World Looks to Australian Harvest for Cotton Supply


Wendy Pugh

Cotton exports from Australia, the fifth-largest shipper, accelerated after harvest delays and as a price rally failed to curb overseas demand amid a global supply shortfall, an industry group said.

“Normally it wouldn’t be that easy to sell at these prices but demand has been very strong,” Australian Cotton Shippers Association Chairman Arthur Spellson said by phone from Sydney. “China, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, everywhere. They’re all screaming out for cotton.”

Futures prices in New York have surged 39 percent in the past year amid concern that rising cotton consumption would outpace supply. Australia’s harvest, which enters the market before northern hemisphere supplies later in the year, is more than 90 percent finished after wet and cloudy weather slowed picking and delayed shipments, the association said.

“There is basically a global shortage,” Spellson said. “We are also getting inquires from Pakistan, India, countries we don’t normally sell a lot to,” he said. Around 70 to 75 percent of the Australian crop has been sold for shipment and exporters are “flat out” after the delays, he said.

July-delivery cotton was unchanged at 80.05 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. at 2:39 p.m. Melbourne time. Futures touched 87.1 cents on April 26, the highest price for a most-active contract since March 2008.

Prices may rise to more than 85 cents a pound, with the global balance sheet “expected to be tight” over the next 12 months, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group agricultural commodities strategist Scott Briggs wrote in a report last week.

(Story found in original format here.)


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