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Cotton forecast and caveats 2007/08

06
Feb '07
Looking ahead to new crop outlook, there were at least two pieces of bullish information. The first was the February report of the International Cotton Advisory Commission which forecasts an expected decline of 2007/08 world ending stocks to 49 million bales, based on expected stable production and greater demand.

This reinforces the expectation that new crop world prices should rise enough to significantly erode loan deficiency payments. The other information development was the release late Friday of the National Cotton Council's planting intentions estimate, based on surveyed U.S. growers circa January 1.

The NCC report forecasted U.S. plantings of 13.21 million acres of all cotton, which, if realized, would be the lowest U.S. planted acreage since 1990. While there are still a number of factors that could influence actual U.S. cotton plantings, rising corn prices since January 1 have likely reinforced the intentions measured by the NCC survey.

Using a planted acreage figure of 13.4 million (based on the post-1990 historical low) and other assumptions, I can still foresee 2007/08 resulting in a small decrease in U.S. stocks-to-use.


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