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Marginal changes in cotton stocks and production this month
Nov '08
The World Agricultural Outlook Board reviews and approves the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. The Board's analysts chair the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees (ICECs) that prepare the monthly report.

This month's U.S. cotton estimates for 2008/09 include marginal changes in beginning stocks and production, which are largely offsetting. Beginning stocks are raised 153,000 bales from last month due to a revision in 2007/08 ending stocks by the U.S. Census Bureau. Production is lowered slightly, as reductions in the Delta and Southwest regions are partially offset by an increase for the Southeast.

Domestic mill use is unchanged. Despite lower world demand, the U.S. export estimate is maintained at 13.0 million bales, because U.S. cotton has become relatively more competitive in recent weeks. The forecast for the average price received by producers is lowered 7 cents on the upper end and 6 cents on the lower end of the range, as market prices have fallen sharply since the October report.

The world 2008/09 cotton estimates show modestly lower production and sharply lower consumption compared with last month, raising ending stocks by 3.5 percent. World production is reduced about 900,000 bales, due mainly to reductions in the African Franc Zone, Brazil, and the United States.

World consumption is reduced 2.4 percent from last month, due to mounting evidence of consumer retrenchment and a slowdown in mill activity around the world. China accounts for more than half of the world reduction; consumption also is reduced in Brazil, India, Pakistan, Thailand, and Turkey. Lower consumption is estimated to reduce world trade by 1.0 million bales, including a reduction of 500,000 bales in imports by China. World stocks are raised nearly 2.0 million bales from last month. Stocks in China are raised 1.25 million bales, as the government of China is buying cotton for the national reserve to support domestic prices.

Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service

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