U.S. Cotton-Crop Estimate Unchanged at 17 Million Bales

Cotton output in the U.S., the world’s top exporter, will be 17 million bales in the year starting Aug. 1, unchanged from the forecast a month ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

The average estimate of five analysts in a Bloomberg News survey was 16.79 million bales, each weighing 480 pounds, or 218 kilograms. The previous crop totaled 15.57 million bales.

Farmers planted 12.635 million acres (5.11 million hectares) with the fiber, down from 13.155 million projected in March and 14.735 million last year, the USDA said last month. About 10.4 million acres will be harvested, down from 10.5 million forecast in June, the department said.

About 44 percent of the crop was in good or excellent condition as of July 8, compared with 47 percent a week earlier and 28 percent at the same time last year, the USDA said July 9.

Cotton has plunged 68 percent since reaching a record $2.197 a pound on March 7, 2011, as demand waned. Futures for December delivery closed at 70.72 cents a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, little changed.

U.S. growers may export 12.1 million bales in the year beginning Aug. 1, up 4.3 percent from 11.6 million in the current season, the USDA said. Unsold supplies at the end of the next marketing year will total 4.8 million bales, up 45 percent compared with 3.3 million this year, according to the report.

Yields may reach 785 pounds per acre, down from 790 pounds for the 2011-2012 crop year, the USDA said.

World Output

World output will reach 113.81 million bales, down 7.3 percent from 122.71 million for the current marketing year, the agency said. The USDA forecast 115.29 million bales last month. India’s production forecast was decreased to 24 million bales from 25 million projected in June, according to the report.

Consumption will be 108.98 million bales, up 2.2 percent from 106.59 million this year, the department said.

Global stockpiles on July 31, 2013, may total 72.39 million bales, down 2.8 percent from 74.51 million projected in June, the USDA said.

Estimated inventories in China, the biggest user of the fiber, at the end of the next marketing year were raised to 31.8 million bales from 31.3 million forecast in June. China will import 13.5 million bales in the next season, compared with 23.25 million this year, the USDA said.

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