Rose On Cotton: Approaches To Selling Those Bales On Hand

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

    The Dec contract began the week with a 6 point gap higher and never recovered any portion of the gap en route to a 147 point weekly gain. On the whole, it was a positive week for the cotton market, although there are some ominous points lurking in the latest USDA balance sheets.

    As per our expectations, US production was projected lower (by about 100K) bales vs the Sept WASDE report, and this week’s strong export sales likely prevented the USDA from lowering its US export projection. Again, a decrease in estimated production should not have been a surprise as the same plots within the same fields were again assayed.

    At this point of the season yield enhancement must be realized via lint weight, turnout, less than average loss, etc. If the crop is ultimately found to be larger than is currently projected, it will likely be attributable to statistical sampling error. And, keep in mind that the USDA is quite sophisticated with respect to sampling techniques.

    Ultimately, US ending stocks were projected 100K bales lower at 3.1M vs our published estimate of 3.2M. And, we look for this season’s US crop to get smaller, given that the bulk of the damage done recently along the eastern seaboard will likely not become evident until the release of the Nov WASDE report.

    While this news is supportive (at the expense of some US producers), the aggregate world projections were less encouraging.

    Despite an approximate 1.35M debit to the aggregate world production projection, beginning stocks were enhanced and consumption was debited nearly 1.2M bales vs Sept (approximately 2.2M bales lower vs Aug). World ending stocks were projected 700K bales higher at nearly 107M (which the market seems to be numb to), but it is the continued debits to expected consumption that, in our opinion, are the most troublesome statistic in recent reports.

    For next week, the standard technical analysis for and money flow into the Dec contract remain bearish with the market having worked off much of its recent weekly oversold condition. It seems that the market has found a level near 60.00 at which cotton can be sold and fixed. Some commotion was made about such a large share of sales being made to our friends in Mexico and while this is a valid point, we expect others to come to the table below the current market. But we will likely be looking at lower net sales on next week’s report.

    Additionally, index fund rolling periods begin late this month, which almost always bring downward pressure to our market and such may keep any rallies associated with further US production debits in check.

    Our advice to producers at this point is fairly straightforward: Sell higher quality recaps against a strong basis and hold base or lower quality cotton to build larger recaps. Note that we don’t recommend a long term hold unless your brother-in-law is in the warehouse business, though. Best to let someone else own your cotton before the first of the year and parlay any bullish sentiment into May or July call options.

    The Rose Report weekly edition is published and made available free of charge as a courtesy to producers, ginners, merchants, agents and all others who have an interest in the cotton market. To obtain a free trial of the more comprehensive and up-to-date Rose Report daily and weekly cotton and grain editions, or to learn more about our other cotton analyses and analytic services please visit:

    Louis W Rose IV, PhD has worked with cotton as a producer, consultant, analyst and trader. Rose holds degrees in Education, Agriculture, Plant Science and Business (MBA) from AR St Univ, OK St Univ and the Univ of Memphis, respectively. He has held positions with Aon Reinsurance and Cargill Cotton. Rose currently provides analytic services for various clients and media outlets and is the co-founder of Risk Analytics, LLC, producers of The Rose Report, which he authors. For more info on The Rose Report or analytic services, please visit:

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