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2015 US cotton crop down 11% over 2014: USDA
May '15
According to USDA’s initial projection for the 2015 crop, US cotton production is forecast at 14.5 million bales, 11 per cent below the final 2014 crop estimate.

Based on the prospective plantings report, 2015 cotton area is expected at 9.55 million acres, 13.5 per cent below 2014.

“The lower planted acreage is largely due to relative crop prices favoring competing crops over cotton,” USDA explained.

Area for both upland and extra-long staple (ELS) cotton is forecast lower in 2015 and for the upcoming season, upland acreage is expected lower for each cotton belt region.

Based on prospective plantings, the Southwest upland area is projected at nearly 6 million acres, down from 6.5 million acres in 2014 but similar to 2013.

The Southwest is forecast to account for nearly 64 per cent of the upland area in 2015, the highest in over a century.

For the Southeast, cotton acreage is expected to reach only 2.2 million acres in 2015, the lowest since 2009.

The US agency added, “Despite one of the lowest plantings of the past 20 years, the Southeast is expected to account for 23 per cent of the upland acreage in 2015, a long run average.”

In the Delta, 2015 cotton area is forecast at a record low of 1.1 million acres, or 11 per cent of the US upland acreage.

In the West, limited irrigation supplies have reduced upland cotton acreage to only 175,000 acres, the lowest in nearly a century or just 2 per cent of the US total.

According to USDA, ELS cotton is mostly grown in the West, where 90 per cent of the 150,000 acre total is expected to be planted in 2015.

While drought conditions have intensified in California this season, significant rainfall in Texas has alleviated drought conditions considerably in the State.

In fact, wet conditions have led to planting delays in Texas and across the Southeast this spring. As of May 10, 26 per cent of the US cotton area had been planted, compared with a 5-year average of 32 per cent.

USDA said Texas had planted 16 per cent of its crop, compared with an average of 26 percent, while for the Southeastern States, cotton plantings by May 10 ranged from 19-29 per cent as against with the 5- year average of 27-40 per cent.

“Weather conditions will continue to influence cotton plantings, progress, and, more importantly, production,” USDA observed.

The initial 2015 US yield estimate is below the final 2014 estimate as the share of total US harvested acres in the lower yielding Southwest region is expected to rise.

US cotton demand including exports in 2015/16 is projected to rise 1 per cent to 14.5 million bales.

“Exports continue to account for the majority of US cotton demand at 74 per cent and at 10.7 million bales, US exports are forecast to equal the 2014/15 estimate,” USDA concluded by saying. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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