2001 Beltwide Cotton Conference Brighter Future

2001 Beltwide Cotton Conference: Brighter Future Memphis cotton merchant William B. Dunavant Jr.
told 2001 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference attendees in Anaheim, Calif., that cotton
production for the year 2000 will be about 17.2 million bales, compared with 16.6 million in 1999.
He added, however, that both years were disasterous with respect to quality and yield.For
2001-2002, Dunavant projected U.S. domestic consumption of 9.9 million bales and exports of at
least 8.3 million bales, as the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) kicks in. The cotton industry has
struggled the last three years, but I truly believe that our future today is brighter than it has
been in a number of years, he said.He said the U.S. textile industry will be fortunate to consume
9.7 million bales in 2000, compared with the U.S. Department of Agricultures (USDA) projected 9.8
million. He projected exports between 7 million and 7.3 million bales, with a substantial increase
in exports from February forward.Dunavant said major buyers of world cotton have changed
dramatically because of the shift in the textile industry from developed to developing
countries.What we see is Mexico, Brazil, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Russia and Turkey expanding
their cotton consumption, and the major traditional consumers like Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong
Kong losing their textile industries, Dunavant said. He added that he doesnt see China as a major
exporter this season because there is inadequate supply for export of high-quality cotton and
because its domestic industry requires this cotton.Robert McLendon, National Cotton Council (NCC)
president, told conference attendees that the NCC is devoting considerable resources to technology
advances, including efforts to improve cotton yield and quality. Efforts are necessary because a
combination of yield and quality losses has wrung most of the profits out of cotton production in
recent years, and world prices continue to languish below production costs, he said.McLendons
report described NCC-supported yield and quality objectives that he said are fundamental to
improving the U.S. cotton industrys profitability and maintaining its competitive edge.
March 2001