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USDA downwardly revises 2014 US cotton output estimates
23
Oct '14
The latest USDA October report forecasts the US cotton crop for 2014 at nearly 16.3 million bales, down slightly from its last month’s forecast, but is 3.3 million bales or 26 percent above the 2013 production.

According to the USDA, although harvested area remained unchanged in October, the national average yield slipped due to which the US production estimate fell 283,000 bales this month.

The US upland cotton crop is estimated at 15.7 million bales, above both last season and the 5-year average. In the Southwest, the 2014 upland crop is estimated at 6.6 million bales, while in the Southeast, it is estimated at 5.1 million bales.

Meanwhile, California continues to account for most of the extra-long staple (ELS) crop, producing nearly 90 percent of the 2014 crop and is estimated at 578,000 bales, 9 percent below 2013 and the lowest in 4 years, as area declined to its lowest since 2009.

Total 2014 U.S. cotton harvested area is estimated at approximately 9.9 million acres, 31 percent above last season. The national yield is forecast at 790 pounds per harvested acre, 31 pounds below the previous two seasons but equal to the 2011 yield.

The US cotton demand estimate for 2014/15 remains unchanged this month, USDA said, despite reduced foreign import expectations, particularly by China. Demand for US cotton is currently forecast at 13.8 million bales this season.

Despite the lowest US export estimate since 2000/01, US share of global trade is forecast to increase in 2014/15 to 29 percent, the highest in four seasons. As a result, US ending stocks have been revised lower in October to 4.9 million bales, double the beginning stock estimate.

Based on the most recent prices and the latest supply and demand estimates, the average upland cotton farm price in now projected to range between 55 cents and 65 cents per pound in 2014/15.

“The midpoint of 60 cents would represent a significant decline from last season’s final estimate of 77.9 cents per pound and the 2012/13 price of 72.5 cents per pound. The lower price expectation will likely play a key role in acreage decisions for 2015,” USDA informed. (AR)

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