COTTON: This month’s U.S. cotton supply and demand estimates are virtually unchanged from last month. Production is raised marginally, as increases for the Delta and Southwest are nearly offset by reductions for the Southeast. Domestic mill use and exports are unchanged. Ending stocks remain at 2.7 million bales, the equivalent of 14 percent of total use. The forecast range for the marketing-year average price received by producers is forecast at 67 to 79 cents per pound, compared with 63 to 77 cents last month. At the midpoint of the range, the forecast is 10 cents above the final 2009/10 marketing-year average price of 62.9 cents per pound.
Slight adjustments to the world cotton estimates for 2010/11 result in slightly lower ending stocks compared with last month. Higher production in Argentina, Australia, and Turkey is more than offset by a 1.0-million-bale reduction for China, which is based mainly on lower area as reported by Chinese agencies. China’s beginning stocks also are reduced as the current severe shortage suggests that consumption in 2009/10 was higher than previously forecast. Estimates of total world consumption and trade are raised slightly. World ending stocks are now forecast at 44.7 million bales, down about 2.0 million bales from the beginning level. Compared to last season, China’s stocks are forecast to fall by 3.5 million bales, while stocks are expected to rise in Brazil, India, and Australia.