DTN Cotton Close: Finishes Above Prior-Session High

    Cotton harvest with a full moon. Photo: Debra L Ferguson

    Crop losses considered likely from a weekend hard freeze in areas of the West Texas Plains, but a large crop still is expected. U.S. upland classing reached 3.421 million RB, about 17% of the crop estimate.

    Cotton futures settled higher Monday, with December bouncing off the low set in overnight dealings to finish above the previous-session high.

    December gained 44 points to settle at 68.64 cents, just above the middle of its 125-point range from down 25 points at 67.95 to up 100 points at 69.20 cents. It settled back above its nine-day and 18-day moving averages.

    March closed up 47 points to 68.58 cents, trading within a 103-point span from 67.87 to 68.90 cents. The rest of the board settled up 47 to 73 points.

    Crop losses were considered likely from a weekend hard freeze in areas of the West Texas Plains, but a large output still was expected. The USDA estimated the crop in the High and Rolling Plains this month at a combined 6.585 million bales, up from 6.362 million last season. The High Plains crop of 5.44 million bales was pegged at the second highest ever.

    Volume rose to an estimated 27,920 lots from 21,164 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 11,095 lots or 52% and EFP 60 lots. Options volume dipped to 4,438 lots (2,369 calls and 2,069 puts) from 4,875 lots (2,512 calls and 2,363 puts).

    U.S. upland cotton classing increased to 939,188 running bales during the week ended Thursday to boost the season’s total to 3.421 million RB, according to data reported by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

    That’s about 17% of the estimated upland crop and compares with 3.699 million RB classed a year ago when about 23% of the final output had been graded. Tenderable cotton accounted for 79% for the week and 82.3% for the season, compared with 72.1% and 70.4%, respectively, a year ago.

    Classing of 43,659 RB of extra-long staple cotton for the season brought the all-cotton count to 3.464 million RB, still down from 3.75 million RB graded last year.

    Harvesting expanded and made generally good progress in the West Texas Plains, though midweek windy conditions interfered briefly and intermittent light rain fell in isolated areas of the northern High Plains. Some northwestern points got additional freezing temperatures ahead of the first fall freeze Saturday at Lubbock.

    Industry sources indicated the crop needed more time to mature, but cold weather has shut down further boll development across much of the region. Some expect a large crop with mixed qualities.

    Warehouse personnel and other industry people are planning for a large crop. Some gins reported a shortage of workers because crews still were working on processing a larger-than-normal South Texas crop.

    The Lubbock classing office added a night shift to keep pace with incoming sample receipts. Sample hauling routes were underway for the Abilene, Lamesa and Lubbock classing facilities.

    In the Upper Coastal Bend, where harvesting has been completed, modules were transported to gin yards as space became available. Harvesting neared a close in the northern Blackland Prairies. Ginning continued uninterrupted except for some power outages that were resolved.

    Producers in southwestern Oklahoma were encouraged with dryland yields of more than three bales per acre. Gins in Kansas submitted samples to the Abilene classing office for grading.

    Futures open interest showed little change Friday, easing six lots to 231,356, with December’s down 2,453 lots to 109,879 and March’s up 2,185 lots to 79,916. Certified stocks were unchanged at 2,031 bales.

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