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|US Cotton Sector’s Survival Hinges on Farm, Trade Policy Compatibility|
NCC Chairman Kenneth Hood told delegates at NCC’s 64th annual meeting that the organization’s top challenge in ’03 will be harmonizing America’s farm and trade policies to keep US cotton competitive in the international marketplace. He asked delegates to be diligent in seeing that agreements arising from the host of new trade proposals are soundly tested against unified NCC policy. He also asked them to be vigilant in protecting the new farm bill’s benefits.
Hood said that US farm and trade policies must be compatible and equitable "in meeting the competition of the international market and complying with our international agreements. Compatible farm and trade policies that address the inequities of current world trade patterns must be a hallmark of Council policy."
The compatibility objective, he noted, has to be viewed in a global context, and has to reflect that good farm and trade policies must take into account the needs of both the US raw cotton and textile industries. He said the NCC’s firm message to policymakers must be do not: 1) reduce US subsidies until other countries bring theirs down; 2) further reduce US tariffs until other countries bring theirs down to our levels; and 3) increase access to the US market until other countries provide equal access for our products.
Hood reminded delegates that the US cotton program not only is still under attack by some national media and lawmakers, but by competing nations. That includes Brazil’s assertion that the program violates US obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agricultural agreements. The US government, he said, has put together a strong team to counter those assertions.
On another WTO issue, Hood said the NCC will keep urging the USTR to seek formal consultations under the WTO’s dispute settlement provisions in regard to China’s failure to abide by its WTO accession agreement. If that fails to resolve the matter, he said, the NCC will request that a WTO dispute settlement panel be convened.
"China’s behavior serves as a reminder that we must urge Congress to insist that the Administration make full use of the tools available to leverage compliance with existing agreements before ratifying new agreements," Hood said. "In addition to a new WTO agreement, Congress will be asked in the months ahead to approve bilateral agreements with Chile, Singapore and Australia as well as regional agreements with Central America, and then a still broader Free Trade Area of the Americas."
In presenting the NCC’s annual Economic Outlook to delegates, Dr. Gary Adams, NCC’s vice president, economic and policy analysis, said the demand base for US raw cotton continues to face very serious challenges, and with more than half of US raw cotton moving into the world market, expanding access to international markets will be even more crucial to the industry’s health.
For ’03, the NCC projects US growers will produce a 17.1-million-bale cotton crop, domestic mill use will fall to 7.3 million bales and US exports could reach 10.7 million bales – if China continues to be a net importer of raw cotton.
"China remains the wild card in world markets due to the sheer size of its market and unpredictability of its net trade position," Adams said. "Lower production and increased consumption have led to a drawdown in their stocks as well as increased imports during the current marketing year."
|NCC Resolution Urges Conventional Cotton Storage|
A NCC letter to USDA Under Secretary Penn, delivered by Cotton Council International Chairman William B. Dunavant, III, and AMCOT Chairman Tom Smith, reaffirmed NCC’s opposition to unconventional cotton storage. The letter pointed to a NCC resolution urging the Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) "…to use all available conventional storage space for storing CCC-owned and loan cotton before considering unconventional storage spaces and not to allow outside storage of cotton."
The letter to Penn expressed alarm about prospects for outside storage and stated, "It is absolutely critical that the US cotton industry be able to provide a quality product to both domestic textile manufacturers and international customers."
The letter also noted: 1) the industry’s work on establishing standards for bale processing and for packaging/storing with the reasonable expectation that bales would be stored conventionally – in warehouses designed to help protect the quality and 2) current bale packaging materials are not designed to properly protect bales stored outside for an extended period of time.
|Congress Expected to Approve Disaster Assistance|
House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on disaster assistance as part of the Omnibus FY03 Appropriations bill. The package includes a total of $3.1 billion in disaster assistance, of which $2.1 billion will be paid to crop producers. Producers will qualify for assistance if they have lost more than 35% of their normal yield for an agricultural commodity (covered commodities, peanuts and specialty crops) in either ’01 or ’02.
Eligible producers will have the option to request benefits for either ’01 or ’02 losses. The payment rate on qualifying losses will be 50% of the crop insurance price election if the producer purchased crop insurance and 45% of the crop insurance price election if the producer did not have crop insurance.
While specifics are not yet known, quality losses also are covered. Disaster payments will be capped so that the sum of disaster payments, crop insurance indemnities and the value of the harvested portion of the crop cannot exceed 95% of the value of the crop in the case that there had been no loss. Determination of the value of the crop is left to the discretion of the Secretary of Agriculture. If this disaster assistance is administered along the lines of the ’00 disaster package, then there likely will be an $80,000 limit on total benefits as well as a $2 million gross income means test to determine eligibility.
The package, as a direct result of the efforts of Chairman Cochran, includes $50 million in assistance for the ’02 crop of cottonseed to compensate for losses resulting from the adverse weather conditions. Also, $350 million is allocated for livestock assistance and $250 million for the government purchase of surplus fruits and vegetables. Assistance also is provided for sugar, tobacco and citrus.
Reducing the funding available for the Conservation Security Program offsets the cost of the disaster assistance package. The use of funding for a strongly supported conservation program as an offset is certain to draw opposition from the conservation community.
|Zoellick Urged to Raise US Cotton Concerns in China Meetings|
NCC leadership met with US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick Feb. 10 to urge attention to China’s failure to implement its World Trade Organization (WTO) accession agreement. NCC leaders Bill Dunavant, III, and Tom Smith asked Zoellick and his key staff to raise the issue of market access for cotton when he visits China Feb. 17.
The meeting followed recent consultations with key USTR officials who have conveyed the industry’s disappointment and concern with China’s failure to provide access consistent with the accession terms.
Dunavant and Smith emphasized that the agreement was sound and while USTR efforts are appreciated, the implementation is flawed. The US has honored its commitment to eliminate quotas on certain apparel, China’s exports have soared and US cotton has not benefited from reciprocal access.
Ambassador Zoellick assured Dunavant and Smith that the issue is a top priority for his consultations and that he would meet US industry leaders to discuss progress on his return from China. Industry analysts believe China could import up to 3 million bales of cotton in ’03. Dunavant and Smith explained that US quality and prices are competitive and Chinese purchases would substantially reduce Commodity Credit Corp. loan stocks to the benefit of US growers. The NCC is committed to continuing efforts to resolve the issue and will request formal WTO action if bi-lateral discussions yield no results.
|USDA Raises Offtake Projection in Latest Report|
In its February report, USDA gauged U.S. ’02-03 cotton production at 17.14 million bales. Projected mill use was increased 100,000 bales to 7.6 million, while exports were unchanged at 10.8 million. The projected total offtake of 18.4 million bales is now 100,000 bales larger than the January estimate, generating ending stocks of 6.2 million bales. The estimated ending stocks-to-use ratio is 33.7%.
The projected crop based on the NCC’s early season planting intention’s report is 17.1 million bales, a forecast derived by using 5-year yields and abandonment for each state. Based on beginning stocks from USDA’s estimates, total supply would be 23.3 million bales, a decline of 1.3 million bales from ’02.
With the continued increase in competition from imported cotton textiles, NCC economists expect mill use to fall to 7.3 million bales for the ’03-04 marketing year. NCC’s export projection of 10.7 million bales hinges on a USDA also estimated world production for the ’02-03 marketing year to be 87.6 million bales, up 240,000 bales from the January report. World mill use is estimated to reach 96.8 million bales. Consequently, world ending stocks are projected to be 37.9 million bales for a stocks-to-use ratio of 39.1%.
For ’03, NCC economists project that increased acreage and the assumption of average yields push world production to 94 million bales. Australia, China and India are expected to account for the bulk of the recovery. The projected ’03 crop falls short of expected consumption, which is estimated at 97.1 million bales.
The current estimates for production and consumption would lead to a further reduction in global stocks by July 31, ’04. With a projected global stocks-to-use ratio of 36.1%, it would be the tightest balance sheet since ’94 and would continue to be supportive of prices.
|Alabama Ginner Bobby Greene Elected ’03 NCC Chairman|
Alabama ginner Robert W. "Bobby" Greene was elected NCC chairman at the NCC’s Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL. He served as NCC’s vice chairman in ’02 and succeeds Mississippi producer Kenneth Hood, who will chair the NCC’s Operations Committee this year.
Having managed and operated cotton gins for more than 25 years, Greene is president and CEO of Servico, Inc., a ginning/warehousing operation in Courtland, AL. He also is CEO of Cottonseed Incorporated, and served as president and CEO of Producers Cotton Oil in California from ’90-92.
Other NCC officers elected for ’03 include: Woody Anderson, a Colorado City, TX, producer, as vice chairman; and vice presidents G. Stephen Felker, a Monroe, GA, textile manufacturer; George H. Dunklin, Sr., a Pine Bluff, AR, crusher; and Robert S. Weil, II, a Montgomery, AL, merchant. Fred Underwood, a Lubbock, TX, warehouseman, and Van A. May, a Lubbock, TX, cooperative official, were re-elected NCC vice presidents, and Allen B. Helms, Jr., a Clarkedale, AR, producer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer.
Dr. Mark D. Lange of Memphis was elected NCC president and chief executive officer. Re-elected NCC staff officers were: Dr. Gary Adams, vice president, Economic and Policy Analysis; Craig Brown, vice president, Producer Affairs; Dr. Bill M. Norman, vice president, Ginner Services; and Fred Johnson, vice president, Administration and Program Coordination, all of Memphis; and John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington Operations, and Allen Terhaar, vice president, Foreign Operations, both of Washington.
|New NCC Board Elected|
NCC directors elected for ’03 during interest caucuses at the Annual Meeting were:
Producers - Roy Baxley, Dillon, SC; Laudies D. Brantley, Jr., England, AR; John E. Pucheu, Jr., Tranquillity, CA; Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, TX; and Mark D. Williams, Farwell, TX. Ginners - Burges U. Griffin, Jr., Lewiston, NC; Larry R. McClendon, Marianna, AR; Sid Brough, Edroy, TX; Stanley R. Creelman, Tulare, CA; and Richard A. Holder, Kinston, NC. Warehousemen - W. Coalter Paxton, III, Wilson, NC; Neill M. Sloan, Portland, AR; LaDell Harrison, Memphis, TX; Shane Stephens, Greenwood, MS; and H. J. Weathersby, Memphis, TN. Merchants - J. Walker Clarke, Columbia, SC; William C. Covington, Richardson, TX; W. B. Dunavant, III, Memphis, TN; G.W. Winburne, Phoenix, AZ; and Gary W. Taylor, Memphis, TN. Crushers - Thomas W. Detamore, Oklahoma City, OK; Sammy Wright, Memphis, TN; J. Scott Middleton, Jr., Jonestown, MS; Danny Brown, Pine Bluff, AR; and Gail Kring, Lubbock, TX. Cooperatives - Meredith Allen, Greenwood, MS; Hans G. Kretschmer, El Paso, TX; Jeffrey Thompson, Prattville, AL; David Stanford, Lubbock, TX; and Robert W. Norris, Bakersfield, CA. Manufacturers - Roger W. Chastain, Greenville, SC; Marvin A. Woolen, Jr., Greensboro, NC; Duke Kimbrell, Gastonia, NC; Jerry D. Rowland, Winston-Salem, NC; and D. Harding Stowe, Belmont, NC.
|Mississippi Producer Named CCI President For ’03|
Robert A. Carson, Jr., a producer from Marks, MS, was elected president of Cotton Council International (CCI) for ’03. He was named during CCI’s board meeting at the NCC Annual Meeting.
Carson succeeds William B. Dunavant, III, a merchant from Memphis, TN. Dunavant becomes CCI board chairman, succeeding Hans G. Kretschmer, a cooperative official from El Paso, TX.
Other CCI officers elected for ’03 are: 1st vice president, David Stanford, cooperative official, Lubbock, TX; 2nd vice president, Gary W. Taylor, merchant, Cordova, TN; and treasurer, David L. Burns, producer, Laurel Hill, NC. Mark D. Lange of Memphis, TN, was elected secretary and Allen A. Terhaar of Washington, DC, was re-elected assistant secretary.
CCI elected 5 new directors for ’03: Owen J. (Trey) Hodges, III, a manufacturer from Columbus, GA; Gerald C. Marshall, a merchant from Cordova, TN; Lawrence E. Starrh, a producer from Shafter, CA; James L. Webb, a producer from Leary, GA; and Lonnie D. Winters, a cooperative official from Lubbock, TX.
Re-elected directors include: Michael M. Adams, cooperative official, Greenwood, MS; Robert W. Norris, cooperative official, Bakersfield, CA; Gail Kring, crusher, Lubbock, TX; Thomas S. (Sid) Brough, ginner, Edroy, TX; Robert W. Glassman, ginner, Fresno, CA; Jerry D. Rowland, manufacturer, Winston-Salem, NC; J. Walker Clarke, merchant, Columbia, SC; Eduardo L. Esteve, merchant, Dallas, TX; Rodger C. Glaspey, merchant, Fresno, CA; Adolph Weil, III, merchant, Montgomery, AL; Cliett A. Lowman, III, producer, Kingsville, TX; Bob E. Mayberry, producer, Artesia, NM; Larry R. McClendon, producer, Marianna, AR; John E. Pucheu, Jr., producer, Tranquillity, CA; Ted D. Sheely, producer, Lemoore, CA; and Vance C. Shoaf, warehouseman, Milan, TN.
|Mark Williams Re-elected Chairman of American Cotton Producers|
Mark D. Williams, a producer from Farwell, TX, was re-elected chairman of the American Cotton Producers (ACP) of the NCC for ’03 during the NCC’s Annual Meeting.
Ronald C. Fleming, Scotland Neck, NC, and Charles K. Youngker, Buckeye, AZ, were elected ACP vice chairmen, and Jon W. Hardwick, Newellton, LA, was re-elected a vice chairman.
Elected as new regional directors for the ACP are: Laudies D. Brantley, Jr., England, AR, representing the Mid-South; Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, TX, representing the Southwest; John E. Pucheu, Jr., Tranquillity, CA, representing the West; and Williams as the director at-large. Re-elected as regional director was Roy Baxley, Dillon, SC, representing the Southeast.
Elected state producer chairmen for the ACP were: Arkansas - Herrick D. Norcross, III, Tyronza; New Mexico - Alisa Ogden, Carlsbad; North Carolina - Allen McLaurin, Laurel Hill; Oklahoma-Kansas - Daniel M. Davis, Elk City,OK; and Texas - Barry W. Evans, Kress.
Re-elected state producer chairmen for the ACP were: Alabama - K. Michael Tate, Hazel Green; Arizona - Wiley Murphy, Tucson; California - Donald J. Cameron, Helm; Florida - B.E. "Sonny" Davis, Jr., Cottondale; Georgia - C.B. Coley, Vienna; Louisiana - Boyd Holley, Bastrop; Mississippi - Robert A. Carson, Jr., Marks; Missouri-Illinois - Steven C. Droke, Hornersville, MO; South Carolina - Frank B. Rogers, III, Bennettsville; Tennessee-Kentucky - John H.Willis, Brownsville, TN; and Virginia - Cecil R. Byrum, Windsor.
|Holder Elected NCGA President|
Richard A. Holder, Kinston, NC, was elected president of the National Cotton Ginners Assn. (NCGA) at its annual meeting. He succeeds Michael Hooper, Buttonwillow, CA, who will serve as NCGA board chairman. Other NCGA officers elected were: Sid Brough, Edroy, TX; 1st vice president; Larry McClendon, Marianna, AR, 2nd vice president; and Russell Kuhnhenn, Glendale, AZ, 3rd vice president. Dr. Bill Norman, Memphis, TN, was re-elected executive vice president.
Myrl Mitchell, a Lenorah, TX, ginner and a NCGA past president, is the recipient of NCGA’s ’02 Horace Hayden Cotton Ginner of the Year Award. Hooper said Mitchell "has been and continues to be an active and vocal leader in just about every industry association that he can be a part of."
Mitchell has served both as a ginner delegate and a producer delegate to the NCC, and currently is a NCC director and a director of Cotton Incorporated. He is a former president of the Texas Cotton Ginners, Texas Independent Cotton Ginners and Plains Cotton Ginners associations. Mitchell has taken leadership roles in several areas that affect the US cotton industry, including serving as chair of the Joint Industry Bale Packaging Committee and being an active and consistent participant in the USDA/AMS Cotton Division classing review sessions.
Gaylon Booker, who is retiring as NCC’s president and CEO, received the NCGA’s ’02 Distinguished Service Award. He began his career at the NCC in ’61 as a market analyst in the Economic Services Department, where he conducted numerous studies and reports on cotton’s competitive position in various market outlets. He later headed that department and also served as vice president of operations and senior vice president at NCC before being called out of retirement in early ’01 to head the organization.
|’03 State Unit Officers Named|
State unit officers for the NCC for ’03 were elected at the Annual Meeting. Chairmen, vice-chairmen and secretaries, respectively, of the state units are: Alabama - Sam R. Spruell, producer, Mt. Hope; Larkin Martin, producer, Courtland; and Neal Isbell, producer, Muscle Shoals. Arizona - Jeffrey J. Ballentine, ginner, Phoenix; Clyde T. Sharp, producer, Roll; and Lon R. Emerson, cooperative, Glendale. Arkansas - Neill M. Sloan, warehouser, Portland; Larry R. McClendon, ginner, Marianna; and Curtis H. Stewart, ginner, Dumas. California - Robert W. Norris, cooperative, Bakersfield; Roger Dallner, ginner, Fresno; and Craig N. Pedersen, producer, Lemoore. Florida - B. E. "Sonny" Davis, Jr., producer, Cottondale; Jerry H. Davis, producer, Jay; and Bruce McMullian, ginner, Marianna. Georgia - Van F. Murphy, ginner, Berlin; Kent D. Fountain, ginner, Surrency; and Don E. Daily, ginner, Dexter. Louisiana - Jon W. Hardwick, producer, Newellton; Ted Schneider, producer, Lake Providence; and Stephen E. Logan, producer, Gilliam. Mississippi - J. Scott Middleton, Jr., crusher, Jonestown; Thomas S. Hayes, III, producer, Clarksdale; and Michael M. Adams, cooperative, Greenwood. Missouri-Illinois - Allen Williams, ginner, Cardwell, MO; Christopher D. Matthews, ginner, Sikeston, MO; and Corky Dalton, ginner, Senath, MO. New Mexico - Alisa Ogden, producer, Carlsbad; Bob Mayberry, producer, Artesia; and Robert Najera, warehouser, Fabens, TX. North Carolina - D.E. Josey, III, producer, Scotland Neck; Allen McLaurin, producer, Laurel Hill; and W. Coalter Paxton, III, warehouser, Wilson. Oklahoma-Kansas - Bob Collins, ginner, Frederick, OK; Thomas W. Detamore, crusher, Oklahoma City, OK; and Daniel M. Davis, producer, Elk City, OK. South Carolina - Frank. B. Rogers, III, producer, Bennettsville; Harry S. Bell, ginner, Ward; and Frank E. Walker, merchant, Columbia. Tennessee-Kentucky - John H. Willis, producer, Brownsville, TN; Chris Clegg, ginner, Tiptonville, TN; and John F. Lindamood, producer, Tiptonville, TN. Texas - Lee Tiller, ginner, Odem; Samuel E. Simmons, producer, Harlingen; and Ron Craft, ginner, Plains. Virginia - Cecil R. Byrum, producer, Windsor; M. L. Everett, Jr., producer, Capron; and Mark H. Hodges, III, ginner, Emporia.
|Cotton's Leaders for '03|
National Cotton Council
Cotton Council International
American Cotton Producers
National Interest Organizations
National Cotton Women's Committee Regional Directors
|Cotton Service Award Honors Rep. Combest|
Rep. Larry Combest (R-TX) was honored as the recipient of the ’03 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award for Cotton. The award, named for the late California industry leader and NCC President Harry S. Baker, is presented annually to a deserving individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the US cotton industry.
In presenting the award, outgoing NCC Chairman Hood said Congressman Combest has taken the title, "Representative," to heart in seeing after the needs of his 400-mile-long 19th Congressional district in Texas. Throughout his tenure, including the House Agriculture Committee chairmanship, "he applied his agriculture background to his job and took a proactive approach to shaping sound policies," Hood noted.
Rep. Combest, who announced his intent to retire from Congress effective May 31, served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from ’99-02. Hood said the Congressman provided critical leadership in forging a balanced, bi-partisan House farm bill, which reflected production agriculture’s priorities, and directed the bill’s passage through the House and Conference, all the while defending the bill against a number of damaging amendments. He also served as chairman of the House-Senate Conference Committee, which put the final legislation together. "Without question, his effective leadership combined with his devotion and determination are the reasons we have an outstanding farm bill," Hood said.
|Cotton Industry Achievement Recognizes Hamilton|
The late Jack Hamilton, a cotton producer, ginner and warehouseman in Louisiana and a determined leader in the US cotton industry, was recognized as the ’03 Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award is presented to an individual, now deceased, who served the cotton industry, through the NCC, over a significant period of his or her active business career. Recognizing more than office or position held, the award honors someone who, like Johnston, exerted a positive influence on the industry and who demonstrated character and integrity as well as perseverance and maturation during that service.
Outgoing NCC Chairman Kenneth Hood said, "Jack’s dedication and commitment to the cotton industry were known across the country, and the leadership he provided was invaluable." Hamilton served the NCC continuously from ’69 until his death in December ’01. That service included 7 years as a delegate, 2 years as a member of the Board, chairman of the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee, president of The Cotton Foundation, NCC treasurer, NCC president in ’98 and its Board chairman in ’99. At the time of his death he was an advisor to the NCC Board.
Hood noted that Hamilton, who was former president of Hollybrook Warehouse Company, not only was one of the leading innovators in cotton production and ginning, but a strong advocate for improvements in cotton processing and the classing system.
|Export Sales See Slight Decline|
Net export sales for the week ending Feb. 6 were 252,600 bales (480 lb.), almost 8% lower than the previous week’s sales, resulting in total ’02-03 sales of approximately 8.8 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’01-02 marketing year were approximately 10.3 million bales. Total new crop (’03-04) sales are 530,500 bales (480-lb.).
Shipments for the week were 249,100 bales, bringing total exports to date to 4.7 million bales, down from 5.4 million at the comparable point in the ’01-02 marketing year.
|Prices Effective February 14-20, 2003|