International Raw Cotton Trading

WellGro United will be filling in an important for the Indian Textiles Sector by trading Quality and cost-effective cotton from the United States of America. WellGro United has recently established a friendly relationship with large cotton farming operations in West Texas, USA the epic cotton center.

Mixed Cotton Signals from the United States

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

(Lubbock, USA, May 17, 2019)-Higher expectations on the 2019 crop and unsettled trade disputes between the United States and China are leading to unsettling situation in the cotton industry.
Planting has taken a momentum this week in the High Plains of Texas with good soil temperature in most parts. “Moisture is the dream come true,” said one seed company representative in today’s morning meeting at the Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers (PCG), Inc. “20-30% of region’s cotton acres have already been planted and next week will see greater activity due to the time limit posed by crop insurance,” stated Mark Brown, director of field services of PCG. “We have not had such a good moisture in many years,” said Steve Verett, executive vice president of PCG While the industry is happy with the weather conditions, so far, not all is rosy for the United States’ cotton sector. As the United States’ cotton sector is dependent on exports, with higher yield, comes higher stress to sell cotton. Market is in distress primarily due to the continuing trade issues with China. With the Trump administration imposing additional tariffs on Chinese imports, retaliation by Chinese is evident, which affects the cotton market.

In past two weeks, cotton futures have dropped by 10-cents and today, the December future is in the mid to upper sixty cent range. Huge crop expectation this season, is adding pressure to the market. United States’ is expected to produce 22 million bales of cotton (480 lbs. each). How to sell the 17 million bales that is targeted for export, asked one participant in today’s meeting. Because of the trade situation, there might me some cotton bales rolled over from last year’s trading, adding more pressure.

The need to continue market facilitation program is being felt strongly in the cotton sector. It looks like United States Department of Agriculture will soon make an announcement on the continuation of the program for the 2019 crop. United States’ cotton sector is exploring new market opportunities. Will India be a promising market?

Why Cotton?

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

(Lubbock, USA, April 9, 2019)- Building demand for cotton is needed as good production potential is expected in near future.

Cotton is in business as it is presold on its comfort. Speaking to a large audience on April 5 at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers (PCG), Inc., Berrye Worsham, President and CEO of Cary-based Cotton Incorporated, highlighted three important aspects of cotton to enhance its demand.

Cotton production in the United States of America in near future is expected to reach 20-25 million bales (480 lbs. each), that necessitates creating more value and new industrial applications such toxic oil absorbent and insulation products.

According to Worsham, cotton’s advantages fall into three categories: 1) Health/wellness; 2) Strategic benefits and 3) Sustainability. Compared to some synthetics, cotton does not cause skin irritation. Synthetics may retain odor more than cotton and workout clothes from cotton wash much cleaner.

In a survey, it was revealed that 82% of consumers surveyed in India stated that sustainability influenced their clothing purchase, in China 64% of consumers were influenced by sustainability, while the number in the United States was 47 percent.

Textiles account for about 37% of microplastic contamination in water. With growing awareness on the microplastic pollution, cotton being natural, offers competitive advantage, as the fine cotton fibers degrade in water systems. There are predictions that with increase in the synthetics’ usage, the microplastic contamination can grow three times by 2050, which is a serious concern.

Cotton industry is also focusing its efforts to create more awareness among consumers on the fiber content in their clothing, stated Worsham.

India Shaping to be a Market for United States’ Cotton

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

(Lubbock, USA, May 14, 2019)-Trade war and India’s lowered cotton output are enablers for new market opportunities for United States’ cotton in India.

Mr. Arun Sekhsaria, Director of Mumbai-based Cotton Association of India (CAI) who is visiting the United States this week to explore different business opportunities spoke today with this scribe on the global cotton scenario. In speaking about the potential growth opportunities in cotton trade between United States and India, Sekhsaria provided an optimistic picture.

Arun Sekhsaria was present at the meeting between the USDA representative in India and the CAI officials during the last week in April that has led to the downward revision of India’s production estimate by USDA. USDA’s official estimate is now at 32.5 million bales (325 lakh bales of 170 Kgs each). However, the CAI’s estimate is still low, and it is pegged at 31.6 million bales (316 lakh bales of 170 Kgs each). Lack of rain during the early part of the season has led to the decline in cotton output in major cotton growing areas such as Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra.

Discussion in the past few days among the Indian end-user community is that spinners have to look for imported cotton. Traders like Arun Sekhsaria, Managing Director of Mumbai-based D. D. Cotton, Pvt. Ltd., are making sincere efforts to provide appropriate cotton for Indian spinners, which includes importing option as well.

Commenting on the trade war between China and USA, Sekhsaria opined that Brazil may capture the China cotton market, therefore United States’ should be looking for different markets such as India. Particularly opportunities are on the horizon for cottons grown organically and under better cotton initiative (BCI).

India is appropriate market for 2018 and 2019 U.S. crops,” stated Sekhsaria. However, the quality of cotton left over from the 2018 crop may not be adequate. But with the rains and favorable weather in West Texas, crop with good quality is expected for the 2019 crop added, Sekhsaria. Starting August, India will be a favorable market for U.S cotton as its prices are below the MSP support prices in India.

There is a need for more awareness of the United States’ cotton sector among Indian spinners. Having visited Lubbock during Fall 2018 to see new applications for cotton such as oil absorbent wipes, Arun Sekhsaria is planning to bring a delegation of spinners from India to Texas in August 2019.

Cotton Research on a High Gear

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

(Lubbock, USA, January 29, 2019)-New research and innovations in cotton address the immediate needs of the industry.

Today, in a meeting in Lubbock organized by the Memphis-based The Cotton Board, about 65 people participated to discuss about the present and the future of cotton research and development.
Dryland cotton will be the future in the High Plains of Texas-the largest cotton growing patch in the United States of America.

Ginning byproducts, cotton seed developments, clean cotton initiatives, developing functional cotton and quality aspects were deliberated in the meeting attended by cotton farmers and researchers.

Opening the meeting, Shelley Heinrich, Southern Plains Regional Communication Manager of The Cotton Board traced the history of the cotton research and promotion program that started in 1966 which is continuously supported by the cotton growers. Stating that the research and promotion budget managed by Cotton Incorporated for this year is US$ 82 million, Heinrich added that the research program has been a role model for other commodity industries.

With competition from other fibers and the need to increase the market share of cotton, particularly in burgeoning economies, researchers working of innovative projects met with area cotton producers to seek their input. The strength of the United States’ cotton sector has been the active involvement of producers in taking the industry to the next level in research and policy matters.

It was clear that the cotton sector was interested in promoting cotton seed as a nutritious meal. As its share in the seed crushers is nearly saturated, efforts are underway to take it beyond cattle feed and dairy industry. Recently, the United States’ Department of Agriculture has deregulated gossypol free cotton seed, which opens-up new opportunities for the seed. “We are waiting on the FDA approval of the gossypol free seed, which will lead to commercial use for feeding aquaculture, poultry, swine and even humans,” stated Kater Hake, Vice President of Agriculture and Environmental Research at Cary-based Cotton Incorporated.

Kristie Rhodes, Manager Product Development at Cotton Incorporated showcased several new fabrics that utilize new technologies such as dyeing cotton using sulfur dyes from cotton byproducts.
This scribe has been advocating for thinking beyond the yield and fiber quality issues and focus on functional aspects of fiber and textiles. A project funded by Cotton Incorporated in the Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory at Texas Tech University is focused on finding industrial applications for low micronaire cotton such as toxic and crude oil absorbent mats.

Quality cotton is available.

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