The International Cotton Advisory Council predicts that cotton prices will stay low because of high inventories for the next year. The council says that cotton stocks should rise by 43 percent to 13.3 million tons in the year that ends July 31, and should grow by another 9 percent to 14.5 million tons in the 2012-13 season. Additional factors that should keep prices down include rain in Texas, the biggest cotton producer in the U.S., an uncertain EU economy and the related strengthening of the U.S. dollar. However, price volatility could increase over the next year because of China's national stockpiling program. Currently it is uncertain how the country will handle its reserves; it is continuing to build up its inventory and the size could increase more in 2012-13. Cotton imports into China could drop from 4.6 million tons to 3.3 million tons, while imports in the rest of the world are expected to rise by 15 percent to 4.8 million tons. Global cotton mill use is seen growing by 3 percent to 23.9 million tons for the 2012-13 season, while global trade could shrink by 8 percent to 8.1 million tons. The council expects world cotton production to drop by 7 percent in the next year to 25.1 million tons.