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High-grade cotton should get a premiumHigh-grade cotton should get a premium

High grade will be key to 70-cent cottonAvailability of  quality cotton may be a market advantage

Ron Smith 1

December 17, 2015

2 Min Read
<p>High grade bales will be a key to 70-cent cotton prices.</p>

Seventy cents per pound for 2016 cotton is possible, says cotton buyer Robert Luehrs, who also says high quality bales will be the key.

“We all know yield and quality go hand in hand in contributing to grower’s revenue stream,” says the Texas purchasing manager for Allenberg Cotton Co. at Corpus Christi, Texas, who spoke at the recent Texas Plant Protection Association annual conference at Bryan, Texas.

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 Several factors, including potential shortfalls in foreign competitors’ harvests, offer hope for a decent price, he says. “A 70 cents per pound goal for the 2015 crop in South Texas was a reasonable target. Why not for 2016? High grade bales will be the key — even though basis may be a tad less, we are set up to get 64 cents per pound, and adding the LDP on top of that, we should be right at 70 cents. We anticipate an increase in premium for cotton grading 36 or longer. But lower grades could be 500 points off. We anticipate an increase in the LDP for high grades and long staple.”

He says about half of the 2015 Texas cotton crop has been classed. “Newer varieties are doing an excellent job producing long staple bales.”


Luehrs expects U.S. stocks into 2016 to be tighter. “China still has substantial stocks, but the quality of that cotton is a question.” Pakistan and India cotton stocks are declining. “We don’t know about Brazil’s numbers, but stocks will be smaller.” Australia also expects smaller ending stocks, he says.

“Economic recovery in areas of the world where demand has weakened would also help restore U.S. exports of all qualities. We hope South Texas will benefit from high-grade bales in 2016.”

Luehrs says cotton’s biggest competitor remains synthetic fiber. “For the last 20 years, cotton’s share of the fabric market has been shrinking.”


About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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