U.S. cotton crop pegged at 17.5 million bales

On the heels of a lower estimate of planted area reported last month, USDA reduced the size of the U.S. cotton crop to 17.5 million bales, a drop of 1.3 million bales, in its July 12 crop production report.

U.S. cotton acres are estimated at 11.1 million acres, the lowest since 1989. Harvested cotton acres for 2007-08 are projected at 10.5 million acres, reflecting an abandonment rate of about 5 percent, which is lower from last month due to reduced planted acres in Texas.

World 2007-08 projections show sharply lower production occurring mainly in major exporting countries offset by a statistical adjustment in China's production. Production was reduced in the United States, the African Franc Zone, Australia, and Turkey, but raised in Egypt.

World cotton consumption was reduced slightly, due mainly to lower consumption in Pakistan. A slight reduction in world trade is attributable mainly to lower imports by China and lower exports by the United States. World stocks are projected about 1 percent below last month.

Due to a 2.5-million-acre increase in harvested area, USDA raised corn production 380 million bushels from last month. Exports for 2007-08 were raised 25 million bushels due to larger domestic supplies, lower prices, and reduced foreign exports. Ending stocks were raised to 1.5 billion bushels, up 505 million from last month.

China corn production was raised 2 million tons to 148 million tons as higher area and improved yield prospects are expected to boost output.

Soybean production is projected at 2.625 billion bushels, down 120 million bushels due to projections for lower harvested acres. Lower production and reduced carry-in leave 2007-08 soybean stocks at 245 million bushels, down 75 million from last month. Soybean exports were raised 10 million bushels to 1.090 billion bushels.

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