Bloomberg News

U.S. Cotton Crop Raised 1% by USDA on Higher Yield Forecast

October 11, 2012

The cotton crop in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, will be 1 percent bigger than forecast last month as yields increase, the government said.

The harvest that began last month will bring in 17.287 million bales, up from 17.11 million projected in September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. The average estimate of eight analysts in a Bloomberg News survey was 17.18 million. The previous crop totaled 15.57 million bales, each weighing 480 pounds, or 218 kilograms.

The estimate was increased because there’s “less abandonment compared with last year” when fields in Texas, the top producing state, were scorched by the worst drought in at least a century, Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures and Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in an e-mail before the report. “There has been no serious yield damage to the crop” from dry weather this year, he said.

Cotton futures have plunged 67 percent from a record $2.197 a pound in March 2011 as the higher prices eroded demand and boosted global output. The December contract closed yesterday at 72.1 cents, up 0.4 percent, on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

U.S. growers may export 11.6 million bales in the marketing year that began Aug. 1, down from 11.71 million in the previous season, the USDA said. Unsold supplies at the end of the year will total 5.6 million bales, up 67 percent from 3.35 million last year, according to the report.

Projected Yields

Yields may reach 795 pounds per acre, up from 786 pounds projected last month and 790 pounds in the previous year, the USDA said.

World output will reach 116.32 million bales, down 6.3 percent from 124.13 million the previous year, the USDA said. Last month’s estimate was 114.03 million bales.

Consumption will be 106.87 million bales, up 3.6 percent from 103.17 million last year, the department said.

Global stockpiles on July 31, 2013, may total 79.11 million bales, 3.4 percent more than the 76.52 million forecast in September, the USDA said.

Estimated inventories in China, the biggest user of the fiber, at the end of this marketing year were raised 3.1 percent to 36.61 million bales from September. China will import 11 million bales in the next season, down 55 percent from 24.53 million last year, the USDA said.

Output in India, the world’s second-largest exporter, may reach 25.5 million bales, down 7.3 percent from 27.5 million last year, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marvin G. Perez in New York at mperez71@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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