Fwd: Floods Damage Cotton Crops in Australia’s Queensland (Update1)

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Floods Damage Cotton Crops in Australia's Queensland (Update1)
2010-12-29 03:55:02.113 GMT

(Updates with prices in sixth paragraph.)

By Wendy Pugh
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Flooding in Australia, the fourth-
largest cotton exporter, washed away some crops and may reduce
yields in Queensland state, an industry group said.
About 7,500 hectares (18,533 acres) at Theodore have been
destroyed, David Bone, communications manager at Sydney-based
Cotton Australia, said by phone. The effect of rain on crop
losses and yields in other areas, where floods may more quickly
subside, will depend on weather in coming weeks, he said.
Cotton futures surged to an all-time high last week on
speculation that global demand led by China will outpace supply.
Cotton Australia said Dec. 8 that national production this
season may reach a record 4.2 million bales, with 665,000
hectares planted, after wet weather ended drought in the
country's east and boosted irrigation dams.
"Around Theodore, crop has been washed away," Bone said.
"There would be losses in other areas but you need the water to
go off the land and for the crop to attempt to recover before
you can really say what the situation is," he said.
It's too soon to revise output forecasts, with harvesting
to mostly start in April, he said.
Cotton for March delivery declined 1.4 percent to $1.4231 a
pound on ICE Futures U.S. at 2:54 p.m. Melbourne time. The price
reached a record $1.5912 on Dec. 21.
Production in Australia may gain to 894,000 metric tons in
2010-2011, compared with 387,000 tons last season, the
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and
Sciences said in a report Dec. 7. The forecast equals 3.9
million bales weighing 227 kilograms (500 pounds) each,
according to Bloomberg calculations.
Australia had its wettest September-to-November spring on
record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. The rain has
continued this month, disrupting grain harvesting and coal
production and forcing hundreds of people to be evacuated.

For Related News and Information:
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--Editors: Matthew Oakley, Richard Dobson.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Wendy Pugh in Melbourne +61-3-9228-8736 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Richard Dobson at +86-21-6104-3030 or