The blue line in the chart above shows actual weekly export shipments through the past week of the 2020/21 marketing year (converted from running bales into 480 lb. statistical bales, using USDA’s conversion factor of 1.03). The red line shows the level of exports of all U.S. cotton (i.e., upland and pima) required to meet the USDA 2020/21 projection (14.6 million bales as of the October WASDE) of what total exports will be by July 31, 2021. The level of actual shipments (the blue line) has gyrated above and below the level needed to reach USDA’s target. It’s a long time til July, 2020, so we’ll see how the weekly shipments average out in relation to the weekly target.
Another indicator of export demand is the percent of U.S. export total commitments to USDA’s forecast export target of 14.6 million bales. Total commitments of all cotton as of October 15, 2021 include 2,822,361 bales worth of accumulated exports of all cotton, i.e., pima and upland sold and actually shipped. It also includes another 6,016,436 running bales of pima and upland sold but not yet shipped (“outstanding sales”). The total of accumulated exports and outstanding sales is 8,838,847 running bales of total commitments which, after converting to statistical bales, is 62% of USDA’s 14.6 million bale target for 2020/21 U.S. exports. That puts 2020/21 export commitments in the top third for this point in the marketing year (see magenta line below).