Global Markets: Cotton – U.S. Exports Down to Lowest Level in 7 Years

    Truck loaded with modules backing into gin. ©Debra L Ferguson

    2022/23 U.S. cotton exports are forecast at 12.5 million bales, down 100,000 bales from the previous month’s forecast and 14 percent lower than the 2021/22 marketing year. Lower exports are attributed to 2022/23 U.S. production forecast to fall 3.7 million bales from the previous year to 13.8 million, the lowest production level in 7 years. High temperatures and drought in Texas, where 40 percent of U.S. cotton production occurs, have slashed production and exportable supplies.

    Global trade is down nearly 1.0 million bales from the previous month’s forecast. Even so, the United States remains the leading global exporter of cotton. If realized, 2022/23 ending stocks would be at their lowest level since 2016/17 at 2.8 million bales, with the United States now exporting more than three fourths of its crop.

    2022/23 U.S. export sales reporting data indicates outstanding sales and shipments are more than one half of projected production. This is in comparison to approximately one-third for the previous marketing year with China expected as the largest buyer for the third consecutive year.

    The ratio of shipments and sales to the projected U.S. crop is the highest level in over 10 years and has supported a strong projected U.S. farm price. Although the projected U.S. season-average farm price is forecast down 6 cents this month to 90 cents per pound, if realized, this would be the second highest level on record.

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