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Delays, shortages impacting the cotton industry

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 4:09 PM EST
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METTER, Ga. (WTOC) - These days, the hottest commodity in the cotton business is not the cotton or the cotton seed, it’s the space to hold either one.

The mountain of cotton seed grows with every shipment of raw cotton that comes in for ginning. At Growers Supply and Gin, they’ve had to slow down because they’re running out of space for the seed.

“Right now, we can’t get trucks and we can’t get containers to ship seed in a timely manner,” gin operator Craig Lanier said.

The gin process divides the seed from the cotton lint. While there’s a market for both, they need empty containers and empty ships to export it.

Lanier says they empty the seed warehouse once or twice per season. Cotton prices have risen, and farmers all want to get their crop processed and sold. But this logistical bottleneck has slowed the process.

Lanier and others hope the market price can stay up until exporting can resume.

“They’re not going to care why they were delayed. They’re just going to be upset they don’t get that high price,” Lanier said.

He says he’s ready to see both commodities shipping again quickly.

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