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- Not since the Civil War era have the stars been so favorably aligned for cotton. And, that long-dreamed-of $1 price is likely to be around for some time — perhaps as far out as 2014.
Concern for crop failures
“Crop failures happen all the time. One of the best examples for cotton was in Dawson County, Texas in 1973 or ’74. They had the largest cotton production of any county in the U.S., one year, and the following year not a single gin operated in that county because of weather problems with the crop.
“When people talk about potential for a food crisis, that’s very difficult for Americans to understand. But the market does grasp it.”
The U.S. “has been the big horse pulling the economic engine of the world for years,” Cleveland says, “and we still are. But, for the past four years we’ve seen the developing countries become the big horse pulling the world economic engine.
“China went for nearly 10 consecutive years with a growth rate above 10 percent annually. For the last two years, the U.S growth rate has been only about 1 percent. Now, China is dealing with a tremendous inflation problem; the central bank has raised interest rates five times in the last seven months.
“In the short run, the next year or two, inflation in China can be very good for U.S. exports of food grains, feed grains, and cotton.”