Cotton's Week: December 5, 2008

Cotton's Week: December 5, 2008


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Chambliss Re-Election Encouraging

NCC Chairman Larry McClendon said in a statement that US farmers, businesses and rural communities will continue to benefit from Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ (R-GA) election to a second term.

McClendon said Sen. Chambliss, the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has a knowledge of production agriculture that has earned him the respect of his colleagues in Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike.

“This knowledge and respect enabled Senator Chambliss to play a key role in the preparation and eventual passage of the 1996, 2002 and 2008 farm bills,” McClendon said. “For example, he led a bi-partisan effort to break a log-jam in the (’08) farm bill debate and forge a bill that included most of the policy priorities for Southern production agriculture. He was the leading proponent of maintaining eligibility for program benefits for commercial agricultural operations. He worked with his fellow Senators to ensure that an ill-advised veto of the farm bill was overridden — not once but twice. Since passage of the bill, Senator Chambliss coordinated an effort with 19 other Senators urging USDA to expedite the regulation process and for those regulations to stay within the intent of Congress in their scope.”

American Cotton Producers Chairman C.B. “Chuck” Coley, a Vienna, GA, producer, said Sen. Chambliss “has been a tireless worker in championing the agricultural and rural interests not only of Georgia but the entire nation. His knowledge of production agriculture, conservation, nutrition and research programs is recognized and appreciated by farmers across the country.”

Both McClendon and Coley agreed that Sen. Chambliss has stood strong for US agricultural amid global trade talks.

“Some members of the World Trade Organization are demanding unfair cuts for U.S. agriculture and for cotton while offering no concessions of their own in return,” Coley said. “Senator Chambliss has repeatedly insisted that U.S. negotiators reject any unbalanced trade deal that requires deep cuts in U.S. programs and does not adequately open markets for U.S agricultural exports. As recently as July, U.S negotiators heeded his advice and rejected a bad deal for U.S agriculture and U.S. cotton.”

NCC Supports R&P Amendment

Virginia cotton producer Philip Edwards, testifying at a USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) hearing on behalf of the NCC and the Virginia Cotton Growers Assoc., said cotton producers strongly supported inclusion of the provision, which requires USDA to amend the Cotton Research and Promotion Order in the new farm law, and urged USDA to proceed with its implementation.

The Dec. 5 hearing was to receive evidence on proposed amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (Order) that designated Kansas, Virginia and Florida as cotton-producing states effective beginning with the ’08 cotton crop.

Edwards urged the Agriculture Secretary to take the necessary action to amend the order as provided in the new farm law saying the action will ensure that nearly 1,000 producers who account for nearly 5% of annual production will, for the first time, have direct representation and input into the program which they are helping finance.

“We believe the amendment to the order -- which would ultimately provide Kansas, Virginia and Florida individual representation on the Cotton Board -- will enhance the Board’s ability to carry out its mission,” Edwards said. “Producers in these states have and will continue to contribute funds to the Cotton Research and Promotion program. By providing them individual representation on the Cotton Board, we believe it will strengthen their support; enhance communication from these production areas; and better enable the Cotton Board to represent the interests of all cotton-producing areas in the United States. There is no other national research and promotion program for upland cotton like the one carried out under the Cotton Research and Promotion Act. This new representation on the Cotton Board will not overlap or contradict any ongoing promotional activities in any region of the Cotton Belt.” Edwards noted that the addition of individual representation for Kansas, Virginia and Florida through the amendment to the order reflects the shift in upland cotton production over the years. Successful completion of the Boll Weevil Eradication Program has led to a resurgence and expansion of cotton in the Southeast, including Virginia and Florida. Improved transportation, storage and handling – some as a direct result of research conducted under the Research and Promotion Act – has led to upland cotton production in Kansas. In Virginia and Florida, the total economic activity generated by cotton production and processing exceeds $100 million annually in each state. In Kansas, acreage expanded rapidly until recently when prices for competing crops reversed the trend. The three states continue to plant significant acreage to cotton and employ more than 3,000 people.

“The research and promotion programs funded through producer and importer contributions have been highly successful,” Edwards said. “Broader representation will facilitate even stronger support and enhanced participation by producers. By allowing these new states direct representation, the Cotton Board will be better able to carry out its mission and the purposes of the statute, to increase demand for cotton and cotton products will be fulfilled.”

FSA Issues Payment Process Advisory

USDA’s Farm Services Agency (FSA) issued an advisory with the cotton trade stating that, "Beginning on Thursday, December 4, 2008, a major FSA software installation will disrupt all CCC payment processes. The anticipated deployment schedule will lock service centers from issuing any farm program or marketing loans during the installation period. The current deployment plan indicates payment processes will resume on Tuesday, December 9th..."

NCC was informed that the software installation does not affect transactions processed by Cooperative Marketing (CMAs) and Loan Servicing Agents (LSAs) using the Automated Cotton Reporting System (ACRS). Thus, Centralized Cotton Redemption (CCR) or Cotton on Line Processing System (COPS) activities are not affected by the software instillation.

Although new loan disbursements, including turn-around loans, will be affected during this period, FSA county offices will be able to accept loan redemptions and release redeemed loan collateral manually if redemption requests are adequately funded.

China and India Distort World Cotton Market

A new NCC report highlights recent increases in government support to the cotton and textile industries in China and India.

Together, they account for more than 50% of world production, and their textile industries process more than 55% of the world’s cotton. Over the past few years, these countries have increased their government's support of their cotton and textile sectors. This increased support has helped spur an increase in cotton and textile production in both countries, even as the rest of the world decreases production and mill use.

In China, the imposition of a variable levy, increased government purchases from the private sector, burdensome registration and licensing programs, and increases in tax rebate schemes have combined to pump $10-12 billion into their cotton and textile sectors annually. Almost $2 billion in increased cotton price support has helped push Indian cotton production to a record level in 2008.

The significant growth in cotton production in these two countries has come at the direct expense of countries such as the 4 cotton-producing (C-4) African countries, Pakistan, and the United States. In fact, over the last three years, increases in cotton production in India and China almost exactly offsets decreases in cotton production in the U.S., the C-4, and Pakistan.

’09 NCC Annual Meeting Set
The NCC’s ’09 Annual Meeting will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, on Feb. 12-16. Meeting information,registration and hotel reservations can be found on the NCC’s home page, Rooms also may be reserved by calling 1-800-266-9432. The cutoff date for getting the convention room rate is Monday, Jan. 12. Discounted air fare on Northwest and American Airlines is available through Travelennium, and attendees may call Mary Saemenes at 800-844-4924, ext. 318 for price quotes.

The Feb. 16 general session will feature a report from NCC Chairman Larry McClendon along with a special video presentation summarizing NCC activities during 2008. Among other important convention sessions will be the Feb. 13 American Cotton Producers meeting, where the NCC’s planting intentions survey results will be announced. On Feb. 14, the delegates will hear the NCC’s Economic Outlook and a report from Cotton Incorporated President J. Berrye Worsham. The National Cotton Ginners Assoc. also will hold its annual meeting that afternoon.

The Saturday luncheon will feature Stu Rothenberg, the editor and publisher of TheRothenberg Political Report.

Mill Cotton Use Slips

According to the Commerce Dept., October (four-week month) total cotton consumption in domestic mills was 166.3 million pounds for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.33 million (480-lb) bales. Last year’s October annualized rate was estimated at 4.76 million bales.

The September (five-week month) estimate of domestic mill use of cotton was lowered 451,000 pounds to 198.6 million. The revised seasonally adjusted annualized rate of consumption for September is 4.17 million bales. This is lower than last year’s September annualized rate of 4.88 million bales.

Preliminary November domestic mill use of cotton and revised October figures will be released by the Commerce Dept. on Dec. 23.

ITC Posts Textile Import Data

In response to a request from Rep. Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means (see 10/10 Cotton’s Week), the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has provided an initial statistical report on the volume, value, unit value and market share of imports from China that are currently subject to the provisions of the of the U.S.-China Memorandum if Understanding Concerning Trade in Textiles and Apparel.

The Dec. 1 release was the first of the biweekly reports that will be provided to the Ways and Means Committee and posted on the ITC website at

The reports are to include official import data from the U.S. Department of Commerce (Census Bureau), and preliminary import data, as available, from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

The Commission's reports contain these data at both the three-digit textile/apparel category level and at the 10-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule level for each product within each of the three-digit textile/apparel categories.

Sales Weak, Shipments Steady

Net export sales for the week ending Nov. 27 were 94,000 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’08-09 sales to slightly more than 7.6 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’07-08 marketing year were approximately 7.4 million bales. Total new crop (’09-10) sales are 92,300 bales.

China remains the largest buyer of ’08-09 cotton with purchases of 2.2 million bales, or 20% of the total. Mills in Mexico have increased their purchases of U.S. cotton to 1.1 million bales and rank as the second largest importer. Turkey, with purchases of 885,000 bales, ranks third, followed by Indonesia with 681,000 and Vietnam with 435,000 bales.

Shipments for the week were 264,700 bales, bringing total exports to date to 4.2 million bales, compared with the 4.4 million bales at the comparable point in the ’07-08 marketing year.

Prices Effective December 5 - 11, 2008

Adjusted World Price, SLM 11/16

38.30 cents


Fine Count Adjustment ('07 Crop)

0.87 cents

Fine Count Adjustment ('08 Crop)

0.47 cents

Course Count Adjustment

0.00 cents

Marketing Loan Gain Value

13.70 cents

Import Quotas Open


Limited Global Import Quota (480-lb. bales)


ELS Payment Rate

0.00 cents

*No Adjustment Made Under Step I
Five-Day Average
Current 5 Lowest 3135 CFR Far East

56.89 cents

Forward 5 Lowest 3135 CFR Far East


Coarse Count CFR Far East

55.80 cents

Current US CFR Far East

57.60 cents

Forward US CFR Far East


2008-09 Weighted Marketing-Year Average Farm Price  
Year-to-Date (August-October)

57.68 cents


**August-July average price used in determination of counter-cyclical payment

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