Positive season for cotton pricing

THIS year's cotton crop is largely in the ground and growers are optimistic, given a stronger price forecast in 2014.

Across northern NSW, irrigated plantings are in line with last year's production as a result of good water availability and positive seasonal conditions to date.

Growers are now looking for consistent, bright warm sunny days to enhance plant growth and yield potential.

Due to very dry spring conditions and low moisture profiles, dryland cotton plantings are minimal. This may see an increase in sorghum plantings for traditional cotton growers if summer rain arrives.

The current outlook is for solid performance in both yield and profitability, given known water availability and current prices.

Positive conditions have also meant minimal insect and pest pressures to date.

This year we have seen robust prices, above 80 US cents per pound, supported by the Chinese government restocking its national cotton strategic reserves.

The latest NAB Rural Commodities Wrap forecast prices to rise by 11.5% in 2014, but it is expected that diminished exportable supplies and stiffer competition from the US and India could see export volumes drop off by around 20 per cent.

In Moree last week, the crops were looking good and farmers were positive - let's hope the season continues that way.

Topics:  commodities cotton exports markets nab agribusiness