An In-Depth Look at Cotton Bales

An In-depth Look at Cotton Bales

It takes a lot of work and processing to bring raw, field cotton from the farmland to our homes, in its final form in a variety of products ranging from clothing and linens to nonwoven products like feminine hygiene and baby care.

In the course of reading about cotton at any point in the supply and distribution chain, you’ll often see the term “bale” referenced, as a unit for referencing cotton. In today’s article, we’ll take an in-depth look at cotton bales. Continue reading

Economic Forecast: First Quarter 2019

Economic Forecast: First Quarter 2019

As the 2018 cotton crop comes to a close, the overriding theme continues to be the trade showdown with China.  On any given day, one might hear that trade talks are moving forward, and the very next day we hear that the trade talks are stalled or are even closed.  The only thing that’s clear is that Sino-American trade talks are volatile, and both the US and China are trying to better their perceived position. Continue reading

What Determines the Quality of Cotton for Nonwoven Manufacturers?

Quality for Nonwoven Manufacturers

In one of our articles from this past summer, we discussed several influences on the price of cotton worldwide, including the commodities markets and several factors related to the grading and classification of cotton based on quality.

Among the factors considered for measuring quality and determining class in a universal sense that’s unbiased by the application were color, uniformity, leaf, staple length, micronaire, strength, and trash content (bark, leaf, and other extraneous matter). For some market applications, such as certain types of fine, expensive clothing, all of these factors may be important. But for other applications, such as those marketed by nonwoven manufacturers, some factors have more importance than those in knitting of woven fabrics.

Let’s take a look at the factors that most affect the quality of cotton in nonwoven fabrics. Continue reading

What determines the quality of cotton: Cotton Classification and How That Determines Its Use in the Supply Chain

Cotton Classification how that determines use in the supply chain

In a recent post “What Determines the Price of Cotton,” we discussed how cotton’s value or price is determined by a variety of factors, but perhaps most of all by how it’s graded according to USDA standards for classification.

The USDA uses standardized procedures for evaluating the physical attributes of raw cotton in order to provide buyers with a clear expectation of the quality of a specific bale of cotton for marketing and processing purposes. This process determines the value of a bale of cotton based on a set of predetermined criteria, such as fiber length, length uniformity, color, strength, micronaire, leaf grade, and extraneous matter. Continue reading

Economic Recap: 2018 Cotton Crop Outlook & Market Prices

Cotton Economic Report 2018 Q2 Recap

As is always the case with a natural product such as cotton, there are important times during the growing season that will determine the outcome of the crop. In many areas of the country, the blooms are on the plant, meaning that the cotton boll will soon appear. Some areas of the US are still looking for timely rainfall, while others only want good heat from the sun and very little rain. Clearly, the weather is out of our control, so let’s break down what the US crop is looking like as some areas of the country, such as the Corpus Christi area of Texas, are beginning the harvest, picking, ginning, and classing their cotton. Continue reading