DTN Cotton Close: Finishes Mostly on Small Gains

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

    Classing at Corpus Christi reached 117,887 bales for the season last week. Dryland harvest neared completion in the Rio Grande Valley. Questions on acreage for harvest may persist in the Texas Plains.

    Cotton futures finished mostly higher, up 23 to down seven points, with December the only traded contract to settle below unchanged.

    December closed at 70.55 cents, in the lower quarter of a tight 51-point range between down 19 points at 70.43 and up 32 points 70.94 cents. It climbed above Friday’s high and matched the June 15 intraday high before slipping.

    March edged up 20 points to close at 70.25 cents, around the middle of its 54-point range from 70 to 70.54 cents. October gained the most, settling at 71.22 cents.

    Volume rose to an estimated 20,612 lots from 18,784 lots the prior session when spreads accounted for 5,862 lots or 31% and EFP 138 lots. Options volume declined to 2,492 lots (1,595 calls and 897 puts) from 3,606 lots (2,611 calls and 995 puts).

    Classing of 65,144 bales of South Texas cotton for the week ended Thursday at Corpus Christi brought the total for the season to 117,887. Tenderable cotton accounted for 92% for the week and 90.7% for the season. Nineteen gins submitted samples for grading.

    Harvesting neared completion on dryland acres in the Rio Grande Valley and expanded to around 25% completed in irrigated fields, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service reported Friday in a weekly cotton review.

    Rainfall stalled harvesting for one day, but reports indicated producers returned to the fields the next afternoon. Producers were encouraged with dryland yields of 2.5 to 3.5 bales per acre.

    In Central Texas, daytime temperatures reached around 105 degrees in some areas and rainfall helped to alleviate heat stress. Dryland cotton had begun to open in the southern Blackland Prairies. Irrigated fields got a final drink. Defoliants and pre-harvest aid chemicals were expected to be applied in two weeks.

    In the West Texas Plains, rainy conditions prevailed with up to more than 5 inches of beneficial rainfall recorded early in the reporting period. More than 8 inches fell on some fields in eastern New Mexico. Intermittent rainfall continued throughout the reporting week.

    Producers planned to apply plant growth regulators to control excessive vegetative growth as soon as fields dried and prepared to control new weeds that already had emerged. The timely rainfall helped dryland stands to retain fruit.

    Questions on abandonment and the standing acreage likely to be available in harvest in the Texas High and Rolling Plains may persist following the USDA’s first survey-based results for 2017 production in its supply-demand estimates on Thursday.

    The standing acreage includes some cotton that remains behind schedule after a setback from earlier hail and wind damage and likely will require unusually favorable fall weather to produce acceptable yields.

    An undetermined additional acreage of “wildcat cotton” was replanted well beyond final crop insurance planting deadlines. However, fields loaded with fruit with high yield potentials can be seen not far from the laggards.

    Futures open interest dipped 97 lots Friday to 216,739, with December’s down 702 lots to 153,549 and March’s up 370 lots to 44,417. Cert stocks declined 1,619 bales to 22,977.

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