GROWERS WHO traded their cotton bales online this marketing year received an average of 11.14 cents per pound over the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) loan rate, according to The Seam, an Internet-based global marketplace for the buying and selling of cotton. The analysis is based on all grower-to-business transactions on the The Seam since Aug. 1, 2003.

The report was based on sales of 774,497 bales.

The premium was more than 14 cents per pound higher than the previous season. This year, growers trading online were in position to take advantage of strong harvest time prices. New York Board of Trade futures prices rallied in early September, 2003.

The Seam's member-growers use the Domestic Trading system to offer their bales to a community of more than 75 buyer firms.

Sellers are guaranteed by The Seam to receive payment when their cotton is sold. The online company also clears the transaction on behalf of both buyer and seller.

The Seam also announced that its certified FiberMax offerings produced a premium of 13.44 cents per pound over the CCC loan rate on lots of predominantly certified bales.

Bales of certified FiberMax cotton are automatically branded online through a partnership between The Seam and Bayer CropScience.