2016-17 Exports Projection Raised
In its April report, USDA projected the 2016-17 U.S. crop to be 17.23 million bales, unchanged from the March report. Exports were increased by 800,000 bales to 14.00 million bales based on strong export sales during March. This would be the fourth-largest volume ever for U.S. exports, accounting for nearly 40% of world trade. U.S. mill use was unchanged at 3.30 million bales. This generates a total 2016-17 offtake of 17.30 million bales. Ending stocks for 2016-17 are projected to be 3.70 million bales for an ending stocks-to-use ratio of 21.4%.
USDA’s April report increased 2016-17 world production estimates by 580,000 bales from the March report to 106.30 million bales. World mill use was increased 160,000 bales to a projected 112.59 million bales. Consequently, world ending stocks for 2016-17 are projected to be 90.91 million bales for a stocks-to-use ratio of 80.7%.
USDA released 2017-18 projections during February’s Agricultural Outlook Forum. U.S. production is estimated to be 17.00 million bales for 2017-18. U.S. mill use is projected to be 3.40 million bales while exports are reported to decrease to 13.20 million bales. The estimated total offtake stands at 16.60 million bales. With beginning stocks of 3.70 million bales, this would result in U.S. ending stocks of 4.11 million bales on July 31, 2018, and a stocks-to-use ratio of 24.8%.
USDA also released 2017-18 world projections during February’s Agricultural Outlook Forum. World production is estimated at 108.00 million bales for the 2017-18 crop year. Mill use is projected to be 114.00 million bales. With beginning stocks of 90.91 million bales, this would result in world ending stocks of 84.91 million bales on July 31, 2018, and a stocks-to-use ratio of 74.5%.
President Trump Applauded for WOTUS Executive Order
On the NCC’s website at http://bit.ly/2ocBnAb is a letter that the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC), of which the NCC is a member, sent to President Trump applauding him for his recent Executive Order on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The Executive Order directs EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to publish a proposed rule that rescinds or revises the WOTUS rule “as appropriate and consistent with law.”
The WAC’s letter stated the Executive Order “sets the nation on a path toward pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environmental policies that will benefit all Americans.” The letter also said the WAC supports action to withdraw and re-propose the rule in a manner that is consistent with law and recognizes the important role of states in protecting our nation’s waters.
CSP Renewal Signup Underway
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that a contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled. NRCS made several updates to the popular program last fall. These changes help producers better evaluate conservation options that benefit their operations while improving the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands.
Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec. 31, 2017, can access the benefits of the recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by May 5.
Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities such as cover crops, buffer strips, pollinator and beneficial insect habitat, and soil health building activities – all while maintaining active agricultural production on their land. Benefits to producers can include: 1) improved cattle gains per acre, 2) increased crop yields, 3) decreased inputs, 4) wildlife population improvements and 5) better resilience to weather extremes.
Producers interested in contract renewals or applying for CSP for the first time should visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/csp or contact their local USDA service center to learn more.
NCC Still Collecting Contamination Examples
In line with a NCC request, both domestic and foreign textile manufacturers are continuing to submit photographs showing contaminated lint. Some mills also have provided the NCC with contamination samples from specific bales along with their permanent bale identification tags.
The photographs had been solicited by the NCC last fall after some ginners asked the NCC to provide photographs that showed seed cotton, lint and baled cotton contaminated from plastics to help these gins with their contamination prevention efforts.
The NCC’s request for these industry photographs was advocated by the NCC’s Quality Task Force as part of the NCC’s “Keep it Clean” initiative for help in keeping industry members informed of contamination incidences and threats - as well as providing steps for eliminating contaminating materials. (see 9/9/16 Cotton’s Week)
Industry members are asked to continue emailing photographs of contamination to the NCC at email@example.com.
Bale Bag and Tie Integrity Urged
Warehousers are reminded of their responsibility to preserve the integrity of bale bags and ties prior to shipping. Specifically, warehousers have responsibility to repair or replace torn bale packaging and replace broken or missing bale ties. This reminder is a result of a recent uptick in complaints to the NCC from both domestic and foreign textile manufacturers regarding the appearance of some U.S. bales.
Industry members are reminded to refer to "A Guide for Cotton Bale Standards," which was developed by the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee in 1982 and revised in 1998. The Guide is sometimes used by merchants and mills in establishing contractual requirements of fitness for deliverable cotton.
The Guide, on the NCC's website at http://bit.ly/2oDpkzR, includes multiple photographs and describes what bales generally are considered acceptable or unacceptable upon delivery.
For example, Grade A bales are characterized by complete enclosure, which is desirable for optimum prevention of lint contamination from dirt, grime, oil and grease. While Grade B bales generally are acceptable provided that any exposed lint is clean and heads and holes are completely covered, there is increased risk of lint contamination. The Guide also notes that “conditions other than Grade A or B represent a poor level of packaging coverage and restraint … (and if) improvements are not made, bales will be subject to rejection.”
Registrations Sought For Western Ginners School
U.S. certified ginners, gin managers and superintendents are urged to register for the Western Ginners School, which is being held at the Southwest Ginning Research Laboratory in Mesilla Park, NM, on May 2-4. The Southwest Ginners School, held last week at the South Plains Ginning Laboratory in Lubbock, TX, had 142 students. Registration also is open for the Stoneville Ginners School set for June 6-8 at the USDA Ginning Laboratory in Stoneville, MS.
The ginner schools' programming is coordinated by the National Cotton Ginners' Association (NCGA), working in conjunction with Tommy Valco, USDA's cotton technology transfer coordinator, and the three USDA ginning laboratories. The schools offer the Levels I, II and III of course instruction as well as the continuing education courses. Online registration and course descriptions are at www.cotton.org/ncga/ginschool/index.cfm.
NCGA Executive Vice President Harrison Ashley said programming for Levels I, II and III feature practical information on all aspects of ginning. Among topics covered are understanding basic air flow, controlling gin plant emissions, seed cotton drying and cleaning through the ginning process, and gin waste disposal methods. The schools' overall emphasis will be on increasing ginning efficiency, turning out high quality fiber and, as always, a focus on improving safety. Ashley said the Ginner Schools' Continuing Education courses cover current issues such as ginning small seed varieties, contamination prevention, RFID technology and tracking modules, and plastic wrap recycling. Also offered is a research update on fiber processing, management and gin safety, and a special session on lint cleaners.
School cooperators are: USDA's Agricultural Research Service, NCGA and its member associations, the NCC, Cotton Incorporated, gin machinery/equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and select land grant universities.
Branded Hotel Linen Collection Launched
COTTON USA and its home textile licensee Jiangsu SIDEFU Textile Co., Ltd. recently launched the first COTTON USA branded hotel linen collection at the 88-room Shanghai Qingfu Pushang boutique hotel. The high quality U.S. cotton collection includes 600 sheet sets, 1,000 pillow sets, 2,000 towels and 500 bathrobes which prominently feature the COTTON USA Mark.
SIDEFU provides superior linens for many famous hotels – such as Starwood, Hilton and InterContinental – and has become the leading brand in the hotel linen industry in China. SIDEFU also has recognized the growing potential for the boutique hotel industry in China, and cooperation with Qingfeng Pushang Hotel is the first step toward business development for U.S. cotton linens in this promising market segment.
Zhang Hua, SIDEFU general manager and engineer, recognizing the partnership’s huge potential both in China and globally, indicated that this is only the start for COTTON USA + SIDEFU hotel linen collections and that SIDEFU plans to include U.S. cotton in its future product developments.
After testing hotel products made with U.S. cotton, SIDEFU found the products not only could stand up to the rigid laundry performance specifications for premium hotels, but could last at least 15% longer, thus reducing overall procurement costs. Also, because COTTON USA branded products are traceable throughout the supply chain, hotels can choose to use the COTTON USA Mark, directly adding value to the consumer.
Sales, Shipments Continue Strong
Net export sales for the week ending on April 6 were 326,400 bales (480-lb). This brings total 2016-17 sales to approximately 13.9 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the 2015-16 marketing year were approximately 8.2 million bales. Total new crop (2017-18) sales are 2.1 million bales.
Shipments for the week were 471,900 bales, bringing total exports to date to 9.5 million bales compared with the 5.4 million bales at the comparable point in the 2015-16 marketing year.