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Sharon Johnson: China cotton hit by excessive rain

sharon johnson Updated: 08/23/2010 @ 3:26pm Toll Free 1-866-513-5800 Local 770-992-5000 sharoncjohnson@cottoninfo.net

UPDATE: As a follow-up to the report below from August, the USDA did leave their Chinese crop estimate unchanged at 33 million (480-lb) bales in their supply/demand report released August 12, 2010.                                                                                                              

ATLANTA, Ga--The PECAD division within the Foreign Ag Service arm of the USDA issued a special report regarding the heavy rains of the past month in the Yangtze River Basin as of Jul 31, 2010 and released on the PECAD website today. That report can be found at this website address:  


 In my Jul 23, 2010 report, I discussed production in India and China and the 4 provinces most affected by rainfall per various trade sources in the latter. The PECAD report mentioned these same four provinces as being most affected by excessive precipitation and their importance to national cotton production.  In descending order they are: Hubei (7%), Anhui ((5%), Jiangsu (4%) and Hunan (3%) for a total of 19%.    Rainfall during the past month occurred during the “vegetative and early reproductive” stage which occurred about one week later due to late planting.  In parts of Hubei and Anhui, rainfall was the highest in 14 years but else-where amounts were higher than normal but similar to other recent years.  The net effect on the Yangtze River was to rise to its highest level since 2000.   

In my earlier report, I mentioned the similarity of this year’s rainfall and flooding to that of 1998 but the key difference in holding back the flood waters was the completion of the Three Gorges Dam as it was intended to do.  Rainfall since Jul 31 continued until early this week when conditions turned hot and dry.        

As to specific damage, in Hubei province where cotton plantings average 550K hectares, 176K hectares were impacted by heavy rain of which 88K suffered damage and 12K were destroyed.  Crop losses were also report in parts of Jiangxi (nbr 5 with production in this region and 1% nationally) and portions of Hunan.  Some water logging and lodging was also reported in the other provinces.  PECAD did note that weather has been favorable in other areas where cotton is grown, i.e. eastern and northwestern China and the “crop is appears to be growing well”.

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