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February 2014 Cotton Leader

February 25th, 2014

DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR USED DENIM TO THE MID-SOUTH FARM AND GIN SHOW!

In last month’s Cotton Leader, we asked readers to bring their used denim items to this year’s Mid-South Farm & Gin Show (February 28 and March 1 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee). "We’re bringing Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go GreenTM denim recycling program to the Mid-South and asking our visiting producers and their families to take action as we continue to help divert used denim from landfills," explains Bobby Skeen, Mid-South Regional Communication Manager for The Cotton Board. As of today, this Cotton Incorporated consumer-directed program, designed to emphasize the natural and environmental attributes of cotton and offer people a way to give back to their community, has diverted over 600 tons of denim from landfills across the country. The Cotton Board gin show booth number is 1024/1025. Information about the show can be found via the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show mobile app which is available for download now in the iPhone and Android app stores, or by following this URL: m.core-apps.com/msfgs2014. Then click on "Exhibitors" and search for The Cotton Board. "For each piece of donated denim someone brings to our booth, they earn that number of chances to win a $300 gift card from Cabela’s," adds Skeen. "Cabela’s adopted an apparel finishing technology developed by Cotton Incorporated called ‘STORM COTTON’ and have applied the technology to a line of camouflaged hoodies. The booth will include bins where show-goers can drop off their donated denim items and enter their chances to win. The denim will be converted into UltraTouch™ insulation by Bonded Logic, a leading manufacturer of natural fiber insulation. The insulation will then be provided to building organizations working in communities in need - often in areas affected by natural disasters. The Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim drive recently collected its one-millionth piece of used denim. "In addition to bringing your denim, make sure and get one of our always-popular tubes of lip balm," concludes Skeen.

BLUE JEANS GO GREEN 200

Cotton Incorporated and Phoenix International Raceway last month announced a partnership for the Blue Jeans Go Green™ 200 presented by Cotton, the Fabric of Our Lives® NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, March 1. "The partnership with Phoenix International Raceway places the Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim recycling program in the unique position of being both in the national and regional spotlight," said Mesa, Arizona Cotton Producer and Cotton Board Member Kevin Rogers. "I am very excited Cotton Incorporated is promoting this environmentally-responsible program to NASCAR’s large and diverse audience." An at-track denim recycling event will also take place during the race weekend. "We are thrilled to welcome Cotton Incorporated and the Blue Jeans Go Green™ program to Phoenix International Raceway as the title sponsor of our Nationwide event," said Bryan Sperber, president of Phoenix International Raceway. "We are tremendously proud to be associated with such a great organization and I encourage our fans to recycle their denim to this great cause." If you don’t want to miss the race while you’re at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, stop by The Cotton Board’s booth on Saturday March 1st and see who is leading. "In conjunction with our denim recycling event, we will be showing the race live from start to finish on a flat screen television," says Brad Robb, Vice President of Communications for The Cotton Board.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Despite it being nine months away, go ahead and mark your calendars for Cotton Incorporated’s 2014 Crop Management Seminar(CMS) to be held November 12-14 at The University of Georgia Tifton Campus Center, Tifton, Georgia. There will be no registration fee, meals will be provided and CEUs will be available. More information about the CMS will be coming in this newsletter or may be found at www.cottoninc.com as time moves closer to the conference date. Cotton Incorporated’s Ag Economist, Dr. Jeanne Reeves has solidified plans for her Cotton Price Risk Management Seminar in Lubbock, Texas. It will be held on Wednesday, April 2, at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center, 2521 17th Street, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no attendance fee and lunch will be provided. Speakers include Dr. Carl Anderson and Dr. John Robinson. To register, please contact Lynda Keys at 9190678-2269 or lkeys [at] cottoninc [dot] com

COTTON BOARD REVAMPS WEB SITE

The Cotton Board recently went live with an improved version of their consumer Web site, www.cottonboard.org. While the URL to get to the site remains the same, the look and functionality of the site has been completely revamped. The Web site offers users the opportunity to browse for information about the Cotton Research and Promotion Program, sign up for Cotton Board newsletters, view and filter industry meeting dates in their area and much more. The "News" section of the site houses a video gallery as well as all the latest newsletters and press releases from The Cotton Board. "We wanted our audience to be able to take full advantage of all the resources our Web site offers. The new design of www.cottonboard.org makes the site much easier to navigate and offers user-friendly functions such as adding cotton industry event dates directly to an electronic calendar such as Outlook," says Lexie Jones, Director of Information Technology for The Cotton Board. " The Web site was also created in a responsive design to ensure that it automatically adapts to all devices, including mobile phones, tablets and computers," adds Jones. The Cotton Board Web site is also home to the full roster of board members and alternates, a staff directory and will continue to provide gins and first handlers the option to make electronic reports and payments. Please visit www.cottonboard.org to explore the site and take full advantage of this improved resource.

ECONOMIC UPDATE

Cotton prices outside of China increased last month, with both the New York Nearby (March contract) and the A Index reaching their highest levels in five-months. Prices for the New York March futures contract climbed over 85 cents/lb in January. Trading was volatile at times, with values dropping more than two cents/lb on January 27th. In more recent activity, prices recovered and have approached 89 cents/lb. The New York December contract, which reflects expectations for the 2014/15 crop year, has been holding to levels about 10 cents/lb below those for the March contract. The separation between prices for the March and December New York future contracts can be explained by differences in the supply and demand outlook for the 2013/14 and 2014/15 crop years. Recently, there have been reports of tightness in exportable supplies. Export sales data published by the USDA indicate that the total U.S. commitment is 13% lower than one year ago. Meanwhile, the 2013/14 harvest is expected to be 26% smaller. With the decline in production outpacing the decline in exports, there has been some tightening even though sales to China, which traditionally accounts for about 40% of all U.S. shipments, has largely been on the sidelines.  Whether or not China emerges as an aggressive buyer of U.S. cotton this crop year should heavily influence prices throughout 2013/14. Import demand from China is also a significant source of uncertainty in 2014/15, although any announcement regarding reforms to Chinese cotton policy may provide some insight into the government’s intentions regarding trade. Previous comments made by Chinese officials, which indicated continued accumulation of reserves was unsustainable, suggest lower levels of Chinese imports in coming crop years. Lower Chinese demand, coupled with increases in stocks outside of China, could lead to lower prices in 2014/15 and beyond.

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