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2009/10 cotton stocks & season average price revised
Oct '10
According to USDA's October Crop Production report, the 2010 U.S. cotton crop is projected at nearly 18.9 million bales, up slightly from last month's forecast and 6.7 million bales above the 2009 production. Larger planted area and near-record low abandonment have contributed to this season's improvement. In addition, the third highest U.S. yield—due to better-than-average crop conditions this season—is forecast to raise the crop to its largest in 3 years.

The U.S. upland crop is estimated at 18.4 million bales, nearly 6.6 million bales above last season and more than 1 million bales above the 5-year average. During the previous 20 years, the October forecast has been below final cotton production 14 times and above 6 times. Past differences between the October forecast and the final production estimate indicate that chances are 2 out of 3 that the 2010 U.S. upland crop will range between 17.5 and 19.3 million bales.

For 2010, regional upland cotton production is forecast to increase from the past two seasons (fig. 2). Compared with the 5-year average, however, the October 2010 upland crop estimates are higher only for the Southwest region. In the Southwest, a record production is forecast at 9.4 million bales, resulting from the largest harvested area in 5 years and the second highest yield for the region.

In the Southeast, the cotton crop is estimated at 4.0 million bales—slightly below the 5-year average—as higher area more than offsets a lower yield in 2010. In the Delta, area rebounded after 4 consecutive years of decline and is forecast to their second highest yield on record. Delta production is forecast at 3.9 million bales in 2010, the largest in 3 years.

In the West, the 2010 upland cotton area and production are forecast to increase for the first time in six seasons despite a slight decline in yield from last season. The upland crop in the West is estimated at 1.1 million bales, the highest in 3 years.

Meanwhile, the extra-long staple (ELS) crop is largely grown in the West, mainly California. ELS production is forecast at 498,000 bales, 24 percent above the 2009 crop, with California expected to account for 90 percent of the total.

Total 2010 cotton harvested area in the United States was estimated at 10.8 million acres, the highest in 4 years, as abandonment, estimated at 2.4 percent, is well below average and the lowest in over 60 years. The U.S. cotton yield is forecast at 841 pounds per harvested acre, 64 pounds above last season but 38 pounds below the 2007 record. For current production estimates by State, see table 11.

2010/11 U.S. Demand and Stock Estimates Unchanged in October
U.S. cotton demand for the 2010/11 season was unchanged this month at 19.1 million bales, 23 percent above last season. U.S. mill use is forecast at 3.6 million bales in 2010/11—based on Department of Commerce data—4 percent above the 2009/10 estimate. U.S. cotton exports are currently forecast at 15.5 million bales, nearly 3.5 million bales above last season. With larger U.S. exportable supplies available this season and foreign import demand also rising, U.S. cotton exports are forecast to expand to their second highest on record behind 2005/06's estimate of nearly 17.7 million bales.

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