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December 30, 2013

Cotton Production in Brazil Expected to Increase 24.7%

Cotton producers in Brazil are responding to improved cotton prices by increasing their 2013/14 cotton acreage. According to the Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers (Abrapa), the 2013/14 cotton acreage in Brazil is expected to increase 22% to 1.06 million hectares. The average yield in Brazil is estimated at 1,431 kg/ha resulting in a total production of 1.64 million tons or an increase of 24.7% compared to the 2012/13 growing season.

The full-season cotton planting is under way in the states of Mato Grosso and Bahia, which are the number one and number two producers respectively. The state of Mato Grosso is responsible for about 54% of Brazil's production with Bahia producing approximately 36% of Brazil's cotton. The full-season cotton in Mato Grosso is planted during the month of December and the shorter cycle safrinha cotton is planted during the month of January after the first crop of soybeans are harvested. Farmers in the state of Bahia general plant only full-season cotton.

The improved cotton price is being partially offset by higher production costs. Farmers in Brazil estimate that their cost of production increased in 2013/14 approximately 7% to R$ 5,677 per hectare or approximately US$ 1,000 per acre.

The 2013/14 cotton acreage is rebounding after a very disappointing 2012/13 growing season. Low prices last year resulted in a 27% reduction in acreage to 870,000 hectares and a total production of just 1.26 million tons. The average yield for the 1026 active cotton producers in Brazil during the 2012/13 growing season was 1,418 kg/ha.

Brazil's cotton exports in 2012/13 totaled 937,000 tons, which represented a 10% reduction from the record exports in 2011/12. The top five buyers of Brazil's cotton are: South Korea, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia which purchased 67,800, 63,700, 48,000, 19,300, and 17,400 tons respectively in 2013.