Growth Spurt; West Texas cotton crop expected to surge 40 percent
Cotton output in West Texas, the top producing U.S. region, will jump at least 40 percent this year and may double if precipitation increases, said Darren Hudson, director of Texas Tech University's Cotton Economics Research Institute.
"We're looking at a crop between 2.8 million and 3.2 million bales," Hudson told Bloomberg News' Marvin Perez. "If we get good rains in the next few weeks, production could go back to 4 million bales."
Last year, the most severe drought in at least a century decimated the West Texas crop. Output fell to 2 million bales, compared with an average of 4.5 million in the past 10 years, said Hudson, a cotton analyst for 12 years. A bale weighs 480 pounds.
Cotton futures in New York have plunged 69 percent to 67.1 cents a pound from a record $2.197 in March 2011 as global demand waned. Output in the U.S., the world's biggest exporter, may climb 9.2 percent to 17 million bales in the season that starts Aug. 1 from a year earlier as acreage increases, the government said earlier.
An estimated 54 percent of the crop in the top 15 producing states was good or excellent, compared with 57 percent a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
-- Bloomberg News
CONTACT: Darren Hudson, director, Cotton Economics Research Institute, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2864 or firstname.lastname@example.org