Cotton's Week: September 3, 2004

Cotton's Week: September 3, 2004


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Special Textile Safeguard Petitions to be Filed

The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC), the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the National Textile Association (NTA) announced their intention to file threat-based special textile safeguard petitions in mid-to-late September “to prevent China from causing irreparable damage to the US textile industry and the US textile and clothing market," AMTAC Executive Director Auggie Tantillo said.

A newly updated NCTO study shows that China now controls 72% of the US market in the 29 apparel categories released from quota in ’02, and history has proven that China can capture as much as 30-40% market share in a single year.

“We cannot and will not allow China to do the same thing in the categories still under quota,” NCTO President Cass Johnson said. “If China captures a similar amount of market share in the categories still under quota, much of the world's textile and clothing industry will cease to exist."

Categories targeted for safeguard filings include categories such as men's and boys' cotton trousers and women's and girls' cotton trousers.

Safeguard petitions will be filed with the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), an interagency group comprised of representatives from the departments of Commerce, State, Treasury and Labor, as well as the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The United States is the largest textile and clothing importer in the world, importing more than $77 billion worth of textile and clothing products in ’03. Of that total, more than $61 billion was in categories where quotas are scheduled to expire in ’05.

AMTAC says a system that allows 1 or 2 countries to monopolize key markets, including the enormous US market, in these critical product areas will cause massive employment disruption both at home and abroad. The United States still has 702,500 direct manufacturing workers directly employed in the textile and apparel sector as of July ’04.

NCC Panel Presents Rack Sample Survey Findings

The NCC’s Rack Sample Study Committee surveyed the industry to define current buyers’ sample-handling practices, costs and sample usage. At the Mid-Year NCC Board meeting, Committee Chairman Bill Bowen, Inman Mills, presented the survey results, which can be found at

Traditional racking currently accounts for 75% of bales stored by respondents in both the Mid-South and Southeast. The Southwest primarily uses on-demand cut and pull, and western warehouses tend to store samples in bags due to the region’s marketing practices. While there have been modest reductions (-4%) in total number of samples being requested by merchants, significant regional reductions in sample demand have prompted southwestern, western and some Mid-South warehouses to alter sample-handling practices.

Based on survey results, the costs to the warehouse segment of current sample-handling practices are estimated at $10.8 million. Merchants indicate that samples enhance their ability to service mill customers. Samples are ordered for about a third of the bales traded, and merchants provide the majority of these samples to their customers. Domestic mill respondents indicate that almost all samples received from merchants are reviewed and that 1 in 6 samples reviewed result in either a bale rejection or price adjustment.

The Committee emphasized the importance of ensuring continued timely delivery of samples and continued improvement in HVI measurements. The Committee recommended to the Board that: 1) economic benefits of samples to the merchant and mill be investigated, 2) sample handling practices and uses continue to be monitored and 3) relevant survey information be communicated to NCC’s Quality Task Force. The complete report to the Committee is available to members at

Export Sales Stay Strong

Net export sales for the week ending Aug. 26 were 224,500 bales (480-lb.), resulting in total ’04-05 sales of about 5.2 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’03-04 marketing year were slightly more than 3.4 million bales. Total new crop (’05-06) sales are 162,800 bales.

Shipments for the week were 181,600 bales bringing total exports to date to 786,500 bales, below the 838,100 bales at the comparable point in the ’03-04 marketing year.

NCC Urges Maximum Initial Advance Counter-Cyclical Payment for ’04 Crop

In a letter to Ag Secretary Veneman, NCC Chairman Woody Anderson urged an initial advance counter-cyclical payment (CCP) for the ’04 crop of upland cotton at the maximum allowable rate of 4.81 cents/lb.

“Since March, expectations of a record foreign crop and a slowdown in imports by China have contributed to a significant decline in cotton prices,” Anderson said.

The provisions of the farm law authorize the advance payment - if any is projected based on expected marketing year average (MYA) prices - in October of the year of harvest. A second advance can be made in Feb. of the next calendar year. For cotton, the final payment (if any) would be made in Oct. ’05.

NCC economists have carefully analyzed available data before recommending a maximum advance payment. Two separate analytical approaches imply a likely range for the MYA price that justifies payment of the 4.81 cent advance.

Widestrike Clears Second Regulatory Hurdle; EPA Review Remains

Dow AgroSciences has successfully completed Pre-market Biotechnology Notice consultations with the US Food and Drug Administration for the 2 insect protection proteins in WideStrike Insect Protection. The clearance is the second regulatory agency that has cleared Dow’s new insect resistant cotton for US production.

USDA-APHIS deregulated Widestrike in July, leaving only the EPA’s environmental and human safety review of the plant-incorporated protectants to be completed before full commercial approval is granted. Currently, Dow is applying for an exemption to pesticide tolerances for Widestrike, which is the final regulatory approval remaining.

The NCC has worked with Dow and the various government agencies to get regulatory approval for this product and use in ’05. NCC is finalizing comments that will be filed with the EPA in support of Dow’s petition for an exemption for tolerances, and to encourage the EPA to complete the product’s registration by fiscal year end.

D&PL and Syngenta Reach Licensing Agreement

Delta & Pine Land Co. (D&PL) and Syngenta Seeds, Inc. recently reached a marketing agreement that will give D&PL global licenses to develop and commercialize Syngenta's innovative insect-resistance traits, as well as licenses to a wide range of other Syngenta-enabling technologies that may be useful in developing new valuable products for use in cotton and soybean seed. Under the agreement, D&PL will gain access to the new VipCot protein and other traits developed by Syngenta. VipCot will be the first Syngenta trait to be incorporated into D&PL varieties. According to company officials, the launch date for VipCot varieties will be determined after a comprehensive review of the ’04 field trial results.

Biotech cotton is planted on more than 75% of US cotton acreage. New technologies are fast approaching that will provide additional options to cotton producers’ existing quality products.

The NCC is working with the EPA to insure timely registration of biotechnology traits and availability to producers.

Vegetable Oil Air Rule Amended

The EPA published a direct final rule (69 FR 53338) that would exempt users of extraction solvents, other than commercial hexane, from the detailed recordkeeping and reporting requirements designed to show they are complying with air toxic emissions limits for vegetable oil solvent extraction facilities, like cottonseed oil mills. The amendment would take effect Nov. 1, unless the agency receives adverse comment by Oct. 1. If the agency receives adverse comment, it will withdraw the final rule and address the comments received under a parallel proposed rule (69 FR 53380). The agency views the revisions as non-controversial and anticipates no adverse comments.

NCC was instrumental in getting this amendment to the rule, which is important for vegetable oil extraction facilities that use or are considering using solvents other than n-hexane.

EPA’s original rule was published in April ’01, which established emissions limits for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), n-hexane, for the solvent extraction of vegetable oil (66 FR 19006). The emissions limits include compliance provisions requiring vegetable oil producers to document and report on a monthly basis the oilseed use and solvent use, hazardous air pollutant content of the solvent, and a determination of compliance based on a ratio of actual versus allowable hazardous air pollutant loss for the applicable types of oilseeds.

The direct final rule would eliminate current recordkeeping and reporting requirements that are unnecessary for determining compliance at vegetable oil production facilities that exclusively use a qualifying low-HAP extraction solvent (e.g. isohexane containing less than 1% n-hexane or acetone). Under a compliance formula included in the emissions limits, emissions from facilities using low-emissions solvents always will be zero and the facilities always will be in compliance. Therefore, there is no need for these facilities to carry out the compliance determination procedures. Vegetable oil producers only would need to document and report that they are using a solvent that meets the low-emitting criteria, instead of all the current unnecessary burdensome recordkeeping and reporting.

The Cotton Foundation and others are supporting research on acetone as an alternate solvent because it is not a volatile organic chemical or a HAP.

Stay Requested on HOS Lawsuit

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) filed a motion with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to stay further action on the hours-of-service (HOS) lawsuit filed by Public Citizen, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, and Parents Against Tired Truckers. If the stay is granted, the new HOS rules would remain in effect for the time being. The compliance date for the new rules was Jan. 4 of this year. These rules, as those they replaced, included an agriculture exemption for those trucking operations, including cotton module trucks, which meet the agriculture definitions. 

After consultations with federal and state officials, the FMCSA believes a stay is necessary to avoid substantial disruption in the enforcement of HOS requirements. Staying the court's decision would allow the agency time to address and to correct the concerns expressed by the court about the new HOS rules. FMCSA is asking for a stay of at least 6 months.

In a unanimous July 16, ’04 decision, a 3-judge panel said the new federal HOS rules, as issued in April ’03, are "arbitrary and capricious" because the agency failed to consider the impact of the rules on driver health, as it was required to do by Congress. The FMCSA was given until Aug. 30 to determine how to respond. A decision from the court is expected soon.

Prices Effective September 3-9, 2004

Adjusted World Price, SLM 1 1/16

42.74 cents


Coarse Count Adjustment

0.00 cents

Current Step 2 Certificate Value

0.00 cents

Marketing Loan Gain Value

9.26 cents

Import Quotas Open


Step 3 Quotas (480-lb. bales)


ELS Payment Rate

0.00 cents

*No Adjustment Made Under Step I
Five-Day Average
Current 3135 c.i.f. Northern Europe

57.80 cents

Forward 3135 c.i.f. Northern Europe

No quote

Coarse Count c.i.f. Northern Europe

 56.56 cents

Current US c.i.f. Northern Europe

 58.00 cents

Forward US c.i.f. Northern Europe

 No quote

2003-04 Weighted Marketing-Year Average Farm Price  
Year-to-Date (August-July)

 62.23 cents


**August-July average price used in determination of counter-cyclical payment. Preliminary price. Revised data released in USDA/NASS Agricultural Prices report on Sept. 29.

Error in element (see logs)