Agfax Buzz:
    May 9, 2013
    cotton_review_DFerguson_030910_050

    AgFax Cotton Review: Making the Cotton Industry WTO Compliant; Why Cotton Prices Vary

    AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source

    By Ernst Undesser, AgFax Web Editor

    Markets/Trade

    • DTN cotton correspondent Duane Howell reports that U.S. cotton futures rallied from early losses to settle with modest gains.
    • Cotton Market News reports that there was no trading recorded in Pakistan’s cotton markets as traders wait to see if prices will dip further.
    • Cotton Market News reports India has made a second attempt to sell cotton from government controlled stocks, but sales have been limited as traders say prices are too high.
    • Cotton Market News reports that delayed planting for corn and soybeans could result in as much 1 million additional acres being planted to cotton in the U.S, while burdensome global inventories are expected to continue to grow. The U.S. market is benefiting from unusually strong exports, which in the last month have surged to over 1 million bales ahead of last year’s pace.
    • Rebecca Sharpe reports for Farm Weekly that Australian cotton hit $445 a bale despite weak export demand from China. Current Chinese policy requires the purchase of 3 bales from government stocks for every bale imported.
    • Kevin Walker reports at Farm World Online that a new bill seeks to end payments to Brazil that serve to allow continued subsidization of U.S. cotton, seeking to spur Congress to further action both in passing a Farm Bill and making the U.S. WTO compliant.
    • Textile market analyst Robert Antoshak offers an explanation on his blog about why cotton prices vary from country to country and some of the factors that can impact market prices.

    Production

    • AllAfrica.com reports that Tanzania is researching applicability of GMO cotton and could begin growing Bt cotton by 2020. The Tanzanian government is additionally researching the problem level posed by red bollworm, which led to a quarantine in certain cotton growing areas in 2000.

    EARLIER THIS WEEK

    Markets/Trade

    • The Hindu reports that India’s Central Government and Cotton Advisory Board issued their predictions for the new season cotton crop, noting that there should be plenty of cotton available for domestic use with no supply interruptions and that cotton prices should remain stable.
    • Respected cotton guru O. A. Cleveland reports that strong demand is keeping both cotton exports and prices up despite last week’s early panic selling. There are some concerns of planting delays, but Cleveland assures late planted cotton can still have strong yields, also mentioning that growers are capable of getting the entire crop planted in less than a week if needed.
    • Sutanuka Ghosal and Madhvi Sally report for India’s The Economic Times that the Cotton Corporation of India is set to try again to sell off some of its cotton stocks at local markets but at a reduced rate.
    • Vishwanath Kulkarni reports for The Hindu Business Line that a glut of Bt cotton seeds in India has seed retailers battling it out in a price war to sell their products as the planting season gets underway in India.
    • Abdel Latif Wahba reports for Bloomberg that Egypt’s cotton exports totaled 605.5 metric tons last week.
    • Abidjan reports at Reuters that the Ivory Coast’s San Pedro port has exported its first shipment of cotton from its landlocked West African neighbor, Mali, and plans to be the new primary port of export for Malian cotton.

    Production

    • M. R. Subramani reports for The Hindu Business Line that despite strong export potential for organic cotton many Indian cotton farmers refuse to switch from growing Bt cotton. The reason, according to a cotton specialist, is because the government and domestic markets treat organic cotton the same as other varieties, giving no incentive for farmers to go organic which is more labor intensive and provides lower yields.
    • Lisa Herbert reports at Australia’s ABC Rural that recent research has put cotton farmers at odds with coal mining, as studies show that underground mining can have major impacts on the shape of above ground fields, causing depressions as deep as 1.3 meters. Such bumps in the landscape would make irrigation impossible as water wouldn’t flow properly through fields, and could cause pooling with devastating consequences for crops in flooded field areas.
    • The Hindu reports that Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company has been re-approved to sell Bt cotton seeds this season after having its license revoked last fall, though a final decision on the company’s license status has yet to be reached.
    • James Karuga reports for Standard Digital News that Kenyan farmers are returning to growing cotton after the crop became largely unsustainable with the collapse of the Cotton Board of Kenya in 1992. Without the support of the Cotton Board farmers were unable to afford pesticides, resulting in poor yields, while being forced to sell at drastically lower prices. The founding of the Cotton Development Authority, or Coda, has helped spur better production practices and better prices which has lead to farmers returning to the crop.
    • Larry Steckle of the University of Tennessee Extension reports that a window for cotton planting may finally open up in Tennessee this week with warmer weather and hopefully dryer fields.
    • Johnny Parker of Commonwealth Gin reports that rains are expected through Wednesday in Virginia, but once the fields dry afterwards there should be no more delays on cotton planting.

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