Despite wild swings in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sept. 12 estimate of U.S. cotton yields, when all was said and done, overall U.S. cotton production and the cotton market remained steady to higher this week.
Cotton futures on the Intercontinental Exchange had no clear reaction to the unchanged U.S production figure and the small changes to world production and consumption contained in the USDA’s supply/demand report. Cotton traded mostly higher during the week, leaving traders to speculate on the exact cause of the market’s buoyancy.
While the department forecast cotton yields lower than last month, USDA’s Sept. 12 crop production figure held steady at 16.6 million bales due to higher estimated harvested acres outside of Texas.
An extension economist in Texas said the change in the state’s yield was surprising.
There were significant changes in some other cotton states. For example, Louisiana cotton yield increased from 800 pounds per acre estimated in August to 926 pounds in September. Yield declined by 154 pounds in Virginia, however.
The numbers were not shocking as many in the market believe the Louisiana cotton crop probably has been underestimated in previous months. This, plus improvements in the crop since then, resulted in the significant increase in estimated yield.
On the spot cotton scene, producers in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico sold 268 bales online in the week ending Sept. 15 compared to the previous week when 1,865 bales were sold.