AgFax Cotton Review: Prices Expected to Rise; Activists Refuse to Accept Facts on Bt Cotton
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Phoebe Sedgman reports for Bloomberg that ex-tropical cyclone Oswald brought heavy rains and flooding to some areas of Australia that damaged some cotton but saved more. A scorching summer had many farmers behind on irrigation, but the recent rains provided last minute relief that should boost yields and quality.
- Obert Chifamba reports at AllAfrica.com that many cotton farmers in the Gokwe region of Zimbabwe are abandoning cotton and turning to corn, as they’ve grown tired to battling with ginners over prices.
- Marvin Perez of Bloomberg reports that Cotlook Ltd. cut its forecast for the worldwide cotton surplus by 2.4% thanks to rising demand in South Asia and Turkey.
- The Press Trust of India reports on the Indian Business Standard that the outlook for India’s cotton textile industry is negative to stable in 2013 on reduced demand, though softening raw prices may help margins.
- 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.
This week’s news in agriculture from Agfax Media.