The blue line in the chart above shows actual weekly export shipments through the past week of the 2018/19 marketing year (converted from running bales into 480 lb. statistical bales). The red line shows the level of exports of all U.S. cotton (i.e., upland and pima) required to meet the USDA projection (15.7 million bales) of what total exports will be by July 31, 2019. The level actual shipments is currently below that which is necessary.
Another indicator of export demand is the percent of U.S. export total commitments to USDA’s forecasted export target of 15.7 million bales. Total commitments of all cotton as of September 13, 2018 include 1,117,672 bales worth of accumulated exports of all cotton, i.e., pima and upland sold and actually shipped. It also includes another 8,082,908 bales of pima and upland sold but not yet shipped (“outstanding sales”). The total of these is 9,200,580 bales of total commitments which is 59% of USDA’s 15.7 million bale target for 2018/19 U.S. exports. Such a percentage is higher than in the previous six years (see the black line on the chart below), and represents a continuing indicator of good export demand (assuming there isn’t a high level of cancellations of outstanding sales to China).