What is in this article?:
- Cotton prices have reached nearly mythological proportions lately. December 2010 futures spiked to $1.51 a pound on Nov. 9 before profit-taking took them back into the mid-$1.40s by Nov. 11.
- U.S. cotton prices still have a ways to go before achieving the price levels seen in China in 2010. They’ve reached well over $2 a pound, according to Stevens.
Market at top?
Stevens says traditional signs point to a market that has made a top. “However, not knowing what is coming next from the Chinese traders, one has to be cautious. This bull is like the 9-headed hydra. For each head cut off, it grows two more.”
Cotton producer Steve Verett, executive vice president, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Lubbock, Texas, likes the high cotton prices, but is concerned that they might not necessarily translate into higher net income for producers.
“I’ve been farming over 30 years, and there’s never been a time when prices for commodities increased, and we didn’t see a corresponding increase in input costs. Whether it’s going to be good for net farm income or not remains to be seen.
“There are some real scary numbers out here on fertilizer prices. A lot of importers have been caught short. With the early harvest in the Midwest, there have been a lot of fertilizer applications which have drawn the stocks down.”
Verett added that Texas cotton producers are a long way from locking in high cotton prices for 2011. “This morning, December 2011 was at 94.52, which is certainly a good price. We’re hopeful. Corn and soybeans have been enjoying high prices for a few years. The cotton industry would like to be able to take advantage of that too.”