Bloomberg News

U.S. Cotton-Crop Estimate Raised on Increased Yield Forecast

November 09, 2012

The cotton crop in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter, will be 0.9 percent bigger than forecast last month because of higher yields, the government said.

Production may total 17.447 million bales, up from 17.287 million projected in October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. The average estimate of nine analysts in a Bloomberg News survey was 17.4 million. The harvest was 64 percent complete as of Nov. 4, the USDA said this week. The previous crop totaled 15.57 million bales, each weighing 480 pounds, or 218 kilograms.

Cotton has plunged 68 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 69.26 cents, down 0.8 percent, on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 69.03 cents, the lowest since June 28.

“South Carolina and Georgia are likely to produce the biggest harvests in years, while yield forecasts in Louisiana climbed each of the last several months and could inch even higher in the November report,” Gary Raines, an economist at FCStone Fibers and Textiles in Nashville, Tennessee, said in an e-mail before the report was released.

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 5.8 million bales, up 73 percent from 3.35 million last year, according to the report.

Projected Yields

Yields may reach 802 pounds per acre, up from 795 projected last month and 790 pounds in the previous year, the USDA said.

World output will reach 116.83 million bales, down 6 percent from 124.28 million the previous year, the USDA said. Last month’s estimate was 116.32 million bales.

Consumption will total 106.33 million bales, up 3.1 percent from 103.17 million last year, the department said.

Global stockpiles on July 31, 2013, may total 80.27 million bales, a 1.5 percent increase from 79.11 million forecast in October, the USDA said.

Estimated inventories in China, the biggest user of the fiber, at the end of this marketing year will be 37.11 million bales, up 1.4 percent from the October estimate of 36.61 million, 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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