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September 2016 Cotton Leader

September 30th, 2016

Cotton Cultivated Web Site Adds Custom Weather Feature

Cotton Incorporated's producer-centric Web site, Cotton Cultivated, has a new weather tool tailored for cotton growers. The tool delivers weekly weather video forecasts that focus on the U.S. Cotton Belt. These two-to-four minute weather videos will be posted to the Cotton Cultivated Web site each Thursday morning and provide an overview of weather trends for the coming week. The weekly weather reports are being developed by Agrible, an organization providing innovative, easy-to-use products that farmers and companies can use to improve their production. 

"We continue to build the Cotton Cultivated site to make sure we are meeting the needs of the U.S. cotton growing community," says Ryan Kurtz, Director of Agricultural Research for Cotton Incorporated. "The Cotton Cultivated site is aimed at helping users find cotton specific information as quickly and easily as possible,  and the new weather feature provided by Agrible is just another way we are giving cotton growers access to important information" said Kurtz. 

Users can access the weekly weather outlook videos on the mid-right side of the Cotton Cultivated homepage (cottoncultivated.cottoninc.com). 

Send in Your Best Cotton Photos!

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 2017 Industry Calendar. 

To be eligible to win, contestants must first “like” The Cotton Board Facebook page 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 October 5, 2016. 

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 2017 calendar and will also receive a cotton prize pack, including 25 copies of the calendar to share with friends and family, a cotton blanket, and other cotton prizes. 

Cotton Board Releases 2015 Annual Report

The Cotton Board's 2015 Annual Report is now available online. To download the report, visit: http://www.cottonboard.org/about/annual-report/

The report offers a letter from California cotton producer, Aaron Barcellos, who served as Cotton Board's  2015 chairman. In Barcello's letter he says, "The objectives of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program are to strengthen cotton’s competitive position and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for cotton by developing, funding, and implementing a coordinated plan of research and promotion. The Cotton Board is responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of the economic resources devoted to the Program." 

The report features 2015 budget/financial information as well as Cotton Board highlights from the year. Also, a listing of The Cotton Board's Members and Alternates is included.The Cotton Board's annual report is electronic in an effort to save money and paper. However, if you would prefer to receive a copy of the report in paper or DVD format, please contact Stacey Gorman at sgorman [at] cottonboard [dot] org or 870-226-1445. 

Economic Update

<Click here to listen to the Economic Update>

After touching levels above the 72 cent mark in the middle of last week, cotton prices have been working their way lower. The absence of a solid fundamental reason for the move higher may be some of the reason for the slide lower. In recent trading, values have been testing levels just below 70 cents. 

International Price Movement

A possible reason that prices got a boost last week was that Chinese prices have been on a run. Since September, values for Chinese futures have increased about 10%. A reason why Chinese prices may have been moving higher is that the auction process that began back in May is drawing to a close. Since the onset in early May, more than 10 million bales have been sold out of the government reserve system. Chinese mills use more than anyone else and they need a lot of cotton. With reserve sales ending with the month of September, those mills are looking closer at the harvest. Reforms to the Chinese subsidy system has led to some serious reduction in Chinese acreage, and that crop is down by about 40% relative to where it was 4-5 years ago. In addition, about 75% of the Chinese harvest is now produced in the extreme western part of the country, while the majority of the Chinese spinning industry in the eastern part of the country. Transportation by rail and truck takes time, and it could be a while until the harvest starts to flow to mills. Ultimately, there are likely some supply-related concerns that have fed into the price advances in China. There have also been reports of some short-term need for cotton in India, and that has helped Indian prices also move a bit higher recently. 

Production Outlook

Despite some of these supply concerns, reports indicate that the production outlook is pretty good globally. Last year, the primary country of concern was Pakistan, where there were issues related to white fly and leaf curl virus. This year, it looks like they have been able to handle it, and yields are expected to rebound back to average levels. India also had an off year for yield last year.  This year, however, it look likes yields could be good. Australia, where acreage has been constrained by water scarcity, is expected to increase their harvest by 50%. Likewise, West Africa has had a good year for rainfall and production is forecast to be strongly higher. Many of these countries are exporters, and as that cotton starts to hit the market, it should represent competition for our crop. How well we are able to move the extra three million bales we are expected to grow this season should shape price direction as we get deeper into the season. 

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