See below for accompanying text.
U.S. and World Cotton Economic Outlook
Economic Services - National Cotton Council
TO CONVERT BALES TO METRIC TONS:
number of bales / 4.59
TO CONVERT ACRES TO HECTARES:
number of acres * 0.40469
MACROECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT – Let’s begin with an overview of the state of the general economy.
FEDERAL BUDGET SURPLUS – The latest projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show deficits continuing for the next several years. For fiscal ’17, CBO projects a deficit of roughly $693 billion. Deficits persist through 2022.
CBO AG BASELINE SPENDING – Looking at fiscal 2015 through 2017, commodity programs are expected to costs between $2.4 and $6.3 billion per year, with conservation programs adding an additional $5.2 to $5.4 billion per year. Within commodity support, cotton outlays average about $348 million per year.
PERCENT CHANGE IN VALUE OF U.S. DOLLAR - Currently, the euro is averaging 0.82 per dollar.
AG PRICES RECEIVED – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes indices of prices received by farmers. The latest index of crop prices is 84.00. The index of livestock prices now stands at 97.20.
U.S. COTTON SUPPLY – Having set the stage for the overall economy, let’s turn our attention to the U.S. cotton sector.
DEC COTTON FUTURES – The 2018 December contract closed at roughly $0.75 at the end of January. Over the life of each contract, the December 2018 contract has averaged roughly $0.71 per pound, slightly higher than the December 2017 contract.
DEC CORN FUTURES – The 2018 December contract closed at $3.93 per bushel at the end of January. Over the life of each contract, the average value of the December 2018 futures contract has been just over $0.10 per bushel higher than the December 2017 contract.
NOV SOYBEAN FUTURES - Over the life of each contract, the November 2018 soybean contract has averaged roughly $0.09 per bushel higher than the November 2017 contract.
U.S. COTTON ACREAGE – USDA estimates 2017-18 U.S. cotton plantings at 12.61 million acres, up 25.2% from 2016. Upland planted area is estimated to have increased 25.1% to 12.36 million acres. ELS cotton producers planted 252,000 acres, up 29.2%.
U.S. COTTON PRODUCTION – In its January report, for 2015, the USDA forecast U.S. production at 12.9 million bales. An increase of roughly 4.3 million bales is projected for the 2016 crop with production rising to 17.2 million bales. U.S. production is estimated to be roughly 21.3 million bales for 2017/18.
U.S. COTTON SUPPLY – In the January report, USDA estimates production at 12.9 million bales and beginning stocks of roughly 3.7 million for the 2015 crop year. Combined with imports this gives total supplies of 16.6 million bales for the 2015/16 marketing year.
By adding beginning stocks of 3.8 million bales to the 17.2 million bale crop, USDA believes total U.S. supply will rise roughly 4.4 million bales to 21.0 million bales in 2016.
For the 2017 crop year, combining projected production of 21.3 million bales with expected beginning stocks of 2.8 million bales results in a total U.S. supply of roughly 24.0 million bales. This is up roughly 3.0 million bales from the 2016 level.
U.S. COTTON DEMAND – Moving along, we’ll focus on U.S. cotton demand.
U.S. RETAIL FIBER CONSUMPTION – Net domestic consumption is a measure of the U.S. retail market’s size. It measures both cotton spun in the U.S. (mill use) and cotton consumed through textile imports. Total fiber consumption in 2016 is estimated to be 51.1 million bale equivalents. Cotton’s share of net domestic consumption decreased 0.8% this past year to 34.5%, which translates to 17.6 million bales. For 2017, NCC projects net domestic consumption of all fibers to increase to 52.0 million bales. With a projected share of 34.5%, cotton’s net domestic consumption is projected to be 17.9 million bales.
COTTON’S SHARE OF CONSUMPTION – While it is important that the retail market continue to grow, cotton must also be concerned with its share of the market and the competition from manmade fibers. During the past few years, cotton’s share of the U.S. retail market has been on the decline. In 2002, cotton’s share reached just over 43%. The higher prices of 2003 were met with some shifting from cotton to other fibers. As a result, cotton’s share of the retail market dipped. However, in 2006 cotton’s share of the retail market climbed back up to 43.1%. For 2008, cotton’s share of the retail markets reached the 44.0% mark. In 2009, cotton’s share had fallen back to just over 43%. This decline continued in 2010 through 2015. Cotton’s share of the retail market is estimated at 34.5% in 2016.
U.S. RETAIL COTTON CONSUMPTION (MONTHLY) – The U.S. retail market reached 17.6 million bales of cotton textile products for calendar 2016. Data through August shows us running roughly 335 thousand bales behind last year’s pace.
U.S. RETAIL COTTON CONSUMPTION (HISTORICAL) - Imported goods make up the largest portion of U.S. net domestic consumption. Imported cotton textiles are forecast to increase from 17.8 million bale equivalents in 2016 to an estimated 18.1 million in 2017.
U.S. COTTON TEXTILE IMPORTS - Imports of cotton goods in calendar 2016 decreased by 3.0% to 17.8 million bale equivalents. In calendar 2017, NCC projects cotton textile imports to increase to 18.1 million bales.
U.S. COTTON CONTENT - For imports, it is important to consider that a significant portion of imported goods contain U.S. cotton. Since much of what the U.S. exports to the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the CBI (Caribbean Basin Initiative) countries is in the form of fabric and piece goods that come back in the form of finished goods, the trade gap is not as wide as implied by gross imports and exports. NCC analysts estimate that 26.0% of all cotton goods imported in 2016 contained U.S. cotton. This is a 0.98% decrease over the previous year. In bale equivalents, these imported cotton goods contained 4.6 million bales of U.S. cotton. This is due, in large part, to our trading partners in NAFTA and the CBI.
COTTON TEXTILE TRADE WITH MEXICO - Imports from Mexico in 2016 were 866 thousand bales, down approximately 17.6% from the previous year.
COTTON TEXTILE TRADE WITH
COTTON TEXTILE IMPORTS FROM
U.S. COTTON PRODUCTION & USE - Looking at the 2015 crop year, USDA estimates exports at roughly 9.2 million bales while U.S. production is estimated at 12.9 million bales and mill use is estimated to be 3.5 million bales. For 2016, exports rise to 14.9 million bales while mill use is expected to drop to 3.3 million bales. Production is expected to rise. USDA estimates U.S. production to be 17.2 million bales for 2016/17. For 2017, mill use is expected to rise to 3.4 million bales while production is expected climb to 21.3 million bales and exports are expected to decrease slightly to 14.8 million bales.
WORLD MARKET – Exports of U.S. cotton will be dependent on conditions in the world market.
CHINA COTTON SUPPLY & USE – For China, production is estimated to be 22.0 million bales for the 2015 crop year. In terms of consumption, one of the big questions will be the factors driving China’s mill use. Much of the growth has been fueled by the push to increase textile exports, and they will continue to be a significant exporter of textiles. However, over the past couple of years, it’s becoming more evident that growth in their own consumer demand for cotton textiles is also driving the textile industry. Assuming this trend will continue, mill use is projected to be roughly 35.0 million bales. For 2016, production will increase to 22.8 million bales while mill use climbs to 37.5 million bales. For the 2017 crop year, USDA projects production to climb to 26.4 million bales while mill use grows to 40.0 million bales.
WORLD COTTON PRODUCTION - USDA estimates put the 2015 crop at 96.2 million bales and roughly 106.6 million bales for the 2016 crop. USDA estimates for 2017/18 show world production at roughly 121.0 million bales.
WORLD FIBER DEMAND – The competition from man-made fiber is getting stronger all of the time. According to PCI, the use of polyester has surpassed cotton, and for 2010, consumption approached 170 million bales. This is over 54 million bales above their estimate of the consumption of cotton. For 2018, PCI estimates polyester consumption to rise to approximately 247 million bales.
FIBER PRICES – Cotton prices have worked their way back to and above the level of manmade fiber prices.
FOREIGN PRODUCTION & USE – The gap between foreign production and use influences our ability to export cotton. In 2015, production was estimated at 83.3 million bales and mill use at 108.8 million bales. For the 2016 crop year, production is estimated at 89.4 million bales and mill use at 111.5 million bales. For the 2017 crop year, production is estimated at 99.7 million bales and mill use at 117.5 million bales.
U.S. COTTON EXPORTS – According to USDA, the U.S. exported 9.2 million bales in the 2015 crop year. In 2016, exports rose to 14.9 million bales. For 2017, exports decline slightly to an estimated 14.8 million bale mark.
WORLD ENDING STOCKS - World stocks on July 31, 2016 are estimated to reach 95.4 million bales. While there are a host of uncertainties that can lead to major changes in the balance sheet, not the least of which is weather, the current estimates still leave us with a lot of stocks to work through the system. According to USDA, stocks were roughly 87.6 million bales by the end of the 2016 marketing year. By the end of the 2017 marketing year, stocks are estimated to rise slightly to 87.8 million bales.
COTTON STOCKS/USE – Another way to look at the stocks situation is to focus on the stocks/use relationship for the world less China. For the 2003 marketing year, that ratio was estimated to be 45%. The larger ’04 crop pushed that ratio back up to 60%. The ratio was estimated at 55% for the 2005 marketing year and 58% for 2006. For 2007, the ratio was estimated to remain unchanged at 58%. In 2008, the stocks-to-use ratio was somewhere around 62% and 48% in 2009. For 2010, the stocks-to-use ratio was estimated to climb to 58%. For the 2011 marketing year, the ratio was estimated to climb to 66% and fell to 58% in the 2012 marketing year. The stock-to-use ration dropped to 53% through the 2013 marketing year. For 2014, the ratio was estimated to climb to 57%. The ratio is estimated to fall to 48% in 2015 and climb slightly to 51% in 2016. For 2017, the stocks-to-use ratio is forecast to climb to 59%.
U.S. SUPPLY & DEMAND – In its January report, U.S. production is estimated to be 17.2 million bales for 2016/17. Mill use is estimated at 3.3 million bales while exports are reported to be 14.9 million bales. The estimated total offtake stands at 18.2 million bales. With beginning stocks of roughly 3.8 million bales, this would result in U.S. ending stocks of 2.8 million bales on July 31, 2017, and a stocks-to-use ratio of 15.1%.
For the 2017 crop year, U.S. production is estimated to be 21.3 million bales. Mill use is forecast at 3.4 million bales while exports are forecast to be 14.8 million bales. The estimated total offtake stands at 18.2 million bales. With beginning stocks of 2.8 million bales, this would result in U.S. ending stocks of 5.7 million bales on July 31, 2018, and a stocks-to-use ratio of 31.4%.
WORLD SUPPLY & DEMAND – In USDA’s January report, world production is estimated at 106.6 million bales for the 2016/17 crop year. Mill use is set at roughly 114.8 million bales. With beginning stocks of 95.4 million bales, this would result in world ending stocks of roughly 87.7 million bales on July 31, 2017, and a stocks-to-use ratio of 76.4%.
World production is estimated at 121.0 million bales for the 2017/18 crop year. Mill use is forecast at 120.8 million bales. With beginning stocks of 87.6 million bales, this would result in world ending stocks of 87.8 million bales on July 31, 2018, and a stocks-to-use ratio of 72.7%.