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Cotton industry grappling with competitive global marketplace

Feb '07
Dr. Gary Adams, the National Cotton Council's vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis, said U.S. cotton's situation in 2007 will be shaped by a number of uncertainties and challenges, but there is some cause for optimism.

In presenting the NCC's 2007 Economic Outlook to delegates at the organization's annual meeting here Saturday, Adams noted the recent improvements in U.S. yields. This was highlighted by U.S. cotton producers' 2006 average of 819 pounds per harvested acre despite “less than ideal” weather across much of the Cotton Belt this past year.

That was the third highest U.S. yield average on record “providing further evidence that new varieties, better management, and the success of boll weevil eradication are contributing to better yields,” Adams said.

“In spite of weather challenges, the (2006) crop of 21.7 million bales exceeded many pre-harvest expectations and also was the third largest on record after 2004 and 2005. Higher yields are also helping growers partially offset the negative impacts of higher fuel and energy costs.”

Another reason for optimism is growing demand for cotton. At the processing level, China continues to lead the way. Adams said mill use in China has reached 50 million bales, fueled both by growing textile exports and increased retail demand by Chinese consumers.

He noted that for 2007, China is projected to increase cotton imports as their production should fall due to lower area while mill consumption continues to grow.

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National Cotton Council, USA

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