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October 26, 2009

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Cotton acreage in Xinjiang shrinks 19%

COTTON acreage in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a key cotton production base in northwestern China, shrank to 1.34 million hectares in 2009, down 19.4 percent from 2008.

Cotton output in 2009 is expected to top 2.37 million tons, down 21.3 percent from 2008, according to the region's statistics bureau.

Xinjiang usually accounted for about one-third of the total cotton output in China in the past years, according to the bureau.

The cotton acreage dived this year mainly because China's textile exports slumped last year and demand for cotton was sluggish, the bureau said.

Meanwhile, the slump in cotton acreage also resulted from droughts and hailstorms in many areas in the region this summer.

Xinjiang planned to cut cotton acreage to below 1.33 million hectares in five years beginning in 2008 and then to 1.07 million hectares in another five years, according to the region's agricultural bureau.

Cotton output would be between 2 million tons and 2.5 million tons, the agricultural bureau said.


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