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AgFax Cotton Review: Prices Expected to Rise; Activists Refuse to Accept Facts on Bt Cotton

Ernst Undesser
By Ernst Undesser, AgFax Web Editor January 30, 2013 11:31

AgFax Cotton Review: Prices Expected to Rise; Activists Refuse to Accept Facts on Bt Cotton

Markets/Trade

  • DTN cotton correspondent Duane Howell reports that U.S. cotton futures saw modest gains in current-crop deliveries.
  • Reuters reports India’s Economic Times that Indian cotton prices are expected to rise this week on stronger export demand, though higher supplies may limit uptrend. Southeast Asian markets are showing increased demand and will help to offset losses of sales to China.
  • Fiona Myers writes at WeeklyTimesNow.com that Rabobank has predicted that cotton prices will rise 17% in the next year as the global surplus declines from reduced production.

Production

  • Swaminathan Aiyar of India’s Economic Times reports that, despite Greenpeace’s continued claims to the contrary, Bt cotton has been a boon to Indian farmers, having more than doubled cotton yields in the last decade. Aiyar notes that farmers know better than scientists and activists what is or isn’t working in their fields, and aren’t so gullible as to continue planting an uneconomical crop.

EARLIER THIS WEEK

Markets/Trade

  • Bloomberg reports that Chinese cotton futures surged as government purchases reduce available supply. The government has stockpiled 85% of the current harvest with left for deliverable stocks. However spot markets are awash with local and imported cotton, and textile demand remains weak.
  • Abdel Latif Wahba reports at Bloomberg that Egyptian cotton exports reached 800 metric tons in the week ending Jan. 24.
  • Jack Scoville of Futures Magazine reports that the trend in cotton contracts remains up as strong sales continue. Supply in the market is lacking while another Chinese auction failed over the weekend. There are concerns of less planted acres in the U.S. due to low prices.

Production

Policy/Regulations

  • Rubab Abid writes for the National Post that while GM cotton has been widely blamed for a striking rise in farmer suicides in India, the evidence and several major reports indicate otherwise. Farmer suicide rates began to rise several years before Monsato’s introduction of Bt cotton to the country, and despite claims of failing GM crops Bt cotton has lead to a noticeable rise in yields and reduction in pesticide use. According to reports, the suicide problem is not limited to farmers but plagues the general population, with farmer suicide levels having actually leveled off in the last decade so that suicide rates for ag workers are now half those of other professions.
Ernst Undesser
By Ernst Undesser, AgFax Web Editor January 30, 2013 11:31

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