A recent announcement from India states that the 5.5million bales allocated for export for all of 2011 have been booked and registered in the first 10 days of release. Heavy booking from China subsequent to the Chinese holidays combined with domestic demand are forcing prices ever higher. Current cotton pricing is nearing $1.20 a pound (bear in mind that a year ago it was at $.55 a pound). Fears in India are of limited to no availability of cotton fiber for their domestic market in the first quarter. This bodes poorly for our market, as exported fiber and yarns from the major producing countries are diverted to their own markets or bid up in the Asian market. Forecasts for domestic pricing are an additional increase of 20-30% by January. We have experienced increases of nearly 10% in just the past three weeks!
Conversations with many knowledgeable business leaders indicate the first quarter of 2011 will bring us delayed deliveries and shortfalls. Availability will be an issue. We strongly urge our customers to consider bulking up inventories by December to avoid any dramatic delays. We realize this will mean additional investment , but better to have the goods on the floor than to be unable to meet deliveries. Anticipate an additional 3-4 weeks of lead time for orders placed on custom goods after January, and plan accordingly.