MALI: Rise In Cotton Production

Mali is estimated to overtake Egypt as Africa's top cotton producer. The cotton production in the country is estimated to be up.

The majority state-owned cotton company, Compagnie malienne pour le developpement des textiles (CMDT), has estimated that Mali's cotton harvest in 2003/04 (October-September), which began at the end of September 2003, would rise to 620,000 tonnes, compared with 419,400 tonnes in 2002/03, a rise of 48%.

Similarly, the International Cotton Advisory Committee forecasts that Mali's cotton lint production in 2003/04 will total 257,000 tonnes, compared with 215,000 tonnes in Egypt.

Cotton Production ('000 tonnes unless otherwise indicated)
2000/01
2001/02
2002/03
2003/04
Seed Cotton Production
250
571
419
620
Producer price (CFAfr/kg)
160
200
280
200
Sources: Banque de France, Rapport Zone franc 2002; Compagnie malienne pour le developpement des textiles;
Economist Intelligence Unit

Two factors are responsible for the bumper crop: good growing conditions and a higher producer price. The rainy season was well established by early May and rains were abundant and widespread throughout the summer. In addition, the rise in cotton producer prices from CFAfr180/kg to CFAfr200/kg led farmers to increase their cultivated areas by an estimated 15%.

The increase in producer prices was due to the government's new pricing formula, which includes developments on the world cotton market and in the US dollar:CFA franc exchange rates. Although the weakness of the US dollar against the euro, and hence the CFA franc, militates against an increase in domestic prices (farmers will receive fewer CFA francs for their US-dollar denominated cotton), the rise in the international price of cotton is robust enough to be passed on to farmers.

World cotton prices reached 64.14 US cents/lb in September 2003, compared with 49.11 US cents/lb in September 2002, owing to strong demand from Asia, particularly China.

February 06, 2004

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Added: February 6, 2004
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