How Did the ICAC Do on Projections in 2021? The Secretariat Reports on Its Own Accuracy

 

For Immediate Release 
 
Date Posted: 1 February 2022
 
 
Executive Summary
 
Highlights from the February 2022 Cotton This Month include:

  • There were two significant 2021/22 season projections relating to the global cotton industry, in March and June
  • While not perfect, the Secretariat was accurate in forecasting the direction of both global cotton production and international reference price of cotton (Cotlook A-Index)
  • The forecast of the season-average A index for 2021/22 ranges from 94 cents to 117 cents, with a midpoint at 104 cents per pound 

How Did the ICAC Do on Projections in 2021? The Secretariat Reports on Its Own Accuracy

As the last two years have shown us, the world is a huge, complex place and predicting future trends is never a sure thing. Nonetheless, that's the job for ICAC Data Scientist Matthew Looney, who has used the first Cotton This Month of 2022 to look back at how accurate the ICAC was in its projections in 2021. 

The ICAC Secretariat provided two significant outlooks last year, in March and June:
  1. Elevated prices would, as they historically have, drive an increase in planted area.
  2. Global production would increase by 5% to 25.5 million tonnes.
The season is only half over, but a few things have become clear. First, anyone who predicted there would be a 44% increase in prices, driving them to more than 130 US cents per pound, must have used a crystal ball! Second, the prediction of 25.5 million tonnes of global production came up a little short, as the current projection is 26.4 million tonnes. The higher figure is the result of increased area and production in West Africa, Brazil and the United States, with Mali in particular rebounding nicely after a disastrous 2020/21 season marred by farmer boycotts. No one is perfect but so far, the direction of the projections made in the March and June 2021 CTM editions are proving to be accurate.

The first 'Preliminary Outlook for 2022/23’ will be released in the March 2022 edition of Cotton This Month.


The Secretariat’s current price forecast of the season-average A index for 2021/22 ranges from 94 cents to 117 cents, with a midpoint at 104 cents per pound.

 Cotton This Month is published at the beginning of the month with the Cotton Update published mid-month. The Cotton Update, which is included in the Cotton This Month subscription, is a mid-month report with updated information on supply/demand estimates and prices. The next Cotton Update will be released on 15 February 2022. The next Cotton This Month will be released on 1 March 2022.
 
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Please contact the author, ICAC Data Scientist Matthew Looney, with questions on this report.

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About the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)
Formed in 1939, the ICAC is an association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. It acts as a catalyst for change by helping member countries maintain a healthy world cotton economy; provides transparency to the world cotton market by serving as a clearinghouse for technical information on cotton production; and serves as a forum for discussing cotton issues of international significance. In addition, members can take advantage of the ICAC’s global network of cotton researchers, whose expertise covers the supply chain from farm to textile manufacturing, and have free access to its cutting-edge technologies like the voice-based app and virtual technology cotton training programme. Committed to ensuring cotton’s continued sustainability, the ICAC is the only intergovernmental commodity body covering cotton that is recognised by the United Nations. For more information, please visit www.icac.orgTwitter or LinkedIn