Bloomberg News

U.S. Cotton Crop Seen Unchanged From May, Up From 2011

June 12, 2012

Cotton output in the U.S., the world’s top exporter, will be unchanged from May’s estimate which forecast a 9.2 percent increase from the previous year, the government said.

The crop for the marketing year starting Aug. 1 will total 17 million bales, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. The average estimate of six analysts in a Bloomberg News survey was 17.63 million bales, each weighing 480 pounds, or 218 kilograms. The crop estimate for the current season is 15.57 million bales.

Analysts expected a higher estimate after Tropical Storm Beryl brought beneficial rains to Georgia last month and recent storms eased dry conditions in Texas, Gary Raines, an economist at FCStone Fibers and Textiles in Nashville, Tennessee, said in an e-mail before the report.

Last year, the worst drought in at least a century decimated crops in Texas.

The area to be harvested will rise to 10.5 million acres from 9.46 million this year, according to the USDA report.

Cotton plunged 68 percent through yesterday since reaching a record $2.197 a pound on March 7, 2011, on forecasts for bigger crops and as demand waned. Futures for December delivery fell 1.3 percent to 68.42 cents at 9:12 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

American growers may export 11.8 million bales in the year beginning Aug. 1, up 1.7 percent from 11.6 million in the current season, the USDA said. Unsold supplies at the end of the next marketing year will total 4.9 million bales. The USDA reduced its forecast for this year’s surplus to 3.2 million from 3.4 million projected last month.

Yields may reach 777 pounds per acre, down from 790 pounds for the 2011-2012 crop, the USDA said.

World Output

World output will reach 115.29 million bales, down 6.3 percent from 123.07 million in the current marketing year, the agency said. The USDA forecast 116.69 million last month. Consumption will be 109.01 million bales, up 2.7 percent from 106.12 million in the current year.

Global stockpiles on July 31, 2013, may total 74.51 million bales, up 1 percent from 73.75 million projected in May, the USDA said.

Inventories in China, the biggest user of the fiber, were raised 12 percent to 31.3 million bales by the end of the next marketing year, from 28.05 million forecast in May, according to the USDA.

The country’s imports will drop 42 percent, to 13.5 million bales from a revised 23.25 million the previous year. The USDA in May had estimated imports of 21.5 million for the current year, the data showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marvin G. Perez in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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