US cotton prices have climbed to about 75¢/lb (45p/lb) largely on the back of a smaller than expected harvest, reports the Financial Times.
Weather problems in China, creating the possibility of a shortage, have heightened the market outlook.
But this optimism is set against a background of shrinking prices over a number of years. Cotton was trading at 90¢/lb three years ago.
Cotton production this year is likely to be down. The US Department of Agriculture estimates it will fall 24% by 14.2m bales.
The cotton crop has been damaged by either the weather or insects.
- Financial Times 01/09/98 page 32