The blue line in the chart above shows actual weekly export shipments through ten days of the 2023/24 marketing year (converted from running bales into 480 lb. statistical bales, using USDA’s conversion factor of 1.03). The week ending November 2 saw export shipments below the weekly average pace needed to reach USDA’s 12.2 million bale target. However, this pace is not unusual. The normal seasonal pattern is lower weekly export shipments in the fall and higher in the spring/summer.
Another indicator of export demand is the percent of U.S. export total commitments to USDA’s forecast export target of 12.2 million bales. Total commitments of all cotton as of November 2, 2023 included 2,090,705 bales worth of accumulated exports of all cotton, i.e., pima and upland sold and actually shipped since August 1. It also includes another 4,991,989 running bales of pima and upland sold but not yet shipped (“outstanding sales”). The total of accumulated exports and outstanding sales is 7,082,694 running bales of total commitments which, after converting to statistical bales, is 60% of USDA’s 12.2 million bale target for 2023/24 U.S. exports. This is in the middle of historical seasonal patterns of export sales as a percent of total forecasted exports (see below).