By admin       2018-03-26

The USDA stopped short of issuing forecasts for where the cotton stocks growth will be centred, with world production in fact seen shrinking in all major growers in 2018-19, dragging global output down some 1.4m bales to 117.0m bales. For the US itself, officials forecast stocks static at 6.0m bales next season, thanks in part to a forecast of exports growth by 1.5m bales - to a 13-year high of 16.0m bales. Meanwhile, US production was seen falling by nearly 1.8m bales, to 19.5m bales, despite the estimate for higher sowings unveiled on Thursday. The USDA forecast a rise in the crop abandonment rate to 15% of sowings, factoring in a rate of 20% for the southern Plains, which typically produces more than half the US crop, but where drought is spreading. As of mid-February, the seasonal outlook from official US meteorologists for the southern Plains “indicates that drought will persist through the end of May for much of the region, with the probability of below-average precipitation forecast”.

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