Keith Brown DTN Contributing Cotton Analyst

March 16, 2023

Improving export sales versus banking system fears caused cotton to trade both sides of Wednesday's close. During Thursday's session though, the market traded below last Friday's limit-down low. However, a midsession rally by the Dow Jones encouraged short-covering across many markets, including cotton.

Friday afternoon, the CFTC should completely update its commitment of traders categories. For several weeks, its data was compromised due to a cyberattack to a larger information company. As last count, the managed-money funds were net short the cotton market.

Heading into Friday's trade, May cotton is up 0.98 cent on the week, but down 4.87 cents for the month and down 4.29 cents on the year. Despite the banking turmoil, it was reported Thursday that U.S. building permits were 1.524 million versus an expected 1.34 million. Additionally, housing starts were 1.45 million compared to the 1.31 million anticipated. Both are strong numbers for domestic cotton demand. 

Crude oil was higher Thursday after being pummeled some 6% this week. On Wednesday, U.S. crude fell below $70 a barrel for the first time since Dec. 20, 2021. In a public statement, OPEC says this week's slide in oil prices was driven by financial fears, not by any imbalance between demand and supply. The cartel went on to increase its 2023 China demand forecast. 

Thursday, May 2023 finished at 79.16 cents, up 0.05 cent, July settled at 79.70 cents, down 0.11 cent and December 2023 ended at 80.63 cents, 0.32 cent lower; estimated volume was 40,320 contracts. (Source: