December cotton futures closed at 58.97 cents, up 2.87 cents, following the report’s release Wednesday.

This month’s U.S. projections for the 2003/04 cotton crop include lower beginning and ending stocks. Projections of production and exports were unchanged from last month. Domestic mill use was reduced 100,000 bales, as recent activity indicates a slightly more pessimistic outlook. Projected ending stocks were reduced to 4.5 million bales, or 24 percent of total use.

World 2003/04 projections reflect lower production and stock prospects relative to last month. World production was forecast at 95.5 million bales, 1.0 million bales lower than last month, due to unfavorable early-season conditions in some key cotton-producing regions. World consumption and trade forecasts were unchanged. World ending stocks are now projected at 33.1 million bales, 4 percent below last month's level.

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com