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World extra-fine cotton area rise in 2006/07

Mar '07
World extra-fine cotton production is estimated at 723,000 tons in 2006/07, 28% higher than last season and 3% of world total cotton production. The increase in production this season is due to increases in both yield and area. The world average extra-fine cotton yield rebounded to an estimated 1,003 kilograms per hectare, up 14% from last season and back to the 1 ton per hectare-level after three seasons of below-average yields.

World extrafine cotton area rose by 12% in 2006/07, in reaction to higher prices last season. Extra-fine cotton area increased in most producing countries in 2006/07. However, yield trends varied significantly amongst countries. While yields rose in China (Mainland) and Egypt, they declined in Israel, Sudan and Central Asia.

The average U.S. Pima yield was estimated stable this season at 1,260 kilograms per hectare. Extra-fine cotton prices have declined slightly this season, but they remain above-average. The seasonaverage Cotlook quote for American Pima up to March 1, 2007, was 122 cents per pound, 7% lower than over the same period last season (131 cents per pound) and 16 cents higher than the five-year average.

Higher yields and relatively firm prices in 2006/07 could encourage a further expansion of extra-fine cotton plantings next season. However, the production outlook will likely vary significantly depending on the country. World extra-fine cotton export commitments for 2006/07 rose by 38,000 tons between mid-January and mid-February 2007 and reached an estimated 258,000 tons, accounting for 73% of projected exports.

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