Source: Agfax.com

By Duane Howell DTN Cotton Correspondent

January 19, 2018
March completed inside day and inside week. U.S. all-cotton export commitments stand at 82% of the USDA forecast. Far East prices remain competitive. Cotton futures finished higher for the third consecutive session Friday, with spot March completing an inside day and confined for the week within last Friday’s wide trading range.

March settled up 79 points to 83.42 cents, around the upper quarter of the session’s 140-point range from down 27 points at 82.36 to up 113 points at 83.76 cents. It gained 174 points for the week. May gained 80 points for the day and 183 points for the week to settle at 83.79 cents, while July added 87 and 201 points, respectively, to close at 84.23 cents. The other contracts closed up 41 to 51 points, with December up 45 points to 75.75 cents after notching a new contract high at 75.95 cents. Volume slowed to an electronically estimated 33,200 lots from 47,850 lots the prior session when spreads accounted for 20,921 lots or 44% and EFP 182 lots.

Net U.S. all-cotton export sales for shipment this season offered support, maintaining a steady pace at a strong 286,200 running bales during the week ended Jan. 11. This boosted 2017-18 commitments to 11.818 million RB, narrowing the lead over year-ago cumulative sales 66,000 RB to 2.423 million RB or 26% and reaching 82% of the USDA export forecast. A year ago, cumulative sales were 65% of final 2016-17 exports.

All-cotton shipments of 302,900 RB, a marketing year high for the second straight week, boosted the total for the season to 4.003 million RB, 466,000 RB behind exports a year ago and 28% of the USDA projection. Shipments last year were 31% of final exports. To achieve the export forecast, shipments need to average roughly 369,700 RB a week, while weekly sales averaging approximately 90,600 would match the shipments projection.

Net sales of 104,600 RB for shipment next season lifted the total for both crop years to 390,800 RB and raised 2018-19 bookings to 1.470 million RB, up from forward bookings a year ago of 602,000 RB. Combined commitments for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 marketing years rose to 13.288 million RB, up 33% from combined 2016-17 and 2017-18 bookings a year ago of 9.998 million RB.

Meanwhile, the five lowest-priced world growths for the Far East and the lowest-quoted U.S. cotton of comparable quality landed there averaged exactly the same 91.50 cents for the week ended Thursday, according to USDA, up 324 and 325 points from the prior week, respectively.

The adjusted world price for the marketing week ending next Thursday is figured at 74.45 cents, up from this past week’s 71.21 cents. This of course leaves the marketing loan gain at zero. Reflecting differences between premiums in the U.S. and international markets, the fine count adjustment for qualities better than 31-3-35 is 57 points for the week ahead.

Futures open interest expanded 4,089 lots Thursday to a new all-time high of 308,726, with March’s up 1,187 lots to 169,789 and May’s up 1,320 lots to 69,270. Certified stocks remained at 48,067 bales. Awaiting review were 440 bales at Galveston. (Source: Agfax.com)