COTTON: The 2014/15 U.S. cotton estimates show lower domestic mill use and higher exports compared with last month. Estimates of production and total supply are unchanged. A reduction of 150,000 bales in domestic mill use to 3.65 million bales reflects slower-than-expected consumption through December. U.S. exports are raised 700,000 bales to 10.7 million based on remarkably heavy sales of about 2.0 million bales for the past 4 weeks, due to strong foreign mill demand for medium- and high-grade cotton. This level of exports would account for 31 percent of world trade, the highest U.S. share in four seasons. Forecast ending stocks of 4.2 million bales are reduced 0.5 million from last month. The expected marketing year average price received by producers of 61 cents is lowered 0.5 cents per pound at the midpoint and on both ends of the range.
A combination of slightly higher production and sharply lower consumption is raising projected world ending stocks by 1.2 million bales this month. Production is raised primarily in Pakistan, reflecting the latest ginning arrival data. Consumption is reduced mainly in China and the United States, but is raised for Vietnam and Indonesia. The available data continue to indicate a sluggish world consumption response to lower cotton prices, mainly because prices of manmade fibers have also fallen. World trade is raised slightly, owing to a 300,000-bale increase in forecast imports by China. Exports are raised for the United States and Pakistan, partially offset by a decrease for India. World ending stocks are now projected to reach nearly 110 million bales.