It does make for challenging price prognostication for 2012 and 2013, according to the analysts.

Anderson noted, “as we look at December 2012, there are a lot of things that might happen. Between now and September, I’m thinking about a range between 65 cents and 75 cents. But once we get into September and October, and we can determine more about the size of the U.S. and Indian cotton crops, we could see December 2012 perk up to the 80-cent level.

“I would think that to get cotton planted in Brazil and other major cotton producing areas and in the United States, we would need to see December 2013 move on into the 85-cent to 95-cent range to hold acres against current levels of grain prices.”

According to Stevens, the maximum potential for cotton prices “is 80 cents on the nearby December. And I would hope we could get to 90 cents for December 2013.”

“This market is telling you that it really doesn’t know what to expect,” Neeper said. “I don’t expect a lot of price movement, especially in the near-term. If we can get to 77 cents to 80 cents on a whim, that would be great. I would be surprised to see it going back to 65 cents.”

Neeper says in 2013, perceived tightness in old crop cotton could pull up new crop prices. “I don’t see December 2013 doing a whole lot between now and planting time. If December 2012 manages to get to 77 cents to 80 cents, then 2013 can get up to 84 cents to 86 cents between now and next spring. But that’s asking a lot given all of the headwinds and uncertainty out there.”