The cotton market started this week by rebounding from last Friday’s losses at the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in New York as buying returned to the board, boosted somewhat by a weaker dollar. July cotton traded to up to 65.05 cents per pound before settling at 64.80, up 79 points. The December contract topped at 65.50 cents and settled at 65.34, also up 79 points. All other futures contracts at ICE settled with similar, moderate gains Monday.
Monday’s news also included the Crop Progress report from USDA for the week ended June 7. It showed 81 percent of anticipated U.S. cotton acreage had been planted, up from 61 percent the previous week and just short of the 89 percent five-year average. Texas plantings jumped from 46 percent the previous week to 75 percent but still shy of the five-year average of 86 percent. Oklahoma producers had planted 41 percent of their expected acreage, up from 29 percent the previous week but well below their five-year average of 68 percent. Kansas planting was pegged at 63 percent, up from 11 percent the previous week but well short of the five-year average of 74 percent, according to USDA.
Spread trading and fund rolling were the features during Tuesday’s ICE session as most cotton futures contracts traded higher for most of the day and settled with modest gains in an active session. July and October cotton settled with 25 and 15 point losses, respectively; however, December settled 3 points higher at 65.37 cents per pound. Much of the market talk Tuesday was focused on USDA’s monthly supply and demand estimates to be released the following day.
Some market analysts believe the June supply and demand reports are “famous for not rocking the boat,” and that certainly was the case when they were released at 11:00 a.m. CDT Wednesday. USDA reported no changes in the U.S. balance sheet and only minor changes in the world estimates. The one figure that may have captured the attention of most traders and analysts was a 210,000-bale decline in estimated world ending stocks. Otherwise, the reports were “a non-event,” according to one market observer.
Spreads and position rolls again were the primary features in Wednesday’s ICE session. Without any excitement to be generated by USDA’s supply and demand reports, most traders now are focused on the department’s Planted Acreage report to be released at the end of the month. July cotton again traded above 65.00 cents Wednesday before settling at 64.89, up 34 points. December cotton traded almost up to 66.00 cents and settled at 65.79, up 42 points. All other contracts settled with modest to moderate gains.
Thursday morning began with the release of USDA’s weekly Export Sales and Shipment report. It showed net sales of U.S. upland cotton totaled 43,500 bales in the week ended June 4, down 59 percent from the previous week and 48 percent from the four-week average. Turkey and Vietnam were the featured buyers. Net sales for delivery in the 2015-16 marketing year which begins Aug. 1 totaled 83,200 bales, and Thailand, Mexico and South Korea were the featured buyers. Export shipments for the week totaled 312,100 bales, up 4 percent from the previous week and 3 percent from the four-week average. China, Vietnam, Turkey, South Korea, Mexico, and Indonesia were the primary destinations.
News that China soon will begin selling cotton from its reserves weighed heavily on cotton futures prices Thursday. Contracts held lower most of the day but moved to sharp losses late in the ICE session. July cotton settled 136 points lower at 63.53 cents per pound, and December settled 141 points lower at 64.38 cents. It appeared few traders were reassured by Chinese officials who said the plan to sell cotton from its reserves will be designed to maintain a stable cotton market.