotton area increased slightly due to higher cotton prices. The area increased the most in Xinjiang and Hebei provinces. According to the National Cotton Monitoring Network (NCMN), Xinjiang province planted over 2 million hectares, increasing its cotton production to roughly 78 percent of the national total. This year’s area increase of approximately 8 percent marks a change from the recent trend. For the past five consecutive seasons, cotton area harvested declined across all cotton regions as farmers responded to changes in agricultural policy. (For more information, contact

Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.

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For more information contact Dath Mita | | (202) 720-7339
USDA-FAS, Office of Global Analysis

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