Higher cotton prices would obviously be a good thing for those selling cotton, but local experts say it is unlikely hurricane Ivan will drive those prices up. Here's why: World-wide production this year is projected at one 100 million bales of cotton. Here on the South Plains, and in the Panhandle, we produce about 4.2 million of those bales. Mississippi and Georgia combined are only projected to produce 3.8 million bales this year. That's a small portion of worldwide production.
Roger Haldenby of Plains Cotton Growers says, "It would have to wipe out two or three million bales worth of production to create a substantial change in the price of cotton on the world market." Financial expert, Greg Jones, says, "We'll take out 400,000 to 500,000 bales maybe with this disaster and we'll still raise over 20 million bales according to the USDA nationwide this year. So supplies will still be very adequate."
Experts say even if the price of cotton did go up, consumers would not be affected when buying clothing for example. That's because raw material costs are miniscule to manufacturers compared to the cost of production. Another interesting fact, experts tell NewsChannel 11 cotton prices are currently on the low side because there is a cotton surplus right now.