Low world cotton prices are forecast to cause a fall of almost 10 per cent in Australia’s cotton lint production in 2001/02. The Australian government commodities think tank the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) said on Tuesday in its latest Australian Crop Report that uncertainty over water supplies was also expected to cut into the size of the Australian crop. ABARE forecast that Australia’s cotton lint production in 2001/02 would fall to 677,000 tonnes from 751,000 tonnes in 2000/01. The latest forecast for 2001/02 is also well down on ABARE’s previous forecast, issued in June, of 735,000 tonnes. “Lower world cotton prices are likely to be a major contributing factor to an overall reduction in area planted in 2001/02,” ABARE said in its latest forecast papers. “The area sown to irrigated cotton is forecast to be down 22 per cent (in the major cotton state of Queensland), substantially because of uncertainty over water allocations for the season,” it said. “The area sown to dryland cotton is forecast to be nearly halved, reflecting an expected return to more normal seasonal conditions after a season that was favourable to dryland production,” it said. ABARE forecast that Australian cottonseed production would fall to 957,000 tonnes in 2001/02, from 1.06 million tonnes in 2000/01. This is down from ABARE’s June forecast of 1.04 million tonnes for 2001/02. (C) Reuters Limited 2001. (c) 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon