Will the Chinese cotton crop experience another shortfall this year and push U.S. cotton prices to 80 cents by harvest? Will Brazil be successful in marketing the surplus of cotton it produced? Can you turn two years of good prices into three through the use of marketing tools?

For the fifth year in a row, the New York Cotton Forum will attempt to answer these questions and more in two programs — one with an entertaining twist that only New York City can provide.

The forum will be held July 15-16, at the New York Board of Trade headquarters on Manhattan Island in New York City. The program will begin July 15 with a simulated trading session from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This gives those attending the opportunity to “get in the pit” and learn how cotton prices are established on a daily basis.

Afterwards, a shuttle will take those attending to the world famous Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park. The reception dinner will be sponsored by Certified FiberMax and Cotton Incorporated. A reception starts at 6 p.m.

The following day NYBOT will host the fifth annual Cotton Roundtable from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. (eastern time). Sponsors of the event are the Ag Market Network, Certified FiberMax, Cotton Incorporated and Farm Press Publications.

A distinguished panel of cotton market experts will discuss crop conditions, acreage and price forecast. The meeting will be broadcast live on the NYBOT Web site and by teleconference to the Ag Market Network listening audience. Questions for the meeting will be accepted from the listening audience.

The broadcast will also be available for listening after the event on the NYBOT Web site.

Panelists are:

O.A. Cleveland, professor emeritus, Mississippi State University; Carl Anderson, Extension economist, Texas A&M University; and Mike Stevens, Swiss Financial Services. The panelists will provide updates on crop conditions in the West, Southwest, Mid-South and Southeast, and discuss pricing strategies for the coming year.

Other speakers include Patrick McClatchy, executive director, Ag Market Network and special guest speaker Ed Jernigan, The Jernigan Group/Globecot, Inc.

Sell 10! Sell 10!

Last year, 35 people from industry representing growers, ginners, market analysts, a seed company, new media, cooperatives, banking and university Extension attended the mock trading and Cotton Roundtable sessions. In addition, there were over 9,000 hits on NYBOT's banner to get more information about the Cotton Roundtable.

The mock trading session was a great way to show participants how NYBOT operates, according to Charles Parker, who has attended the sessions. “It gave me a better understanding of how the process works. Farmers have to tendency to think it's all collusion and they're all ganging up on us. It's not. They're all independent traders trying to make a living based on the knowledge they have at the time.”

University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor Bruce Roberts said the simulated trading session “is the place to get together with the economists and learn how this is done in the real world.”

Kenneth Hood, producer and ginner from Gunnison, Miss., said of the mock trading session, “It was a great experience to see what was going on and be actively engaged in the participation.”

“Growers know what happens to an order between them and the broker,” said Pat McClatchy, executive director, Ag Market Network, a sponsor of the event. “But they don't know how it's processed when the order comes in to New York, how it gets into the hands of the broker and the bidding and offering that goes back and forth.

“The mock trading session is one of those rare things that is equally entertaining and informative. It's fun, yet they learn so much. It can give those who participate as clear a picture as possible of what happens on the floor.”

South Georgia cotton producer and ginner Mark Hanna said of the traders, “These guys may not know what a cotton field looks like, but this is how price discovery works. if you want to hedge, you have to have somebody who wants to buy the cotton.”

The NYBOT events will be held at the NYBOT's new facilities and trading floor in the New York Mercantile Exchange Building in Manhattan. NYBOT's facilities at Four World Trade Center were destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks on America.

Until the new facilities were ready in 2003, the exchange operated from its backup facility in Long Island City in Queens.

For additional details on the program, including registration and directions, please call Pat McClatchy at (888) 795-8071.

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com