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World cotton demand likely to go up by 1% in 2007/08
Mar '08
World cotton production in 2007/08 is estimated 2.6 percent lower than in 2006/07, at 119 million bales. Consumption is estimated 1 percent higher than 2006/07, at 124 million bales. Unaccounted cotton in 2007/08 is also estimated higher than in 2006/07. Combining production and unaccounted cotton gives a total estimated supply of new cotton of 122 million bales, down 1.5 percent from the year before.

Ending stocks are expected to fall about 2 million bales in 2007/08, to 59 million bales, or to 48 percent of consumption. This is down from 50 percent in 2006/07, and below the 53 percent average of the previous 10 years. If China's stocks are excluded from this calculation, ending stocks are forecast at 34 percent of consumption, unchanged from 2006/07, and slightly higher than the 33 percent average of the previous 10 years.

Cotton Prices Remain Low Versus a Wide Range of Commodities:
After a long period of relative stability, cotton prices have become more volatile. Cotton price volatility is in part a reflection of volatility in markets for other goods, and of the uncertainties of today's economy. Ultimately, only relative prices have economic significance, but changing technology, tastes, and other factors can make predicting relative prices difficult.

An examination of long term trends in the ratio of cotton prices to the prices of other products reveals that cotton prices have fallen significantly since the 1990s. Furthermore, while cottonprices have risen in 2008, they are little changed relative to most other commodities from the year before. Even the surge of the A-Index to 89 cents/pound on March 6th did little to alter this relative price weakness.

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