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|Katrina Damage Being Assessed|
Analysts agree that it is still too early to accurately assess the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Mid-South cotton crop. Based on the hurricane’s path, the cotton areas most susceptible to damage are eastern Mississippi and western Alabama. This would include cotton-producing counties around Columbus, MS, and those near Mobile, AL.
Initial reports from southwest Alabama indicate that any damage is not to the extent caused by Ivan in ’04. The forecast of several days of dry, warm weather should help damaged cotton recover. It is important to note that the major cotton-producing counties of Louisiana and Mississippi missed the brunt of the storm. However, Hurricane Katrina will have a broader impact via increased harvest and transportation costs due to higher diesel and gasoline prices.
|CITA Announces More Safeguards|
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) announced affirmative decisions in 2 textile safeguard cases. CITA determined that imports of cotton and MMF brassieres (categories 349/649) and other synthetic filament fabric (category 620) from China are disrupting the US market and that there is threat of further disruption.
CITA now will request consultations with the Chinese government and will limit imports from China to a level that is 7.5% above the amount of imports from China entered during the first 12 months of the most recent 14 months preceding the month in which the request for consultations was made. The safeguard level will be prorated to correspond to the number of days left in the year as of the date of the request for consultations.
CITA also announced that it was extending the period for making decisions on 4 pending textile safeguard cases. The period for making a decision on whether to request consultations with China regarding imports of cotton and MMF sweaters (categories 345/645/646), cotton and MMF dressing gowns and robes (categories 350/650), knit fabric (category 222), and men’s and boys’ wool trousers (category 447) has been extended until Oct. 1, ’05. During this time, CITA said they would continue to evaluate market conditions for the categories included in the 4 pending cases. Background information and a timeline of China Safeguard activities can be found at http://risk.cotton.org/Safeguards/Safeguards.pdf.
|Sales, Shipments Taper|
Net export sales for the week ending Aug. 25, ’05 were 220,700 bales (480-lb.). This brings total ’05-06 sales to about 5.4 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’04-05 marketing year were slightly more than 5.2 million bales. Total new crop (’06-07) sales are 120,800 bales. China is the leading export customer, accounting for 2.2 million bales of ’05-06 sales. Mexico ranks second with 1.0 million bales, followed by Turkey with purchases of just more than 400,000 bales.
Shipments for the week were 239,800 bales, bringing total exports to date to 1.2 million bales, compared with the 782,700 bales at the comparable point in the ’04-05 marketing year.
|US-China Textile Negotiations End Without Agreement|
David Spooner, USTR Special Textile Negotiator, issued a statement indicating that no agreement has been reached regarding comprehensive controls on textile imports from China.
In the Sept. 1 statement, Spooner said, "The fourth round of talks with the Chinese aimed at reaching a comprehensive agreement on textiles ended a short while ago. Despite our best efforts we were not able to reach a broader agreement. The United States remains optimistic that we can continue to make progress on the remaining issues. We will be consulting with the Chinese over the next few days on the date and location of the next round of negotiations."
The fourth round of negotiations to resolve the US-China textile dispute ran for 3 days from Tuesday, but ended Thursday with no results. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce, China expressed its agreement to try to set up a fifth round of textile talks with the United States after the latest negotiations ended without resolution.
The NCC supports the efforts of the United States and China to complete a comprehensive agreement on textiles and apparel that will bring certainty and manageable growth to trade in these products through the end of '08.
NCC Chairman Woods Eastland stated, “This will be a difficult negotiation, but it is critical for the textile and apparel industries of both China and the United States. A comprehensive agreement will help the U.S. textile industry as it adjusts to increased competition from China and it will help China and U.S. importers by removing uncertainty in the textile and apparel trade. We hope that an agreement that effectively manages the surges in China’s exports of sensitive textile and apparel products to the United States can be reached soon. Without such an agreement, the United States should continue to apply safeguards as warranted.”
Eastland continued, “the use of safeguards by the United States is fully consistent with the agreement reached by China as a pre-requisite to its membership in the World Trade Organization. It is not protectionist. The safeguard authority allows growth in sensitive product categories, but helps prevent damaging surges in imports that threaten to completely swamp the U.S. textile and apparel markets. Controlling the import surges from China maintains established trading patterns with key textile industries in many developing countries.”
|NCC Leader Meets with EPA Officials|
Charles Parker, a Senath, MO, cotton producer and American Cotton Producers member representing the NCC, along with Craig Brown, NCC’s vice president, Producer Affairs, joined other commodity representatives in a forum organized by EPA in conjunction with the Farm Progress Trade Show in Decatur, IL. The group included representatives from crop and livestock commodity interests and Rep. LaHood (R-IL).
Marcus Peacock, newly appointed EPA deputy administrator, discussed EPA’s mission relative to agriculture. He was appearing on behalf of Stephen Johnson, recently appointed EPA Administrator, who was called to Washington by the President to deal with the hurricane disaster. Peacock stated that Administrator Johnson had established a goal of accelerating the pace of environmental quality in the United States, and was especially focused on improving collaboration with the agricultural sector and basing decisions on the best available sound science.
Parker stressed to the deputy administrator the importance of retaining important crop protection products including malathion, necessary for the National Boll Weevil Eradication Program, and aldicarb (Temik) needed for nematode and thrips control. He also emphasized the need for the continued availability of cotton biotech products, concern over proposed PM National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the proposed application of oil spill prevention rules for on-farm stored products.
|NCC Attends Conservation Conference|
Shawn Boyd, NCC economist, attended a Conference on Cooperative Conservation on Aug. 29-31 in St. Louis, MO, convened by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. A diverse group of more than 1,000 participants gathered for the 3-day conference to exchange information, and identify innovative and effective approaches to promoting cooperative conservation.
During the 3-day conference, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reinforced the President’s commitment to cooperative conservation and the Department of Defense mission to balance military readiness with conservation.
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns presented a growing vision of cooperative conservation in America. During his speech, Secretary Johanns spoke of USDA’s desire to broaden the use of markets for ecosystem services through voluntary mechanisms in its continuing desire to push the USDA’s commitment to conservation cooperation.
Secretary Johanns said that the USDA will create a new Market-Based Environmental Stewardship Coordination Council to ensure that a sound market-based approach to ecosystem services is produced. He also remarked on the success of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) saying the USDA is moving to re-enroll and extend the CRP.
|USDA Selects ’06 CSP Watersheds|
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announced that 110 watersheds, with at least 1 in all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, will be eligible for the ’06 Conservation Security Program (CSP).
"This voluntary program recognizes farmers and ranchers for their ongoing stewardship activities on working agricultural lands," Conner said. "Natural resource conservation efforts by America's producers benefit everyone through healthier soil, cleaner air and water, and improved fish and wildlife habitat. CSP successfully demonstrates a cooperative public-private conservation partnership."
The sign-up period will take place early in FY06. These watersheds represent more than 120,000 of the nation's potentially eligible farms and ranches, covering more than 46 million acres that are evenly split between cropland and grazing land.
The ’06 CSP will include a renewable energy component. Eligible producers will receive compensation for converting to renewable energy fuels such as bio-diesel and ethanol, for recycling 100% of on-farm lubricants, and for implementing energy production, including wind, solar, geothermal and methane production.
A sign-up announcement will be published that will detail specific program requirements in the watersheds. The program will be offered each year on a rotational basis in as many watersheds as funding allows. Additional information on CSP, including a map of the FY06 watersheds and eligibility requirements, is at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service held the first CSP sign-up in ’04. This announcement brings the number of watersheds enrolled to 330 across the nation, covering 250 million acres that have been eligible for the program.
|Prices Effective September 2-8, 2005|