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2014/15 US cotton output forecast up 36% from last season
19
Aug '14
US cotton output is forecast at 17.5 million bales, 1 million bales above July’s projection and 4.6 million bales or 36 percent above last season’s crop, the August report of USDA reveals, which is also the first survey-based forecast of the 2014 cotton crop.

“The 2014 production increase is primarily the result of larger area, as the national yield is forecast similar to 2013”, the US government agricultural agency says.

Based on the August forecast, total cotton planted area in 2014 is estimated at nearly 11.4 million acres, the same area reported in the June Acreage report but 9 percent above a year ago.

Harvested area, however, is expected to increase 36 percent, as rainfall in the Southwest has reduced the abandonment forecast dramatically from 2013.

Based on the August forecast, the 2014 national abandonment rate is projected at 10 percent while the final 2013 rate was 28 percent. The U.S. yield is forecast at 820 pounds per harvested acre, similar to 2013’s 821 pounds.

Upland cotton production is projected at 16.9 million bales, 4.7 million bales above the 2013 crop. In the Southeast, production is forecast at 5.4 million bales in 2014, the largest in two seasons and about one-third of the U.S. cotton crop. In the West, upland production is projected to reach only 746,000 bales in 2014, as a lack of irrigation supplies reduced area to a level similar to 5 years ago.

Extra-long staple (ELS) cotton production continues to be concentrated in California, where 90 percent of the ELS crop is expected to be produced in 2014. Smaller area and a lower yield are projected to result in an ELS crop of 556,000 bales, 78,000 bales below last season.

USDA also revised upwards cotton demand and stocks. It says, in August, U.S. cotton demand for 2014/15 increased to 14.5 million bales, nearly 400,000 bales above last season but still one of the lowest in recent history.

Although U.S. exports are projected higher and continue to account for most of the cotton demand, U.S. mill use also is expected to rise. U.S. cotton mill use is forecast at 3.8 million bales, 200,000 bales above the 2013/14 estimate; capacity expansion and lower cotton prices are expected to boost U.S. cotton mill use to its highest since 2010/11.

U.S. exports, on the other hand, are projected at 10.7 million bales, up about 200,000 bales from the revised 2013/14 estimate but one of the lowest levels in over a decade. Reduced foreign import demand—mainly from China—is expected to limit global trade in raw cotton in 2014/15 to a level similar to 2010/11.

The U.S. share of world trade is projected to increase in 2014/15 to 29.5 percent, the largest share in four seasons. With increased exportable supplies this season, U.S. exports have the potential to expand if global demand grows further.

With forecasts of U.S. production exceeding demand for the first time in four seasons, ending stocks are projected to increase 3 million bales in 2014/15 to 5.6 million bales, the highest since 2008/09.

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