Between stay-at-home orders and massive job losses due to the coronavirus, consumers are shunning apparel purchases, with the impact being felt all the way to the farm level, said the International Cotton Advisory Council on Monday. (No paywall)
Enrollment in a new cotton subsidy program, created by Congress early this year, will run until Dec. 7, said the USDA. The program, offered for so-called seed cotton, allows participants to choose from a pair of subsidy options.
The House and Senate made relatively few changes to the farm program in passing separate versions of the new farm bill. The next step is to reconcile differences in the bills, and the cotton industry's desire to protect its subsidies is just one of a long list of likely flashpoints.
The rising price of man-made fibers will make cotton more attractive to the apparel industry and boost global cotton consumption by 3 percent this market year, said the International Cotton Advisory Committee.
Cotton production is rising in all of the major nations growing the fiber, and the United States is leading the way with a 23-percent increase, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee. The large crop, forecast by ICAC as 10-percent larger than in 2016/17, will drive down the season-average price to 69 cents a pound, a drop of 14 cents.
The prevailing high prices for cotton “are expected to encourage farmers to expand the area under cotton by 5 percent, to 30.8 million hectares, in 2017/18,” says the International Cotton Advisory Committee.
Global cotton consumption may rise 1 percent in the upcoming 2017/18 trade year and stay well ahead of the cotton harvest as the world whittles down a surplus of the fiber, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee. If so, the cotton stockpile would decline 1.3 million tonnes, or 7 percent, in the year ahead.
Cotton growers say they will expand plantings 9 percent this year, displacing corn and some wheat to chase the highest market price in four years, says the National Cotton Council. Nonetheless, "2017 is shaping up to be another challenging year," said NCC economist Jody Campiche, because of high production costs and the struggling global economy.
Ralph Lauren Corp. joins a growing number of fashion companies that have pledged to not use products derived from cleared forests or that required grabbing land from indigenous people, says Reuters. The company says it has new plans to track its sourcing and avoid parts of the world that practice extreme deforestation and human rights abuses.