Annual Cotton Report

An Expert's View about Cotton in Zimbabwe

Posted on: 9 Aug 2012

Post forecasts a 23 percent decline in Zimbabwean cotton production for the 2012/13 MY, due to the negative impact a new price control intervention will have on investments by the private sector.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 6/27/2012 GAIN Report Number: Zimbabwe Post: Pretoria Annual Cotton Report Report Categories: Cotton and Products Approved By: Nicolas Rubio Prepared By: Dirk Esterhuizen Report Highlights: Post forecasts a 23 percent decline in Zimbabwean cotton production for the 2012/13 MY, due to the negative impact a new price control intervention by government will have on investments by the private sector. Zimbabwe‟s cotton output rose by 10 percent to 275,000 MT in the 2011/12 MY from 250,000 MT in the 2010/11 MY, on increased area planted due to improved world cotton lint prices. Zimbabwe‟s cotton lint exports is expected to drop by more than 30 percent to 315,000 bales in the 2012/13 MY. Industry background Cotton is an important agricultural commodity in Zimbabwe, especially for smallholder farmers. Cotton is Zimbabwe‟s second largest agricultural foreign currency earner after tobacco and in 2011 earned more than US$ 200 million in foreign currency. Commercial cotton production started more than 100 years ago in Zimbabwe, but it is now predominantly grown by smallholder farmers on average plots between one and two hectares. Due to the small areas cultivated, the production of cotton is labor intensive as most of the production is done by hand. An estimated 250,000 smallholder farmers produce 99 percent of Zimbabwe‟s cotton crop, mainly through contract farming schemes with cotton ginning companies. In August 2009, the Zimbabwean government introduced new cotton legislation (SI142 of 2009) under the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) to ensure the long term viability of the cotton industry by regulating the entire chain from production to marketing. The legislation has brought order, fairness and consistency in volumes and quality in the cotton sector. The new regulation compels all contractors, buyers and growers to be registered under AMA and a total of fourteen contractors registered for the 2011/12 MY. Cotton growers are required to register annually by the end of October, while cotton contractors and buyers are required to register annually by the end of August. The legislation also compels each registered contractor to provide all necessary inputs to farmers at the start of the planting season. In addition, it gives prosecuting powers to the Cotton Marketing Technical Committee (CMTC), created by government in 2009, to manage the legislation. The legislation combats “side-marketing” or the non-honoring of contracts by growers through section 14 that makes it obligatory for growers to only sell their cotton to the contractor that supported them with inputs. Through the legislation, common input distribution and buying points have been established throughout the country. The regulation has established a clearer and stable legal framework for improved relations between growers and contractors. Currently, about 95 percent of the cotton crop is grown through contract arrangements. This system helps smallholder farmers who lack financial resources and cannot borrow funds, due to a lack of collateral, to obtain inputs. In addition, cotton contractors have their own experienced extension officers who offer technical assistance to farmers and also issue farmers with specialized picking bags to avoid on-farm contamination of the cotton. Contract farming has contributed to stability and growth of the cotton industry by providing inputs (seed, fertilizers and chemicals) and extension services to cotton growers, thereby ensuring consistent production. However, in June 2012, the Zimbabwean government intervened in the cotton industry and gazette Statutory Instrument 106 A of 2012 that makes cotton a controlled product. The Statutory Instrument gives the Minister of Agriculture the power to fix cotton prices. This has created uncertainty among contractors who funded the crop and there is a high possibility of them failing to recover their costs. Hence, contractors are likely to hold back on funding inputs for cotton in the 2012/13 MY. Cotton production Post forecasts for the 2012/13 MY that planted cotton area will decrease by 35 percent to 300,000 hectares and production by 23 percent to 210,000 tons, due to the government‟s intervention program. Furthermore, the prevailing low international lint prices will discourage some farmers from growing cotton. The area planted with cotton increased by 18 percent from 380,000 hectares in the 2010/11 MY to 450,000 hectares in the 2011/12 MY. The firm world market prices motivated farmers to increased the cotton area in the 2011/12 MY. As a result, cotton production is estimated to increase by 10 percent from 250,000 MT in the 2010/11 MY to 275,000 MT in 2011/12 MY. However, average yield is expected to decrease from 0.7t/ha in 2010/11MY to 0.6t/ha in the 2011/12 MY, due to an unfavorable rainfall season. The bulk of Zimbabwe‟s cotton crop is grown under rain-fed conditions. Table 1 indicates the area planted and production of cotton in Zimbabwe for the 2010/11 MY (actual), 2011/12 MY (estimate) and 2012/13 MY (forecast). Table 1: Cotton Production in Zimbabwe Marketing Year 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 Area planted (ha) 380,000 450,000 300,000 Area harvested 380,000 450,000 300,000 Seed cotton production (MT) 250,000 275,000 210,000 Yield (t/ha) 0.7 0.6 0.7 Lint production MT or („000 – 480lb bales) 102,500 MT 112,750 MT 86,100MT (470 bales) (517 bales) (395 bales) Source: Cotton Ginners Association Zimbabwe has 752,050 MT ginning capacity available (see also Table 2), hence extra processing capacity exist if cotton production could be improved. Zimbabwe has the potential to double the current average cotton seed yields of about 0.7 t/ha to 1.4 t/ha if a new policy outlook regarding genetically modified crops is adapted. Currently, Zimbabwe does not allow the commercial production of genetically modified cotton, but allows non-commercial testing of Bt varieties under the supervision of the Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe. Table 2: Ginning capacity available in Zimbabwe Company name Ginning capacity (MT seed cotton) Cottco 343,300 Cargill 125,400 Olam 35,400 Alliance 44,500 Romsdal 31,900 Grafax 48,600 Insing 13,700 Parrogate 55,000 Cottzim 25,000 Fahad 13,200 Sinozim 25,000 Total 752,050 Source: Cotton Ginners Association Prices Until recently, cotton prices in Zimbabwe were determined through negotiations between farmers and ginners and approved by AMA. In May, AMA has set minimum prices between US$0.36 and US$0.50 per kg, depending on the grade and based on the prevailing international cotton price outlook for cotton (see Table 3). Farmers, on the other hand, expected a minimum price of US$0.45 per kg. After reaching a deadlock, the Government intervened and gazette Statutory Instrument 106 A of 2012 that makes cotton a controlled product. The Statutory Instrument gives the Minister of Agriculture the power to fix cotton prices. The Minister of Agriculture has not yet announced any prices and ginners are buying at prices between US$0.30/kg and US$0.35/kg. This intervention by the Zimbabwean Government will negatively impact investment by the private sector (contractors) and will result in reduced cotton area planted and production in the 2012/13 MY. Table 3: Seed cotton grades and prices 2011/12 MY and 2010/11 MY Seed Cotton Minimum producer price (US cents/kg) Producer price (US cents/kg) Grade 2011/12 MY 2010/11 Grade A 48 – 50 105 Grade B 44 – 48 96 Grade C 40 – 43 89 Grade D 36 – 39 85 Table 4: PSD table for cotton Cotton 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 Zimbabwe Market Year Begin: Market Year Begin: Market Year Begin: Aug 2010 Aug 2011 Aug 2012 USDA New USDA New USDA New Official Post Official Post Official Post Area Planted 0 380 0 450 0 300 Area Harvested 400 380 470 450 425 300 Beginning Stocks 216 216 186 151 231 103 Production 500 470 525 517 475 395 Imports 0 0 0 0 0 0 MY Imports from U.S. 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total Supply 716 686 711 668 706 498 Exports 425 430 375 460 400 315 Use 90 90 90 90 90 90 Loss 15 15 15 15 15 15 Total Dom. Cons. 105 105 105 105 105 105 Ending Stocks 186 151 231 103 201 78 Total Distribution 716 686 711 668 706 498 Stock to Use % 36 29 50 19 41 19 Yield 272. 269. 243. 250. 243. 287. TS=TD 0 0 0 Cotton Lint Production In the 2012/13 MY, post forecasts that cotton lint production will decrease by 23 percent to 86,100 MT (395,000 bales), on a decrease in area planted due to new policy interventions that control the producer price of cotton. In the 2011/12 MY cotton lint production increased by ten percent to 112,750 MT (517,000 bales) on increased area planted. In the 2010/11 MY about 102,500 MT (470,000 bales) cotton lint was produced. Consumption The Zimbabwean government has set a lint quota for the domestic textile industry. Cotton ginners are allowed to export 70 percent of their total annual lint production and retain 30 percent for the local textile industry requirements. However, currently the local spinning industry‟s lint consumption is far less than the allocated quota and the surplus lint is channeled to the export market. Domestic lint off take in the 2011/12 MY is estimated at 5,000MT. The Zimbabwean government has now targeted the textiles and clothing sector as a priority area in its Industrial Development Policy to ensure economic growth. Trade Due to the negative impact of the new price control intervention on investment by the private sector, Zimbabwe‟s cotton lint exports is expected to drop by more than 30 percent to 315,000 bales in the 2012/13 MY. Zimbabwe‟s cotton lint is exported to various destinations around the world. Data collected from Zimstats (Ministry of Finance) is shown on Table 4 below. Table 5: Export trade matrix for cotton lint Export Trade Matrix Country Zimbabwe Commodity Cotton lint Time Period CY Units: MT Exports for: 2010 2011 U.S. 0 U.S. 0 Others Others South Africa 22,006 South Africa 58,665 Thailand 4,016 Indonesia 948 Italy 2,072 Mozambique 5,598 Singapore 14,036 Singapore 14,569 UK 12,980 UK 1,306 Bangladesh 7,827 Bangladesh 699 Japan 2,780 Switzerland 998 United Arab Emirates 4,541 United Arab Emir 4,429 China 7,550 China 1,527 Portugal 3,180 Portugal 597 Colombia 1,252 Colombia 1,697 Lesotho 4,173 Lesotho 1,169 Pakistan 2,518 Pakistan 398 Mauritius 1,718 Mauritius 832 Total for Others 90,649 93,432 Others not Listed 9,089 53 Grand Total 99,738 93,485 Lint exports in 2011 decreased slightly compared to 2010 exports. The high export figure for South Africa (63 percent of exports) is due it being a warehousing centre prior to re-export of lint to other destinations. The Far East and Asia accounted for 24 percent of the exports where Singapore, United Arab Emirates and China were the main export destinations. As no major improvements are anticipated in the domestic textile sector domestic lint consumption is likely to remain well below the 30 percent quota of 33,825 MT. Domestic consumption in 2012 is forecast at around 5,000 MT and exports are forecast to reach more than 100,000 MT. Stocks The ending stocks for the 2011/12 MY decreased as exports increased due to the low domestic consumption of lint. Ending stock will decrease even further in the 2012/13 MY on lower cotton seed production.
Posted: 09 August 2012