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Brazilian cotton prices oscillate in November

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 In light of the fierce competition between agents, cotton quotes oscillated in the Brazilian market during the first fortnight of November. From October 31 to November 14, the CEPEA/ESALQ cotton Index, with payment in 8 days, remained stable at 2.9510 BRL per pound on November 14. only a few agents were active in the spot market during the fortnight.

During the fortnight, cotton farmers continued focused on both processing the 2017-18 crop and exports, and most of the batches available in the spot had not been approved in sales through contracts. Processors, in turn, were searching for higher quality and smaller-sized batches, in order to complement the deliveries already scheduled, Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA) said in its fortnightly report on the Brazilian cotton market.

Meanwhile, in Mato Grosso, the main cotton-producing state in Brazil, Instituto Matogrossense de Economia Agropecuária (IMEA) has estimated the 2017-18 total crop at 1.358 million tons. Until November 12, 84.59 per cent of the crop from that state had been harvested.

Regarding the estimates for the 2018-19 crop, data released by Conab (National Company for Food Supply) on November 8 indicated that the area allocated to cotton in Brazil should increase by 12.1-21.4 per cent compared to the previous season. As a result, Brazilian production may rise to 2.157 to 2.337 million tons, i.e. an increase between 7.6 per cent and 16.5 per cent. However, the average productivity is forecast at 1,639 kilos per hectare, 4 per cent down compared to the 2017-18 crop.

In Mato Grosso, the area allocated to the 2018-19 cotton crop may increase by 10-20 per cent compared to the previous season, according to data from Conab. The harvesting may reach between 1.423 and 1.552 million tons, 10.3-20.3 per cent up than the previous season.

In Bahia, the other cotton producing region, the area allocated to cotton is expected to increase 13.8-21.4 per cent compared to 2017-18, according to Conab. However, the average productivity is forecast at 1,588 kilos per hectare (down 16 per cent).

On the export front, October was a good period for Brazilian cotton. According to data from Secretariat of Foreign Trade (SECEX), Brazil shipped 163,000 tons last month, which is more than double the quantity (72,600 tons) exported in September 2018. Revenue totalled $282.8 million in October, much higher than the $127.5 million from the previous month and 5.9 per cent more than that from October 2017.

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