Source: Agfax.com

By Duane Howell DTN Cotton Correspondent

December 1, 2017

Mills’ on-call sales reported at 11.157 million bales in 2017-18 marketing year contracts beyond December. Wide variability noted in crop conditions on Texas Plains. Demand reported steady at current prices. Cotton futures settled in the green Friday, completing an inside, narrow-range day in March on subdued dealings and posting the sixth weekly gain in a row.

March closed up 47 points to 73.28 cents, in the upper quarter of its 75-point range from 72.66 to 73.41 cents. It gained 135 points for the week and has advanced 651 points or 9.8% the last six weeks.

Spot December settled up 39 points to 75.43 cents, trading within an 82-point range from 75 cents to a new contract high at 75.82, just above the prior peak of 75.75 on Sept. 11. It gained 320 points for the week. The other contracts closed up 15 to 50 points.

Volume slowed to an estimated 25,999 lots from 39,677 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 15,411 lots or 38.8% and EFS 83 lots. Options volume declined to 8,261 lots (4,120 calls and 4,141 puts) from 19,954 lots (13,560 calls and 6,394 puts).

Mills added 6,116 lots (611,600 bales) to their unpriced on-call sales in the 2017-18 marketing year contracts beyond maturing December last week, according to data reported by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission after the close Thursday.

Their unfixed sales in March, May and July rose to a bulging 111,567 lots (11.157 million bales), viewed as providing a lot of support on market pullbacks. Producers added a net 892 lots (89,200 bales) to up their unfixed position to 14,201 lots (1.42 million bales).

The net call difference from March through July rose by 5,224 lots (522,400 bales) to 97,366 lots (9.737 million bales), which amounted to 46.5% of the open interest.

Meanwhile, roundtable discussions indicated wide variability of crop conditions and harvest progress in the Texas Plains region at a meeting of the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. advisory committee on Friday.

Overall, approximately 60% to 70% has been harvested and about 40% ginned, industry reports have indicated, though progress in some counties isn’t that far along. The High Plains classing offices at Lubbock and Lamesa had graded 1.891 million running bales for the season through Thursday, compared with 1.993 million as of Dec. 1 last year.

Cotton merchants at the biweekly meeting said demand has been holding steady at prevailing prices but voiced concern that higher prices might invite sales cancellations. Pakistan has indicated it will resume issuing import permits for Indian cotton.

Merchants said the Indian crop, the world’s largest at 30 million bales as estimated by USDA, appears likely to come in below expectations. Pink bollworm infestations are reported to have hurt yields.

Futures open interest continued to grow Thursday, rising 3,594 lots to 246,338, with December’s down 77 lots to 131 and March’s up 2,735 lots to 169,706. Decertification of 222 bales reduced stocks in deliverable position to 47,729 bales. This was the first change since Nov. 17. (Source: Agfax.com)