September 4, 2018 / 8:53 PM / in 8 months

UPDATE 1-Brazil may become 2nd-largest cotton exporter in 2018/19 -trade group

(Adds details on forecast exports, planting and output, context)

By Roberto Samora

SAO PAULO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Brazil could become the world’s second-largest cotton exporter in the 2018/2019 crop cycle, jumping ahead one position to surpass India in the global rankings, Brazilian trade group Abrapa said on Tuesday during an industry event.

Brazil is expected to export 1.12 million tonnes of cotton lint in the 2018/19 harvest, which would place it second to only the United States, Abrapa’s executive director Márcio Portocarrero said.

The U.S.-China trade war is set to directly benefit Brazilian cotton growers, with Chinese cotton processors indicating they would buy up any additional supply of cotton that Brazilian farmers can produce, Portocarrero said.

He did not elaborate on which Chinese companies had made the “verbal commitment” to buy Brazilian cotton or when it happened.

China slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. cotton imports, among a raft of duties that took effect in July in response to tariffs announced by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Brazil’s overall production is expected to rise to 2.3 million tonnes of cotton lint in 2018/19, from 2 million tonnes the prior season, according to Abrapa.

Chinese demand will be driving growth in planted areas, with a record 1.4 million hectares of cotton expected next year seen growing to 2 million hectares by 2022, Portocarrero said.

Reporting by Roberto Samora Writing by Ana Mano and Jake Spring Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Rosalba O'Brien

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