|Future Farm Bill Action Outlined|
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Peterson (D-MN) provided information on future farm bill action: 1) in meetings with commodity and farm group representatives following sessions with Ranking Member Goodlatte (R-VA), Democratic members of the Committee, Administration officials and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Harkin (D-IA); and 2) during a news conference today. The Agriculture Committee will meet July 17 and subsequent days if necessary to mark-up the new farm legislation which has previously been considered by the subcommittees.
Chairman Peterson has indicated he will divide the legislation into two components. One component, including commodities, some conservation programs, trade, crop insurance, rural development and other provisions will be combined in legislation which stays within the budget baseline and meets pay-go requirements. The second component, which will include permanent disaster, specialty crops, nutrition enhancements and a new energy title, will be held until it is known whether additional funds will be available from the reserve fund established in the budget resolution. As currently constructed, the second component is approximately $17.5 billion over baseline and therefore would be subject to a budget point-of-order on the floor.
Chairman Peterson has met frequently with farm and commodity group representatives, including cotton leaders, in an effort to reach consensus on the commodity provisions. He has encouraged commodity leaders to consult with their members during the July 4 recess.
|Plantings Put at 11 Million Acres|
In its June acreage report, USDA estimated ’07-08 US cotton plantings at 11.06 million acres, down 28% from the previous year and the lowest since the 1989 crop year. Upland planted area is down 28% to 10.76 million acres and extra long staple (ELS) area down 9% to 298,000 acres.
Regionally, upland area in the Southeast is down 30% to 2.36 million acres. Planted acres are expected to fall to 2.73 million acres in the Mid-South. In the Southwest, estimated upland area is down 23% to 5.26 million acres. Estimated upland area in the West is down 21% to 415,000 acres.
USDA projects ELS plantings of 298,000 acres, down 9% from ’06-07.
|Sales Steady, Shipments Strong|
Net export sales for the week ending June 21 were 216,700 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’06-07 sales to slightly more than 14.3 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’05-06 marketing year were approximately 18.0 million bales. Total new crop (’07-08) sales are 957,900 sales.
Shipments for the week were 398,500 bales, bringing total exports to date to 10.4 million bales, compared with 14.8 million bales at the comparable point in the ’05-06 marketing year. With slightly more than one month remaining in the marketing year, weekly shipments must average roughly 472,700 bales to reach the USDA estimate of 13.0 million bales.
|Andean Extension Approved|
The House and Senate approved legislation providing an eight-month extension of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA).
ATPA, which provides duty-free access for eligible products from Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, was set to expire June 30 in anticipation that free trade agreements (FTAs) would have been approved and would replace the legislation. However, Congress has not taken up the legislation necessary to implement FTAs with Colombia and Peru and negotiations with Ecuador and Bolivia have not been completed.
The extension is critically important to the US cotton and textile industry because a significant volume of US exports of cotton yarn and fabric would have been jeopardized if ATPA had expired before the FTAs are approved and implemented.
|Quality Team Visits Chinese|
A team of NCC leaders visited China to update that country’s cotton industry officials on US cotton quality improvement efforts and to ascertain the needs of China’s textile industry.
The NCC team was led by NCC Vice Chairman Larry McClendon, a Marianna, AR, producer/ginner, during the June 19-30 trip. Other team members included Mike Alexander, a Colorado City, TX, producer; Dan Branton, a Leland, MS, producer; Dale Grounds, a Richardson, TX, merchant; Van Murphy, a Quitman, GA, ginner; and Bill Norman, NCC Technical Services staff. The team was joined for parts of the trip by Darryl Earnest and James Knowlton, USDA/AMS Cotton Program; Mike Watson, Cotton Incorporated; and Leon Cui, USDA/ARS/SRRC.
The visit is a follow-up to a high level US cotton industry visit to China last October to familiarize the US cotton leaders with China’s market demands. Both trips are part of the US - China Cotton Leadership Exchange Program established by the NCC and the Chinese Cotton Association (CCA). The visits follow the November signing in Memphis of a “Memorandum of Understanding” between the NCC and CCA that promised cooperation between both countries’ cotton industries.
The quality team relayed to key Chinese officials the industry’s renewed commitment to protecting and enhancing US cotton’s reputation for producing high quality cotton, delivering it in a timely manner and honoring contracts.
“The volume of U.S. raw cotton exports to China has increased significantly, so we must follow through on that commitment to remain competitive in the Chinese and other global markets,” said McClendon, who emphasized that the NCC has a number of committees and task forces devoted to quality preservation and timely delivery. “This was a great opportunity to discuss issues surrounding US raw cotton quality and for continuing discussions of mutual benefit to our respective industries.”
McClendon said the team emphasized the industry’s diligent activities to preserve and improve its fiber quality and to improve upon its service to its textile customers. Those efforts range from choosing the appropriate plant varieties to ensuring proper harvesting, processing, handling and overall flow of cotton into the global marketplace.
|EPA Launches National Ag Strategy|
EPA has begun implementation of its National Strategy for Agriculture designed to improve the agency’s capabilities in positively reaching out to farmers and ranchers.
Last year Jon Scholl, EPA’s top agricultural advisor to Administrator Steve Johnson, met with commodity groups, including NCC, to review the Strategy’s framework. Scholl recently met with NCC’s Cotton Leadership Class during their Washington visit and elaborated on the agency’s efforts to improve communication with production agriculture.
EPA Administrator Johnson will seek feedback on the Strategy’s goals from leaders of national farm organizations, including the NCC, on July 12.EPA also has created a permanent Cross Media Ag Team to better coordinate regulatory issues across the agency nationwide. EPA and USDA will improve coordination on agricultural research that targets environmental protection. Finally, EPA’s web site is being streamlined by constructing a home page link exclusively for agricultural issues. This portal will highlight regulatory and voluntary programs along with policies that impact agriculture. As an initial step, EPA announced a new web site - http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/llaw.html - that lists how its policies impact farming.
|Monsanto Complete Divestitures|
Monsanto Company said it has completed its divestitures of the Stoneville and NexGen businesses and will immediately work to combine the Delta and Pine Land business with its existing operations and policies.
The final agreement was outlined by the Department of Justice and announced on May 31. Bayer CropScience bought Stoneville Pedigreed Seed Co. and a batch of Delta and Pine Land Co. germplasm, including Delta Pearl, the background variety to DP 555. Americot Inc. bought NexGen and a germplasm base held by D&PL that was once owned by Syngenta, which held on to its VIP technology trait. Dupont, which owns Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., held on to the GAT technology trait. Monsanto now allows third-party traits stacked on Bollgard and/or Roundup Ready.
|CCI Buyers Tour Successful|
Cotton Council International’s (CCI) third Fabric and Apparel Buyers Tour to Turkey drew record participation with 16buyers working for 12 retailers and brands, representing more than $10 billion in annual sales.
The COTTON USA-sponsored tour on June 10-15 linked important buyers with mill suppliers in Turkey, currently the second largest export market for US cotton and consuming approximately 16% of US cotton exports. A full range of cotton wovens, denims, shirtings, knitwear, sportswear and garments was shown.
A key component of CCI’s Supply Chain Marketing, buyers tours bring together leading buyers from the brand and retailing sectors with mill suppliers and downstream customers in order to promote the sales of US-cotton content. To date, more than $10 million worth of US cotton-rich items have been purchased during the Turkey tours.Meanwhile, CCI’s COTTON USA Sourcing Program hosted a successful Sourcing Fair in Costa Rica in which 46 manufacturers from 10 countries throughout the W. Hemisphere met with 15 brands/retailers and 12 US mills. The Fair could lead to increased sales of US yarn and fabrics to fill these new orders.
|Mill Cotton Use Slips|
According to the Commerce Dept., May (four-week month) total cotton consumption in domestic mills was 186.94 million pounds for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.90 million bales (480-lb). Last year’s May annualized rate was 5.56 million bales.
The April (four-week month) estimate of domestic mill use of cotton was raised by 847,000 pounds to 184.87 million pounds. The revised seasonally adjusted annualized rate of consumption for April is 4.90 million bales. This is lower than last year’s April annualized rate of 5.67 million bales.
Based on Commerce estimates from Aug. 1, ’06-May 26, ’07, projected total pounds consumed during crop year ’06-07 would be 2.37 billion pounds or 4.93 million bales. USDA’s latest estimate of ’06-07 crop year mill use is 4.90 million.Preliminary June domestic mill use of cotton and revised May figures will be released by the Commerce Dept. on July 26.
|Prices Effective: June 29-July 5, '07|