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Planted cotton acreage to be less than 12.51mn intended acres

May '07
The May WASDE report also revealed USDA's first stab at 2007/08 outlook which shows lower ending stocks of 6.4 million bales and a 2007/08 ending stocks-to-use ratio of 29.2%. While this is certainly an improvement over 2006/07 ending stocks, it is a little worse than either 2004/05 (with 26% S/U) or 2005/06 (with 25% S/U).

So I would not expect the the trading range of Dec07 futures to be better than recent years, e.g., between the high 40s to low 60s). Having said that, the tightening foreign stocks is a set-up for volatile prices in the event of (or even the report of) bad weather or other supply problems.

One caveat is that the planted cotton acreage will be less than the 12.51 million intended acres as of the March 30 USDA report. A bunch of corn reportedly was planted in the South, and it remains to be seen if more Southern acres were planted to soybeans during April. It also remains to be seen how much freeze damaged corn could be replanted to cotton. There are other supply-side caveats to the 2007/08 U.S. outlook, which are now focused on weather, planting progress, and crop condition.

Rainfall. Rainfall is as critical a variable to watch as ever, due to the potential variability of extensive dryland production in Texas, and also since the Deep South is starting off dry. Seven day cumulative rainfall totals through May 13 show scattered showers across the South, heavier rains in the Southern High Plains, and the largest accumulations from the Texas Rolling Plains over to Oklahoma.

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