The seven-market U.S. average cotton spot price, which ended 2015 at $0.63 per pound, plunged by almost 11 percent in the first two months of 2016 to $0.56, but then rose to finish March at just over $0.57. So far in April, the upward trend seems to be continuing, with benchmark prices in most markets flat to higher.
The most recent estimate for the world’s consumption increased slightly to 109.6 million bales.
Next month, the USDA is expected to release its first set of estimates for the 2016/2017 growing season. Preliminary indications are that acreage in China will decrease, but that other major producing countries will dedicate the same or more land to cotton. U.S. growers are expected to plant 11 percent more cotton than in the current season.