Lately, I’ve spent time trying to think of an area of farming that doesn’t have a high level of risk for our grower-owners. So far, no risk-free activity has come to mind. The fact that our growers continue to adapt their operations to address all of the expensive and risky factors they face each year requires faith, ingenuity, and persistence. We take our cues from our grower-owners.
The past year has been full of challenges. Even as I write this letter, the trade flow for U.S. cotton is changing. The United States’ share of China’s cotton market has fallen dramatically due in large part to the impact of tariffs placed on U.S. cotton by China. With two months left to report in the marketing year, it’s unlikely that the U.S. will even capture 20 percent of China’s 9.3 million bales of projected imports in 2018-19.
With China using one of every three bales in the world, the impact of losing access to a significant share of that market means we are looking to develop new markets for cotton produced by PCCA’s growers. That work has already begun.
Meanwhile, there are a number of positive developments regarding production and processing. PCCA is now making available its Module Tracking system to all gins in our network. This technology-driven feature uses the physical location of each module to help gins move seed cotton from the field through the gin faster and more accurately. The benefit of this efficiency is getting cotton to the market quicker.
Finally, as we look toward the future the outlook is still bright. According to Cotton Incorporated, a modest per capita growth rate of 1.55 percent annually will result in more than 150 million bales of cotton consumption annually by the year 2030. Currently, world production is around 120 million bales. We look forward to working with you to help supply the world with high-quality, U.S. cotton.