Weekly Export Shipments and Total Commitments

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 May 9 saw export shipments continue to remain below the weekly average pace needed to reach USDA’s 12.3 million bale target.

Another indicator of export demand is the percent of U.S. export total commitments to USDA’s forecast export target of 12.3 million bales. Total commitments of all cotton as of May 9, 2024 included 8,813,227 bales worth of accumulated exports of all cotton, i.e., pima and upland sold and actually shipped since August 1. It also includes another 3,296,959 running bales of pima and upland sold but not yet shipped (“outstanding sales”). The total of accumulated exports and outstanding sales is 12,110,186 running bales of total commitments which, after converting to statistical bales, is 101% of USDA’s 12.3 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).  The 101% suggests that the 12.3 million bale target may be too high.  Perhaps some of the old net export sales will either be cancelled or, more likely, rolled forward into the next marketing year (because of the sub-par pace of shipping).


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