USDA sees bigger cotton, rice crops

The USDA is anticipating larger cotton and rice crops in 2023.

This year’s cotton crop is estimated at 15.5 million bales, which would be up more than a million from 2022, with higher harvested area canceling out an expected lower yield. Harvested area this year is pegged at 8.71 million acres, compared to 7.31 million a year ago, with an average yield of 854 pounds per acre, compared to 950 last year.

New crop cotton ending stocks are seen at 3.3 million bales, compared to the projection of 3.5 million for the current marketing year, with the USDA expecting better export demand.

Rice production is projected at 192.7 million hundredweight, a potential jump of 32.3 million hundredweight, on larger acreage and yield estimates. This year’s harvested area is estimated at 2.54 million acres with an average yield of 7,587 pounds per acre, compared to 2.17 million and 7,383 in 2022.

That rise in production is expected to push new crop ending stocks sharply higher even with expected improvements in export demand. 2023/24 ending stocks are seen at 31.3 million hundredweight, compared to 27.6 million for 2022/23.

These numbers are highly subject to change with planting ongoing for both crops and a full season of development ahead.

The new marketing year for cotton and rice is starts August 1st.

The USDA’s next round of supply and demand estimates is out June 9th.

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