Prospect of Lower Prices Slows Purchases from China Reserve 

Daily purchases from China’s state reserve have fallen in recent weeks amidst market perceptions that reserve sale prices may be lowered, competition from foreign cotton, and the prospect of new-crop cotton offered below the current reserve sales price. In anticipation of lower prices, Chinese spinning mills are reportedly buying only enough cotton to cover their immediate needs, while also attempting to reduce inventories of yarn.

The perception of lower prices in the future extends beyond China. The December 2014 New York futures contract price remains significantly below the July 2014 contract. With little incentive to hold old-crop cotton, merchants are selling foreign cotton aggressively; thus, for Chinese mills, imports are an attractive alternative to buying cotton from the state reserve.

Looking to next season, the withdrawal of price support for new-crop cotton is raising concerns about declining prices. China’s internal prices are likely to remain under pressure, either until they reach a market-clearing level or until the government intervenes to support prices.


For 2014/15, world ending stocks are forecast up, mainly due to higher carry-in.

Trade is down, mainly due to reduced import demand by China. U.S. production is up, resulting in higher ending stocks.

The forecast for the season average U.S. farm price range is lowered 3 cents to 70 cents/pound.

For 2013/14, world ending stocks are forecast higher largely on increased production. U.S. ending stocks are down due to higher exports. The forecast for the season average U.S. farm price range is unchanged.


The U.S. spot price and the A-Index have continued to weaken over concerns that China’s policy will lower new crop prices.


Major Exporters:

• Australia is lowered 100,000 bales to 3.1 million on tighter supplies.

• Brazil is cut 200,000 bales to 3.3 million on lower world demand.

• Uzbekistan is down 200,000 bales to 2.5 million on reduced world demand.

• Turkmenistan is reduced 100,000 bales to 750,000 on weaker world demand.

Major Importers:

• China is lowered 500,000 bales to 8.0 million as imports shift into 2013/14.

• Pakistan is down 500,000 bales to 2.5 million on lower use.

• Vietnam is up 200,000 bales to 2.9 million on greater use.

Trade Changes 2013/14

Major Exporters:

• United States is up 100,000 bales to 10.5 million on strong sales to China.

• India is up 200,000 bales to 9.0 million on greater demand from China.

• Australia is raised 200,000 bales to 4.8 million on stronger demand from China.

• Pakistan is increased 200,000 bales to 600,000 on falling domestic use.

Major Importers:

• China is up 750,000 bales to 13.5 million as the new reserve policy allows for increased import licenses.

• Pakistan is down 500,000 bales to 2.5 million on lower use.

• Brazil is raised 100,000 bales to 4.1 million on tight end of local season stocks.

• Vietnam is raised 150,000 bales to 3.15 million on greater use.

• Turkey is increased 250,000 bales to 1.0 million on tighter supplies