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US cotton stocks to fall sharply by July 2009, NCC
Feb '08
Dr. Gary Adams, the National Cotton Council's vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis, said U.S. cotton growers are projected to produce 15.4 million bales in 2008 – the smallest since the 1998 crop of 13.9 million bales.

In presenting the NCC's 2008 Economic Outlook to delegates at the organization's annual meeting in Memphis here, Adams said that this U.S. cotton production estimate of 14.8 million bales of upland and 600,000 bales of extra long staple (ELS) fiber is based on the NCC's survey that has planting intentions of 9.32 million upland acres and 231,000 ELS acres.

Adams noted that a range of 12-18 million bales is not unrealistic as weather will affect the final production. The economist told delegates the NCC sees U.S. exports of 14.7 million bales and domestic mill use of 4.4 million bales in 2008-09.

Assuming a new farm bill is enacted with the economic assistance program for the U.S. textile industry, Adams said any 2008 textile mill losses due to a slowdown in the U.S. economy and the elimination of China import safeguards should be tempered.

By July of 2009, he said, U.S. cotton stocks are expected to fall sharply as total offtake exceeds the 15.4 million bale crop.

Adams also noted that the 2008 U.S. crop production estimate translates to 5.3 million tons of cottonseed, down from 6.6 million tons in 2007.

“If competing feed prices remain strong, there's little if anything that would call for lower cottonseed prices in 2008,” the economist said. “In fact, just the opposite seems true. Cottonseed prices could push higher with the expectation of a 5 million ton crop.”

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