Cotton Market Gets Soft

Cotton prices fell Friday below 60 cents per pound for the first time since November. The cotton market has been languishing under 70 cents for almost two years, disappointing farmers and investors.

Analysts expect prices to be under pressure in the coming year as US producers are expected to increase cotton acreage this year. The US is the world’s largest exporter and third-largest grower of cotton, making our acreage decisions important worldwide.

Meanwhile, China, the world’s largest grower and user of cotton, is sitting on a massive stockpile of cotton, as are many other countries around the world. In total, global stockpiles of cotton stand near 50 billion pounds, enough cotton to make 17 t-shirts for every person on earth!

As consumers use more alternative fibers, like polyester, rayon, flax, and hemp, it appears that the cotton market will need a fundamental shift in the supply/demand picture to boost prices.