Monday’s Crop Progress report seemed to hold few surprises for the cotton industry. It indicated that U.S. plantings had increased 4% to 13% complete last week. The chart below summarizes the data, showing the latest result is very close to the year-ago figure, but well behind the 10-year average at 20% complete.
The disparity between progress in different states is quite surprising. For example, California planting is nearly complete (at 95%), whereas Texas acreage is just 15% along. Little has been done in the Southeast either, and probably won’t progress much this week in the wake of the big storm system still sweeping across the Eastern states.
The progress report may have spurred some ICE futures buying, but it probably surprised very few industry participants. Nevertheless, after wallowing around in early action, futures vaulted upward as the day passed. As pointed out in yesterday’s comments, bears couldn’t force the most-active July contract price below technical support associated with its 40-day moving average.
That fact probably sparked fresh technical buying today, although bulls were very likely encouraged by concurrent gains in the grain and soy markets. Having the July future close above former resistance around the 93.50-cent level could encourage even more buying Wednesday, especially if the recent dearth of pertinent fundamental news persists.