Friday, April 1, 2011

Australia 2010-11 cotton crop seen at record four million bales

CANBERRA (April 01, 2011) : Australia's cotton industry on Thursday upgraded its forecasts for the 2010/11 crop to a record of more than four million bales after growers managed to salvage more than expected from devastating summer floods across the nation's eastern states.

Australia, one of the world's leading cotton exporters, will produce 4.05 million bales, well above the previous record of 3.5 million bales in 2001/02, and up from the prior forecast of 3.7 million bales, Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay said. Around 4.4 bales equals 1 tonne of cotton.

"While most people will remember the start of this year as flood, cyclone, flood, the season has actually produced very good cotton growing conditions allowing for some recovery of crops that went under water," Kay said in a statement. Harvesting of the July-June year Australian crop has kicked off in northern Queensland state on Australia's east coast and will move south to end around June. Kay said Queensland's cotton production was forecast to reach 1.785 million bales, while New South Wales was forecast to grow 2.271 million bales.

Recent high cotton prices have been underpinned by China's insatiable appetite for the fibre as demand rises domestically and imports are showing signs of recovery in other countries. The key May cotton contract on ICE Futures US fell 1.21 cents to conclude at $1.9367 per lb on Wednesday, ahead of the release of US government's plantings report on Thursday. The contract is headed for a 2 percent gain this month, its fourth consecutive month of gains.


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