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US farmers to plant cotton on 11mn acres in 2017: NCC
14
Feb '17
Cotton growers in the US intend to plant the crop on 11 million acres this spring, up 9.4 per cent from 2016. Upland cotton intentions are 10.8 million acres, up 8.8 per cent from 2016, while extra-long staple (ELS) intentions of 266,000 acres represent a 36.9 per cent increase, according to the 36th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey.
 
“Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed. Ultimately, weather, insect pressures and agronomic conditions play a significant role in determining crop size,” said Dr. Jody Campiche, vice president, Economics & Policy Analysis, at the National Cotton Council (NCC)—the organisation that carried out the survey.
 
With abandonment assumed at 12 per cent for the US, Cotton Belt harvested area totals 9.7 million acres. Using an average US yield per harvested acre of 830 pounds generates a cotton crop of 16.8 million bales, with 16.0 million upland bales and 760,000 ELS bales, Campiche said at the NCC’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. 
 
The NCC questionnaire, mailed in mid-December 2016 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked producers for the number of acres devoted to cotton and other crops in 2016 and the acres planned for the coming season. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.
 
Campiche noted, “History has shown that US farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions. During the survey period, the cotton December futures contract averaged 70 cents per pound, which is higher than year-ago levels. Looking at competing crops, corn prices were lower than year-ago levels while soybean prices were about 12 per cent higher. The price ratio of cotton to corn is more favorable than in 2016.”
 
The increase in cotton acreage is largely the result of weaker prices of competing crops, improved expectations for water availability in the West, and above average cotton yields in 2016.
 
While current futures markets have increased since last year, many producers will continue to face difficult economic conditions in 2017. Production costs remain high, and unless producers have good yields, the higher price still may not be enough to cover all production expenses, the NCC delegates were told. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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