The planting estimate—currently at 13.2 million acres—will be updated in the Acreage report released by USDA on June 29th. This report will include actual plantings as of early June as well as estimates for any remaining cotton to be planted.
As of June 10th, 96 percent of the expected cotton area had been planted, slightly above both last season and the 5-year average. In addition to planting progress, cotton development is running ahead as well with 19 percent of the cotton area squaring, compared with 11 percent for both 2011 and the 5-year average.
Based on the current projections, U.S. harvested area is forecast at 10.5 million acres, implying an abandonment rate of 20 percent; last season’s final abandonment reached a record 36 percent.
The U.S. cotton yield remains forecast at 777 pounds per harvested acre for 2012, compared with 790 pounds per harvested acre for 2011. USDA will begin “in field” production surveys in August.
Revisions to Supply and Demand Estimates
Adjustments to June’s U.S. cotton supply and demand estimates were limited to exports and stocks. Offsetting export changes were made in 2011/12 and 2012/13 as foreign import demand was increased for 2011/12 but reduced for 2012/13.
The U.S. cotton export estimate for 2011/12 was increased 200,000 bales this month to 11.6 million bales based on recent shipment data, while the 2012/13 forecast was reduced by an equal amount to 11.8 million bales. Based on the current export estimates, the U.S. share of world trade in 2012/13 is expected to rise from an 11-year low of 27 percent to 32 percent.
As a result of the export adjustments in June, U.S. ending stocks were lowered for 2011/12, but were unchanged for 2012/13. Stocks are now estimated at 3.2 million bales for 2011/12 and 4.9 million bales for 2012/13, for stocks-to-use ratios of 21 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
Based on the latest supply and demand estimates, the forecast for the 2012/13 U.S. average farm price is projected to range between 60 and 80 cents per pound, with the midpoint of this range well below the latest estimate of 91 cents per pound for 2011/12.
U.S. Cotton Textile Trade Update
U.S. cotton textile trade during the first quarter of 2012 declined from that of a year earlier as consumer demand for apparel products has been affected by the sluggish growth in the economy.
During January-March 2012, cotton product imports approached only 1.9 billion (raw-fiber equivalent) pounds, 10 percent below the amount imported in the corresponding period of 2011. Similarly, cotton textile and apparel exports for the first 3 months of 2012 were below a year earlier at 413 million pounds.
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