The first USDA FOB Pima price quotes in eight months have established a current price of about $1.88 cents per pound for 2-2-46 American Pima.

The reason it has been eight months since the last price quote is because there has been no American Pima cotton available. Last February inventory and available supplies of the 2010/2011 crop had virtually run out and prices for American Pima in the export market had rallied to over $3 per pound, according to Supima.

The first bales from the 2011/2012 crop year are exiting the gins and Pima cotton is moving again.

Current registered export sales for the 2011/2012 crop year are now 377,000 bales total. This is 146 percent of the sales level at the same time last year when 258,200 bales in sales had already been registered. Current shipments stand at 107.3 percent of last year with 13,300 bales shipped versus 12,400 bales shipped at the same time last year.

With a domestic consumption estimated at 25,000 bales, this leaves only about 300,000 bales to sell, based on the current USDA crop estimate.

The top five leading importers for the 2011/2012 crop year are led by China with purchases of 114,600 bales. India, Pakistan, Japan and Indonesia round out the top five with purchases of 69,500 bales, 51,100 bales, 25,200 bales, and 22,800 bales respectively. These five nations account for 75.1 percent of all the export-based purchases of U.S. Pima made to date this year.

Pima harvest in the San Joaquin Valley is moving rapidly toward completion with growers reporting generally strong yields, even after a late start due to a cold, wet spring.

The latest American Pima crop estimate remains unchanged with production estimated at 737,200 bales harvested from 287,000 acres with a projected yield of 1,231 pounds per acre. More than 90 percent of that production will be from California where there are almost 260,000 acres of Pima, all in the San Joaquin Valley.

More than 70,000 bales had been classed at the USDA classing office in Visalia, Calif. through early November and more than 34 percent classed Grade 1 with 61 percent Grade 2, indicating a high quality crop.