Ag forecast: Cotton yield up, production down
Powell Slaughter -- Home Textiles Today, November 8, 2013
Washington - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today forecast production of 13.1 million bales of cotton for 2013/14, up 2% from the September report, but down 24% from last year's rate. Still, on a global basis, cotton production is outpacing demand for the fourth year in a row.
The U.S. cotton yield is expected to improve 79 pounds per acre from last year, resulting in average harvests of 808 pounds per acre.
A cotton bale weighs 480 pounds.
"The global outlook for 2013/14 is mostly unchanged, with ending stocks up slightly. U.S. production, consumption, and ending stocks are raised," USDA reported.
The department expects the level of exports to remain unchanged at 10.4 million bales. The forecast for the average U.S. cotton farm price was lowered to 74 cents per pound.
China has been stockpiling a record amount of cotton, a situation Bloomberg Business speculated could set the stage for a supply surge "that would tip prices into a bear market."
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal warned: "Cotton prices fell to the lowest level since January as investors and traders fretted that China is gearing up to release cotton from its stockpile, a move that would quickly ripple through the global cotton market."
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