- Marin Perez reports for Bloomberg that a global cotton futures contract is set to start later this year backed by 9 countries including the U.S., India, and Brazil. “Supplies from Australia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mali will also be accepted.”
- Kathleen Calderwood reports for Australia’s ABC Rural that an ongoing research project is testing the possibility of moving the planting season in the country forward 5 to 6 weeks in order to avoid volatile January and February weather which has caused yield and quality losses with heavy rains during critical growth stages. The study involves covering freshly planted ground with a thing plastic film to help retain soil moisture so seeds can be planted and germinate earlier in the season. Initial results are promising, but the study will continue over the next 3 seasons. In the meantime, the ongoing harvest has been very positive in the Queensland region, although southern areas are expected to have a wide range of yields due to drought.
- Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui reports for Pakistan’s Business Recorder that China’s top ag bank has urged Beijing to speed up sales of cotton and grain reserves to ease the bank’s mounting debts from assisting with the government stockpile programs. While China has already announced plans to abolish the stockpiling programs and switch to direct payment subsidies for cotton, stockpiles are already predicted to hold 60% of world stocks and the country is running out of storage space to hold new crops.
- Fiber2Fashion.com reports that a delegation of businessmen from 6 African countries is visiting India to study milling technology and practices and to attempt to pave the way for direct exports of African cotton to India. Currently India imports African cotton through European traders, but the delegation hopes to be able to cut out the middlemen to make trades smoother and faster while improving the ginning and milling processes back home.
- Caitlin Perrone reports for The Eagle that Texas cotton growers are expected to ramp up production this year, planting at least 6.5 million acres across the state compared to last year’s 5.8 million acres. The increase is primarily based on higher cotton prices and lower corn prices, making cotton a better potential return investment, though as one farmer points out you can never tell how a crop will turn out until its harvested. Cold weather and scattered rains have delayed corn planting in much of the state but are not expected to have much impact on cotton planting as it generally starts later in the season.