World cotton production for 1999/00 is forecast at 87.4 million 480-pound bales, up 3 percent from last year, despite the lowest world price in five seasons, averaging 48.2 cents per pound so far this season, down from the recent peak of 91.4 cents in 1994/95. World area is forecast to decrease 1 percent to 32.6 million hectares while the yield is up 5 percent from a year ago to 584 kilograms per hectare. The world's largest cotton producers, the United States and China, are projected to account for 41 percent of global production, up from 40 percent last year as a larger U.S. crop more than offsets China's production drop. The United States experienced by far the greatest year to year rise in global production share as it recovered from last year's weather reduced crop, increasing from 16 percent of output to 19 percent in 1999/2000.
The top seven producers of 1999/2000, including the United States and China, are expected to contribute 79 percent of the world cotton output compared with 77 percent in 1998/99. Of the seven major producers, only China and Australia are forecast to fall below last year's output. Production in the other major producers were up as crops benefitted from a decline in insect pressure and disease damage, and above normal weather during most of the growing season.
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