July 2015 Cotton Leader
Cotton Leader is Going Electronic
The Cotton Board is making a change to our Cotton Leader format - and we need your help. For over 20 years, our Cotton Leader newsletter has provided quality information and updates about the Cotton Research and Promotion Program directly to cotton producers. The publication was originally designed to communicate information in the best available medium of the time - a printed newsletter. Starting in January 2016, Cotton Leader will no longer be delivered in the printed version, only in an electronic version. Sending Cotton Leader electronically will save a significant amount of operating dollars, and also allow us the ability to send links and images along with the information. We at the Cotton Board are committed to disseminating timely Program information and we will continue to do so by sending Cotton Leader directly to your email inbox - so, we need your email addresses. To sign up, visit www.cottonboard.org and click on the “email newsletter” link in the top right corner of the site, directly above the seal of cotton. Once you sign up, Cotton Leader will start coming directly to your email inbox. After the December, 2015 issue, you will no longer receive the hard copy mailing. We encourage all of our readers to please sign up to receive Cotton Leader electronically so you can stay informed about the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. Cotton Leader is also always available on our Web site under the “news” section.
Maximize Yield and Sulphur Management Skills With New ‘Focus on Cotton’ Webcast
A new Focus on Cotton webcast titled “Sulfur Fertilization of Cotton” helps cotton growers, consultants, and other industry experts identify and address Sulphur deficiencies that could affect your crop. This 13-minute talk by Syam K. Dodla, Assistant Professor of Soil Fertility and Crop Irrigation at Louisiana State University, provides information that helps users:
• Analyze soil for deficiencies
• Identify Sulphur deficiency symptoms in cotton plants
• Apply the recommended amounts of Sulphur across various areas of the Cotton Belt
• Understand Sulphur’s effect on yield
• See the many options for Sulphur fertilizer
This webcast is available through the ‘Focus on Cotton’ webcast resource located at the Plant Management Network. ‘Focus on Cotton’ contains nearly 30 webcasts on various aspects of cotton crop management. These talks--freely accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week-- cover agronomic practices, crop protection, and ag engineering. This resource also features a new and improved Cotton Extension Search tool, where users can conveniently search for extension resources across all U.S. land-grant universities serving cotton producers. All of these resources are freely available courtesy of Cotton Incorporated at http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/foco.
The Cotton Board Holds Second Annual Calendar Photo Contest
You’ve seen The Cotton Board’s industry calendar and now The Cotton Board wants to see your best cotton photos. One winning photo will be selected and featured in The Cotton Board’s 2016 Industry Calendar. To be eligible to win, contestants must first “like” The Cotton Board Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheCottonBoard) and then email their high-res jpeg photo to sgorman [at] cottonboard [dot] org. Up to three entries per contestant will be considered. The contest ends on September 30th, 2015. The Cotton Board’s Director of Communications, Stacey Gorman, said “Last year’s photo contest was quite a success. We received a number of fantastic submissions and want to keep this contest going.” The Cotton Board calendar has become an industry staple and is directly mailed to every cotton producer and ginner in the U.S. The winner will have their photo, along with photo credit, featured in the 2016 calendar and will also receive a cotton prize pack, including 25 copies of the calendar to share with friends and family, a cotton t-shirt, and other cotton prizes.
Movement in global prices was mixed over the past month. Prices for the most actively traded December futures contract surged higher in late June, climbing from levels near 65 cents/lb to over 67 cents/lb. In July this advance was erased, with recent values dropping back below 65 cents/lb. The A Index has also decreased slightly in July, falling from 74 to 72 cents/lb. After holding tightly to values near 98 cents/lb for the past several months, the CC Index dropped to 97 cents/lb in July. In local terms, the CC Index decreased from 13,300 to 13,200 RMB/ton.
The latest USDA report included a series of important revisions to figures for both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 crop years. In terms of production, updates to global figures were relatively small, with the 2014/15 figure increasing 120,000 bales and the 2015/16 figure increasing 140,000 bales. Larger, downward, revisions were made for mill-use, with the global figure for 2014/15 dropping 610,000 bales and the figure for 2015/16 dropping 875,000 bales. Higher production and lower consumption led to increased projections for ending stocks, with the estimate for 2014/15 rising 1.0 million bales and the estimate for 2015/16 rising 2.0 million bales. Most of the revisions to global mill-use figures stemmed from changes made for China. Chinese mill-use estimates fell 1.0 million bales for 2014/15 and 1.5 million bales for 2015/16.
An official announcement from China detailing the reserve sales program was released in early July. One million tons (4.6 million bales) of Chinese and foreign-grown cotton held by reserves will be put up for sale. The Chinese grown cotton being offered comes from the 2011/12 (330,000 tons or 1.5 million bales) and 2012/13 (470,000 tons or 2.2 million bales) crop years. In addition, 200,000 tons (920,000 bales) of imported cotton held by the reserve system will be made available. Indications are that some rotation of reserve stocks may occur, with 40% of the volume sold at auction eligible to be taken up by reserves at market prices. Expectations are that any additional cotton taken into the reserve system will come from the 2015/16 harvest. This eventual volume could be limited, considering that the prices being offered for older, reserve-held, cotton are near current market values and that mills have expressed little interest in buying from reserves in previous auctions due to quality and logistical issues.
Altogether, the parameters for the current round of reserve sales do not suggest a major shift in prices, reinforcing statements made by Chinese officials that price stability is a priority. However, maintenance of auction prices near current levels should make it difficult for reserve stocks to be significantly reduced any time in the near future. In addition, and perhaps more importantly for the global market, the maintenance of Chinese prices at a large premium relative to international values will probably inhibit a rebound in Chinese mill-use.