Cotton Isn't The Enemy Any More;
Under Armour Announces New "Charged Cottonª" Line

Friday, February 4, 2011                            By Shawn Wade

      Marketing campaigns aimed at eating into the market share of cotton, nature's original performance fiber, have been a constant reminder of the important role that Cotton Incorporated plays in the effort to keep cotton a consumer favorite and on the cutting edge of textile technology.

      Fortunately, few of the campaigns targeting cotton have had a significant impact on cotton's overall market share, although some have managed to raise the hackles of cotton growers.

      One that did both, however, was Under Armour's "Cotton Is The Enemy" campaign, which helped the company grab a 75 percent share of the market for man-made performance athletic apparel, and with it a significant percentage of the market for cotton athletic apparel as well.

      It is no secret that high performance textile products like those manufactured and marketed by Under Armour are the direct descendents of man-made fabrics that were initially created to mimic the characteristics and performance of cotton. Under Armour, admittedly, took it to the next level by incorporating the latest textile technology in an effort to surpass cotton's natural performance capabilities. They succeeded.

      Fortunately, that was yesterday. Today cotton is set to make a comeback in the high performance athletic apparel market. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Cotton Incorporated researchers, who took on the challenge of creating technologies that allow cotton to match the performance of newer man-made fabrics, cotton is poised to claim its share of a growing athletic apparel market.

      The fact that Under Armour - the company that, up to now, viewed cotton as its biggest enemy - is on the leading edge of cotton's comeback is an unexpected, but exciting development.

      With the announcement that Under Armour is set to roll out its first cotton product line, christened "Charged Cottonª", it appears that cotton growers may have finally seen the last of those pesky "Cotton Is The Enemy" signs and that Under Armour is intent on capitalizing on the strong preference that consumers continue to have for high cotton content products.

      In an interview announcing the company's new cotton line on CNBC's "Strategy Session," Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said, "The cotton consumer has been out there for a long time. The reason we got in this product to begin with is we looked in a kids drawer, we looked in an 18 year-old's drawer and there are 30 t-shirts in the drawer - 26 are cotton and four are technical performance.

      "We looked and finally said, 'Hey, wait a second.' We may think cotton is the enemy, but our consumer certainly doesn't."

      The new Under Armour apparel line will include t-shirts and shorts for men and women and represents a huge step forward for cotton's viability in the synthetic-dominated athletic apparel category.

      Speaking about the collaboration with Under Armour, Cotton Incorporated President and CEO J. Berrye Worsham said, "Several years ago when we heard the line 'Cotton Is The Enemy,' it didn't make us angry, it made us more determined to make cotton products better (for athletic apparel)."

      Worsham added that, "Cotton Incorporated has been thrilled to collaborate with Under Armour to help bring 'Charged Cotton' to consumers."

      The introduction of so-called 'technical cottons' into the synthetic-dominated athletic apparel category is beneficial to multiple sectors of the supply chain. With them brands are able to expand their selections with a natural fiber option, and cotton stands to gain market share in the athletic apparel category.

      However, the real winners are the consumers. A recent Cotton Incorporated survey revealed that when consumers were asked whether they would purchase cotton sports apparel that offered the same performance features as Under Armour, almost all of them (97%) said they would prefer a cotton alternative or would be willing to try it.

      The Under Armour "Charged Cottonª" line will be available in stores in March, 2011.

 

Upland Cotton Average Price Received by
Growers Through December 2010

Friday, February 4, 2011                            By Shawn Wade

      Cumulative Upland cotton marketings for the first five months of the 2010 marketing year have eclipsed the total number of bales reported during the entire 2009 marketing year according to information released January 31, 2011 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

      Coming in at 4.22 million bales, estimated marketings for the month of December 2010 were only 453,000 bales fewer than the total bales marketed during the first five months of the 2009 marketing year.

      USDA estimated the average selling price for cotton marketed during the month of December 2010 at 80.90 cents per pound. The preliminary mid-month price reported for January 2011 was estimated at 82.90 cents per pound.

      To date, total marketings for the 2010 marketing year stand at 10.925 million bales, a staggering 6.252 million bales more than was marketed through the same period last year. That figure is also just over 1 million bales more than were reported to USDA as marketed during all of the 2009 marketing year.

      So far the 2010 Upland Cotton Weighted Average Price calculated through December 2010 has climbed to 80.02 cents per pound.

      With the addition of the December 2010 figures the calculated 2010 Weighted Average Price Received is 15.44 cents above the 64.58-cent threshold where the Upland cotton Counter-cyclical payment goes to zero and 19.53 cents above the average calculated a year ago at this time.

 

Continued on page 2

      The following table shows the average price received each month by farmers and the associated weighted average price based on prices and cumulative marketings reported from August 1 through December 31, 2010.

      The 2010 Counter-cyclical payment rate authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill would be based on the 12-month Weighted Average Price Received by growers. For cotton the 12-month Weighted Average Price will reflect price and marketings for the 2010 marketing year. The 2010 cotton marketing year began in August 1, 2010 and ends July 31, 2011.

Average Price Received For 2010-crop Upland Cotton
(Weighted by Marketings)

 

Marketings

Prices

 

(000's of Running bales)

(cents/Lb.)

 

Monthly

Cum.

Monthly

Weighted

August '10

387

387

77.20

77.20

September '10

496

883

74.70

75.80

October '10

2,203

3.086

78.10

77.44

November '10

3,619

6,705

81.20

79.47

December '10

4,220

10,925

80.90

80.02

January '11

n/a

n/a

82.90*

n/a

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary

 

 

The COTTON USA Advantage

CCI FAX – February 1, 2011

      The COTTON USA Sourcing Program welcomed two new members to its program during the 23rd annual Colombiatex trade show in Medell’n. Seven members of the COTTON USA Sourcing Program displayed samples of their products at the COTTON USA pavilion, which highlighted the benefits of U.S. cotton and cotton products.

      Cotton Incorporated also participated by conducting five presentations on the "Color, Silhouettes and Texture Trends Spring - Summer 2012." A second conference was presented on the current cotton price situation. Approximately 250 people from the regional textile industry attended the conferences. A private forum regarding the current cotton price situation was held for the presidents, general managers and purchasing managers of select manufacturers.

      The COTTON USA Sourcing Program held an industry event on the second day of Colombiatex where U.S. mills met with 61 representatives of the Andean textile industry.

      In order to draw attendees to the COTTON USA Sourcing Program stand, the Program placed its logo and those of all 12 U.S. mill members on 11,000 bags distributed at the show entrance. Two advertisements about the COTTON USA Sourcing Program and member mills also appeared inside the show's directory. U.S. mills participating with CCI and Cotton Incorporated at Colombiatex included American Denimatrix, Antex Knitting Mills, Buhler Quality Yarns, Frontier Spinning, Parkdale, Tuscarora, and Zagis USA.

 

2010 Crop Quality Report

      The following is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2010 production season.

 

Current Week:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

14,491

21+ - 82.0%

31 - 10.8%

1.80

34.79

Lubbock

12,200

21+ - 61.0%

31 - 38.4%

2.09

36.06

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.28

28.78

79.88

7.7%

Lubbock

4.15

29.33

80.59

3.2%

 

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

1,314,234

21+ - 83.8%

31 - 11.2%

2.14

35.35

Lubbock

3,939,562

21+ - 84.3%

31 - 12.1%

2.30

35.98

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.35

29.56

80.65

8.4%

Lubbock

4.02

30.24

80.59

8.8%

Source: USDA AMS

 

2011 Production Conference & Meeting Dates

Date

Event

Feb 8

Cotton Production Meeting, Wellington

Feb 9

Southwest Farm & Ranch Classic, Civic Center, Lubbock

Feb 9

Cotton Planning Conference, Groom

Feb 10

South Plains Ag Conference, American Legion, Brownfield

Feb 10

Hale/Swisher Crops Conference, Ollie Liner Center, Plainview

Feb 11

Cotton Conference, Hereford

Feb 21

Cotton Variety Meeting, Farwell

Feb 22

Sandyland Ag Conference, Seminole

 

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