DTN Cotton Close: Quiet Session Ends Narrowly Mixed

    U.S. all-cotton 2017-18 export commitments is still up 14% from a year ago following sales cancellations. New-crop bookings stand 33% above forward sales a year ago. Shipments now 85% of the USDA estimate.

    Cotton futures finished narrowly mixed in quiet dealings Thursday as traders pondered U.S. weekly export sales-shipments data reported by USDA.

    December inched up 11 points to settle at 84.29 cents, in the lower quarter of its 101-point range from down five-points at 84.13 to up 96 points at 85.14 cents. The only contract in the plus column, December traded within Wednesday’s range and posted the sixth lower high in a row.

    July, where first notice day arrives Monday, settled unchanged at 83.21 cents. October eased six points to finish at 85.30 cents, and the rest of the board settled down three to seven points.

    Volume slowed to an estimated 23,800 lots from 37,236 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 12,300 lots or 33%, EFS 934 lots and EFP 820 lots. Options volume dropped to 6,813 lots (4,258 calls and 2,555 puts) from 13,143 lots (4,339 calls and 8,804 puts).

    Net all-cotton export sales for shipment this season and next declined to a combined 228,800 running bales during the week ended June 14 from 301,600 RB the prior week and 652,300 RB during the corresponding week last year.

    Sales cancellations totaling a net 112,400 RB of upland and 200 RB of Pima for this season shaved all-cotton 2017-18 commitments to 16.821 million RB, still up 2.091 million RB or 14% from a year ago. The lead narrowed 290,000 RB.

    The net reduction in upland commitments reflected cancellations of 170,700 RB and gross sales of 57,300 RB. Old-crop upland sales went to 13 countries, led by China (31,700 RB), Turkey, Thailand, Italy and Malaysia. Cancellations were primarily for Vietnam, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

    Net new-crop sales of 295,400 RB of upland — a seven-week high — and 46,000 RB of Pima boosted 2018-19 commitments to 5.262 million RB, up 1.315 million RB or 33% from a year ago and 35% of the USDA forecast. Year-ago forward bookings were 22% of the current 2017-18 export projection.

    Eleven countries booked new-crop upland cotton, headed by China (211,700 RB), Hong Kong and Mexico. Partially offsetting were reductions of 18,100 RB for Indonesia 500 RB for Honduras.

    All-cotton shipments of 320,200 RB, down from 469,200 RB the prior week but up from 266,200 a year ago, brought exports for the season to 13.272 million, 85% of the USDA estimate. Year-ago shipments were 87% of final 2016-17 exports.

    Shipments now need to average roughly 335,500 RB a week over the six-plus weeks remaining in the marketing year to achieve the USDA estimate. The projection is up 7% from last season and would be the second highest exports on record.

    Certified stocks grew 463 bales to 85,439 on Wednesday, the daily ICE report showed. Open interest fell 7,020 lots to 265,826, with July’s down 4,657 lots to 5,879 and December’s down 2,668 lots to 186,197.

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