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Lower consumption dropping cotton cost

WASHINGTON — Hurt by a rise in cotton prices last year, and subsequent inroads made by polyester and other manmade fibers, worldwide cotton production is on target to easily surpass consumption this year, putting downward pressure on prices for the current cotton year and providing some relief to American home fashions suppliers.

Cotton prices this year are projected to average about 62 cents a pound, down about 11 percent from an average of 70 cents last year, the International Cotton Advisory Council (ICAC) reported in the most recent monthly update of its annual forecast. And even more relief could be in sight for the 2005/06 cotton year, when prices are expected to fall another 10 percent, to about 56 cents a pound.

During June, the international cotton cartel reported, cotton prices fell to a level of 61 cents a pound, down about 24 percent from a season high of 80 cents a pound recorded in early November 2003.

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