|Producers Affirm Farm Law Success|
Arkansas cotton producers told Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee, that current farm law provides much-needed planting flexibility and a good foundation to build on for future farm programs.
The comments came at an agricultural town hall meeting in Dumas, AR, hosted by Rep. Ross (D-AR) to discuss agriculture policy and the ’07 farm bill.
Rep. Peterson told those attending, which also included several bankers and others with agriculture interests, that he was opposed to payment limits and reminded attendees that $14 billion less has been spent under the ’02 farm law than was projected. Reps. Peterson and Ross both said that a ’05 crop disaster payment likely would be made available, and most attendees conveyed to them that the best method for that assistance would be in the form of a direct payment.
Another town hall meeting with Rep. Peterson, hosted by Rep. Berry (D-AR), was scheduled for Friday afternoon.
|USDA Puts Crop at 23.72 Million Bales|
In its January report, USDA estimated a ’05-06 US crop of 23.72 million bales. Upland production was estimated at 23.06 million bales and ELS production at 655,000 bales. Harvested area was estimated at 13.70 million acres implying non-harvested area of 492,000 acres based on USDA’s acreage number. The resulting abandonment rate is roughly 3.5% for the ’05-06 crop. The national average yield per harvested acre was estimated to be 831 pounds, 113 pounds above the 5-year average.
On a regional basis, the Southeast crop is estimated at 5.16 million bales, based on harvested acres of 3.01 million and a regional average yield of 824 pounds, 154 pounds above the 5-year average for the region. In the Mid-South,expected production is 7.48 million bales. Harvested area is estimated to be 3.91 million acres with an expected yield of 917 pounds per harvested acre. The Southwest upland crop is an estimated 8.66 million bales. Expected harvested area is 5.81 million acres and the region’s average yield is 716 pounds. Upland production in the West is an estimated 1.77 million bales with an expected harvested area of 708,000 acres and a regional yield of 1,200 pounds, 145 pounds less than the region’s 5-year average.
The ELS crop is an estimated 655,000 bales. Harvested area is pegged at 269,000 acres with an average yield of 1,171 pounds per harvested acre.
|World Production Raised Slightly|
USDA’s January report raised ’05-06 world cotton production 70,000 bales to 112.36 million, but still down 8.02 million bales from estimated ’04-05 production. The world mill use estimate increased 390,000 bales to 115.24 million. Ending stocks for ’05-06 were lowered 150,000 bales to 50.77 million, for a corresponding ending stocks-to-use ratio of 44.1%.
While USDA raised US ’05-06 cotton production 16,000 bales to a record high of 23.72 million, exports and mill use were unchanged from last month’s report at 16.40 million and 6.00 million, respectively. Ending stocks also were unchanged at 6.90 million bales. The estimated ending stocks-to-use ratio is 30.8%.
|NCC Task Force Reviews Quality Issues|
The NCC Quality Task Force conducted an internet-based conference with members and technical advisors simultaneously participating from more than 20 US locations.
Darryl Earnest, deputy administrator, USDA/AMS Cotton Program, reported that progress in classing the ’05-06 crop is near 20 million bales with expectations that some ginning will continue into March. He said that in general, ’05-06 grades and fiber quality are higher than 5-year averages with only a few production areas affected by adverse weather.
Earnest also reported China’s progress on developing standards for instrument testing and activities in response to other international efforts. It is the task force’s view that international adoption of instrument standards similar to the US instrument-based classing system will be in the best interest of both US cotton and world textile mills.Task Force Chairman Larry Nelson, Tulia, TX, reported progress on NCC activities, including industry efforts in preventing sticky cotton and communicating the importance of moisture management in cotton bales. The task force also received an update from USDA’s Clemson Cotton Quality Laboratory on its 5-year variety spinning trials and heard a report on plans for further investigation into regional concerns about short fiber. John Radin, USDA-ARS-NPS, provided the task force with an update on the status of research programs at the USDA-ARS-SRRC facility in New Orleans.
|Brazilian Officials Discuss WTO Compliance|
Brazilian officials met with officials at the Office of the US Trade Representative, USDA and other agencies in Washington, DC, to discuss the ongoing Doha negotiations and compliance with the US–Brazil cotton dispute.
According to US and Brazilian press reports, there is concern in Brazil over the pace at which the US is moving to comply with the dispute panel’s decision. Those same reports also indicated Brazil had doubts whether the US actions were sufficient to fully comply with the WTO decision.
The US has made significant modifications to the export credit guarantee program, and Congress is set to act on legislation terminating cotton’s step 2 program as soon as the House resumes its session. Both actions were taken in response to the Panel’s decision against the US in the cotton dispute.
|President Bush Wants FTA With Peru|
President Bush has notified Congress of his intention to enter into a free trade agreement with Peru. Congress now has 90 days to review the agreement before it is signed.
The US and Peru reached agreement in early December as part of a broader negotiation involving Colombia and Ecuador designed to result in a US-Andean Free Trade agreement. Negotiations with Colombia and Ecuador are continuing, but Peru has asked for expedited consideration if the broader Andean agreement cannot be concluded expeditiously.
Under the US-Peruvian agreement, 80% of US consumer and industrial product exports and two-thirds of US agricultural products to Peru will be duty-free immediately. Notably, the textile and apparel provisions are based on the yarn-forward rule of origin supported by the industry. There are no provisions for TPLs or exceptions to the requirement that qualifying products contain components manufactured in the US or Peru.
As there is in the NAFTA, a list of components not manufactured in either country has been developed and only those products may be sourced from a third country. The agreement also grants market access for US rice and poultry products, a provision considered a significant concession by Peru.
|Portman Names USTR Assistant|
US Trade Representative Portman announced that effective Jan.17, Everett Eissenstat will join USTR senior staff as assistant USTR for the Americas. He will be responsible for developing and implementing US trade policy in the region and will be directly involved in ongoing free trade agreement negotiations including the FTAA.
Eissenstat most recently served as chief international trade counsel to the Senate Finance Committee chairman. Before joining the Finance Committee staff, Eissenstat was legislative director to Rep. Kolbe (R-AZ). Eissenstat holds a JD degree from the U. of Oklahoma, a Master’s from the U. of Texas and an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State U.
|Dunn to Chair CFTC Ag Panel|
Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Mike Dunn has been appointed to chair the CFTC’s Agriculture Advisory Committee. That panel’s membership is comprised of representatives of national farm organizations, commodity groups, agribusinesses and banking interests and advises the CFTC on issues related to commodity futures and options trading activities. The NCC’s representative on the panel is Jimmy Sanford, a past NCC chairman from Prattville, AL.
Prior to Dunn’s appointment, the advisory panel was headed by former CFTC Chairman Jim Newsome and last met in ’04. Dunn said he looks forward to establishing an “active and effective” committee.
|NCC Online Survey Seeks BWCC Input|
The NCC is seeking input from all ’06 Beltwide Cotton Conferences’ registrants as a way to help improve the event. Those who have not responded may complete the online survey at https://survey.confirmit.com/wix/p313273446.aspx.
Contact information is not necessary, but must be included to be eligible for two roundtrip airfares (from anywhere in the United States) to the ’07 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans.
|Kerby Wins With Physiology Award|
Tom Kerby, Delta and Pine Land’s vice president of Technical Services, received the ’05 Research Award in Physiology - the first time the award has gone to an individual who works in the private sector. Formerly with the U. of California Extension Service, he was recognized for research practically applied on the farm and for pioneering many of the tools and initiatives that are used in cotton throughout the US and around the world.
The presentation was made at last week’s Cotton Physiology Conference in San Antonio to Kerby, who was selected for the award by a committee of industry peers. The annual award is sponsored by Agrivert.
|Sales Lag, Shipments Steady|
Net export sales for the week ending Jan. 5 were 147,200 bales (480-lb.). This brings total ’05-06 sales to slightly over 10.6 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’04-05 marketing year were about 9.1 million bales. Total new crop (’06-07) sales are 168,800 bales.
Shipments for the week were 214,400 bales, bringing total exports to date to 5.0 million bales, compared with the 3.7 million at the comparable point in the ’04-05 marketing year.
|Prices Effective Jan. 13-19, 2006|