India will again prove to be a major competitor for U.S. producers, starting sometime around December 2010, according to Joe Nicosia, Allenberg president and CEO.

“But will they hit the same bump in the road as they did in 2009 when they banned exports out of worry they might oversell their crop?”

The export ban “has given them a stigma,” Nicosia said at the Cotton Roundtable in New York City. “The government has said they will allow free exports Oct. 1. To get their market share back, they’ll have to sell at a discount to the rest of the world.”

Nicosia says that from now until the world new crop starts coming out of fields, the United States “faces very limited competition for export sales. Literally, every country in the world is sold out. So we’re going to continue to be able to build an export base and put on a great deal of sales.”

After that, competition will again heat up “until India puts on its next export ban, which could happen sometime in April, through either taxation or an export ban.”

That will present another window of opportunity for the United States, “until the Southern Hemisphere crops in Brazil and Australia start to come off.

“The rest of the world is going to use 18.3 million bales more than it produces. If the United States does not have a huge crop, the world would not have enough cotton to meet demand. Foreign stocks are extremely low, so the export prospects we have today could easily blossom and move up, if the overseas crops are not also extremely large.”

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com