The economist’s tea leaves say….

“Give me a one-armed economist!” That was the exasperated plea of former U.S. President Harry Truman in the late 1940s. Truman grumbled that whenever his economists advised him, they would inevitably say, “On the one hand…but, on the other…,” accounting for the ambiguities of economic indicators.

The Nobel-Prize-winning Irish playwright, G. Bernard Shaw, said, “If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.”

Economic prognosticators, who are really interpreting and predicting collective human behavior, infamously rely on their simplifying assumptions. An economist may assume an efficiently-functioning free market, characterized by “perfect information” for all players. He is also apt to freeze certain economic elements to isolate the effects of specific forces, assuming “ceteris paribus” (all else being constant).

Of course, no one has perfect information, free and efficient markets don’t exist, and innumerable simultaneous forces influence human economic behavior. All of that conspires to confound economic predictions – whether about the global economy or the future price of cotton in Karachi.

On the one hand, certain signs clearly point toward economic recovery and a more robust cotton market. In the U.S., the world’s largest consumer economy, employment has grown in each of the first four months of 2010, returning more than 500,000 jobs to an economy that had lost 3.5 million. In April, U.S. manufacturing experienced its greatest growth in six years. In March, major U.S. clothing retail chains saw their sales jump a surprising 12 to 24% compared to March of 2009. The economies of China and India both grew by almost 9% last year and are heating up in 2010. China may well raise its cotton-import quota by 60%, to 3 million tons.

On the other hand, fears abound that the debt crisis in Greece could ripple through Europe and the world and reverse a fragile economic recovery. That, and an apparent glitch in high-speed computer trading, caused U.S. stocks to lose more than $1 trillion in value on one May afternoon. To support its own textile industry, the Indian government suspended India’s exports of raw cotton and yarn.

All told, projections are for healthy growth in cotton trading this year, with 114 million bales of production worldwide (25M MT), up from 102 million bales (22M MT) in ’09/’10.  Pent-up demand for cotton goods appears to be breaking through the logjam as the global economy begins its swing in a positive direction.

But just keep in mind the words of my favorite economist, John Kenneth Galbraith: “Economics is extremely useful…as a form of employment for economists.”

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Marketing Stories
Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: USDA Planting Intentions In; Time for Market to Focus on Other Realities

March 31, 2015

The March 31 USDA Prospective Plantings report of 9.55 million cotton acres is slightly higher than most other pre-report expectations. Now, it’s time for the market to focus on other matters.

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Cleveland: Market on Path to Higher and Higher Lows

March 20, 2015

Cotton prices bounced back in response to the time-honored adage, “low prices cure low prices.” But there are still a few bumps and curves along the way.

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Cotton Inc. Risk Management Seminar Coming to Lubbock

March 16, 2015

Cotton Incorporated is bringing its popular Cotton Price Risk Management Seminar to Lubbock, TX on April 8.

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Shurley on Cotton: March Madness as Prices Tumble

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Thus far, March has not been kind to the cotton market.

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Dull Trading Likely in a Stumbling, Mumbling Market

March 16, 2015

After losing its prior month gains in one week, the cotton market was left stumbling and mumbling. We are now likely in for a month – maybe two – of dull trading.

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Plexus: Is the Worst of the Selloff Behind Us?

March 13, 2015

The cotton market seems to be regaining its footing, and trade buying is starting to resurface. This leads us to believe that the worst of this selloff may be behind us.

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Plexus: Market Momentum Continues to Stall

March 10, 2015

Market momentum has clearly been stalling. Physical business needs to pick up, but the latest wave of buying may be over for now.

Around The Gin
Product News

New 2015 CROPLAN Cotton Varieties Feature Bollgard II XtendFlex Technology

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WinField is adding Monsanto’s new Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton trait to two new CROPLAN cotton varieties for 2015.

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New Features for TeeJet Aeros 9040 Field Computer

March 18, 2015

TeeJet has added new features to its Aeros 9040 Field Computer for 2015.

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TeeJet Launches New DynaJet Flex Nozzle Control System

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The new DynaJet Flex 7120 nozzle control system from TeeJet Technologies helps growers manage spray quality across a variety of operating speeds and application rates.

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New Cheminova Chemistry to Help Control Herbicide Resistant Weeds

February 23, 2015

Cheminova plans to register pethoxamid, a new herbicide active ingredient, to help growers manage herbicide-resistant weeds.

Product News

Brake Herbicide Receives Section 18 Approvals in Six States

February 18, 2015

Brake Herbicide has received Section 18 emergency use exemptions for control of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in six cotton producing states.

Precision Technology

TeeJet Matrix 430 Provides Simple, Easy-to-Use Guidance

February 18, 2015

TeeJet Technologies’ new Matrix 430 GNSS guidance system is ideal for a wide range of field applications.

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TeeJet Launches RX520 High-Precision GNSS Receiver

February 17, 2015

TeeJet Technologies has introduced the RX520 dual frequency GNSS receiver for precision farming operations.

Disease Control / Nematodes

Velum Total Approved for Cotton, Peanuts in 2015

February 12, 2015

Bayer CropScience has received registration for Velum Total, a new insecticide/nematicide for use in cotton and peanuts in 2015.

Latest News
Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: USDA Planting Intentions In; Time for Market to Focus on Other Realities

March 31, 2015

The March 31 USDA Prospective Plantings report of 9.55 million cotton acres is slightly higher than most other pre-report expectations. Now, it’s time for the market to focus on other matters.

Market Analysis

Cotton Prices Itching to Move Higher, as Growers Ponder Acreage Shifts

March 27, 2015

The market has shown it is comfortable with higher prices, as planting and production dynamics hold the potential for larger than expected U.S. cotton plantings.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: Market on Path to Higher and Higher Lows

March 20, 2015

Cotton prices bounced back in response to the time-honored adage, “low prices cure low prices.” But there are still a few bumps and curves along the way.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market Bumps on Weaker Dollar and U.S. Supply Questions

March 20, 2015

While most commodity prices turned lower again, cotton rallied a bit, thanks to a constructive U.S. export sales report. But the big question going forward is how many tenderable grades are left in the U.S.?

Marketing

Cotton Inc. Risk Management Seminar Coming to Lubbock

March 16, 2015

Cotton Incorporated is bringing its popular Cotton Price Risk Management Seminar to Lubbock, TX on April 8.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: March Madness as Prices Tumble

March 16, 2015

Thus far, March has not been kind to the cotton market.

Market Analysis

Dull Trading Likely in a Stumbling, Mumbling Market

March 16, 2015

After losing its prior month gains in one week, the cotton market was left stumbling and mumbling. We are now likely in for a month – maybe two – of dull trading.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Is the Worst of the Selloff Behind Us?

March 13, 2015

The cotton market seems to be regaining its footing, and trade buying is starting to resurface. This leads us to believe that the worst of this selloff may be behind us.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market Momentum Continues to Stall

March 10, 2015

Market momentum has clearly been stalling. Physical business needs to pick up, but the latest wave of buying may be over for now.

Market Analysis

Cotton Market Sliding Along with No Drastic Moves

March 6, 2015

Much like the icy conditions across the Cotton Belt, prices have slid back and forth and sideways, as the price charts remain void of any drastic activity.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Not Surprisingly, Market Improvement Slows Down

March 2, 2015

The market is still full of uncertainties, and this recent slowdown might just be a signal that the market needs to take a breather.

Market Analysis

Quality Continues to Drive Cotton’s “Joyful Ride”

February 21, 2015

Cotton’s joyful ride continues, as prices have pressed the 65 cent level, driven by demand for quality machine harvested cotton.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Time for the Market to Rest and Regroup?

February 20, 2015

Look for the market pull back a bit and regroup over the coming weeks. But don’t worry. It’s just taking a breather.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Buying Pressure Should Keep Cotton Moving Up

February 18, 2015

Buying pressure over the coming months should help maintain the current upward move for cotton.

Market Analysis

Market Faces Long and Crooked Row to Higher Prices

February 17, 2015

The market has a very long and crooked row to hoe on its path to higher prices. However, it is sending multiple signals that the 57 cent resistance level did hold, and prices can now begin to ease higher.