Cotton Market Surprisingly Calm, All Eyes on the Weather

May 16 marked the fifth consecutive day of lower closes for the New York ICE old crop and new crop cotton futures. Yet, the true surprise was the absence of any price volatility during the week.

During a period when every analyst and their respective brothers-in-law predicted extreme volatility, the market was calm. In fact, trading typically was within single and double digits – all but unheard of for the past several years.

Possibly, this truly is the dark before the dawn.

Too, the market offered scant new fundamental news. Yes, U.S. export sales – the largest exporter of cotton to the world market – were a downer this week, but A) cancellations were nil, and B) it is still cold/wet/windy in China as well as cold/wet in the Southeast and Midsouth. With respect to production volume, it is only dryer on the Texas Plains. Thus, fundamentals remain positive.

Additionally, it was thought that textile mills had been active in fixing the price of their on-call sales, but this proved to be incorrect as demonstrated by exchange reports. Thus, those call sales continue as a firm base of support for the market.

The old crop slide to just below 90 cents this week is now testing the patience of the bulls, and rightfully so. Prices have reached near the very bottom of the range that must hold if the speculative funds are to remain on the long side of the market. Were they to exit in mass, the July futures could now slip to near 86 cents.

However, the trading range remains in play. Until July falls below 87 to 88 cents, the dominant trading range will continue to be in the 92 to 95 cent area, with an expanded range of 87 to 100 cents.

As commended the past several weeks, cotton demand does not support a price above 94 to 95 cents. Yet, with the significantly large volume of unfixed on-call mill sales and the extremely large quantity of speculative fund longs in the July contract, another run at 95 cents remains a strong possibility. Nevertheless, the tug-of-war will continue.

As mentioned last week, USDA’s bold and unusual significant reduction in its projection for the 2014 crop took a bit of uncertainty out of the market. That is, the large group of speculative traders that had been positioning themselves for a weather-related bull market based on the Texas drought were put on notice that the move above 82 cents in the December contract signaled that the market now “expected” a considerable decline in U.S. production due to the drought. (And don’t forget about the California drought. Yes, the acreage is small. But that is four bales per acre-plus land that is lost to cotton.)

It will be necessary for the “severe drought” to continue if December is to hurdle the 85-cent mark.

There remains plenty of time to get the Mid-South and Southeast crop in, but weather delays are considerably more than normal. Nighttime temperatures have consistently been in the high 40’s and very low 50’s – far too low for cotton planting. This will have to change immediately, or there will be “real” yield loss. The Texas Plains has its bet shot at moisture in six months within the next week as the 10-day forecast predicts rain next weekend.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Market Analysis Stories
don shurley
Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Prices Heading Toward “Testing Ground”

April 10, 2015

Now that old crop has clearly broken through 65 cent ceiling, there is belief that prices will continue to trek higher toward a new “testing ground.”

OA Cleveland
Market Analysis

Tight Supplies of Quality Cotton Poised to Drive Market Higher

April 5, 2015

A very tight quality shortage that only gets tighter will drive cotton prices higher. This market has 70 cents, basis December, written all over it.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Factors Lining Up for Price Growth

April 3, 2015

Reduced global acreage, increased mill demand and low inventories of quality cotton could help push prices into the high 60s or even low 70s over the next few months.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: Market on Path to Higher and Higher Lows

March 20, 2015

Cotton prices bounced back in response to the time-honored adage, “low prices cure low prices.” But there are still a few bumps and curves along the way.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market Bumps on Weaker Dollar and U.S. Supply Questions

March 20, 2015

While most commodity prices turned lower again, cotton rallied a bit, thanks to a constructive U.S. export sales report. But the big question going forward is how many tenderable grades are left in the U.S.?

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: March Madness as Prices Tumble

March 16, 2015

Thus far, March has not been kind to the cotton market.

Market Analysis

Dull Trading Likely in a Stumbling, Mumbling Market

March 16, 2015

After losing its prior month gains in one week, the cotton market was left stumbling and mumbling. We are now likely in for a month – maybe two – of dull trading.

Around The Gin
Product News

EPA Approves Enlist Duo Herbicide for Use in Additional States

April 2, 2015

The EPA has approved Enlist Duo herbicide for use in nine additional states, including four in the Cotton Belt.

Product News

New 2015 CROPLAN Cotton Varieties Feature Bollgard II XtendFlex Technology

March 19, 2015

WinField is adding Monsanto’s new Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton trait to two new CROPLAN cotton varieties for 2015.

Precision Technology

New Features for TeeJet Aeros 9040 Field Computer

March 18, 2015

TeeJet has added new features to its Aeros 9040 Field Computer for 2015.

Precision Technology

TeeJet Launches New DynaJet Flex Nozzle Control System

March 17, 2015

The new DynaJet Flex 7120 nozzle control system from TeeJet Technologies helps growers manage spray quality across a variety of operating speeds and application rates.

Product News

New Cheminova Chemistry to Help Control Herbicide Resistant Weeds

February 23, 2015

Cheminova plans to register pethoxamid, a new herbicide active ingredient, to help growers manage herbicide-resistant weeds.

Product News

Brake Herbicide Receives Section 18 Approvals in Six States

February 18, 2015

Brake Herbicide has received Section 18 emergency use exemptions for control of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in six cotton producing states.

Precision Technology

TeeJet Matrix 430 Provides Simple, Easy-to-Use Guidance

February 18, 2015

TeeJet Technologies’ new Matrix 430 GNSS guidance system is ideal for a wide range of field applications.

Precision Technology

TeeJet Launches RX520 High-Precision GNSS Receiver

February 17, 2015

TeeJet Technologies has introduced the RX520 dual frequency GNSS receiver for precision farming operations.

Latest News
Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Prices Heading Toward “Testing Ground”

April 10, 2015

Now that old crop has clearly broken through 65 cent ceiling, there is belief that prices will continue to trek higher toward a new “testing ground.”

Market Analysis

Tight Supplies of Quality Cotton Poised to Drive Market Higher

April 5, 2015

A very tight quality shortage that only gets tighter will drive cotton prices higher. This market has 70 cents, basis December, written all over it.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Factors Lining Up for Price Growth

April 3, 2015

Reduced global acreage, increased mill demand and low inventories of quality cotton could help push prices into the high 60s or even low 70s over the next few months.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: USDA Planting Intentions In; Time for Market to Focus on Other Realities

March 31, 2015

The March 31 USDA Prospective Plantings report of 9.55 million cotton acres is slightly higher than most other pre-report expectations. Now, it’s time for the market to focus on other matters.

Market Analysis

Cotton Prices Itching to Move Higher, as Growers Ponder Acreage Shifts

March 27, 2015

The market has shown it is comfortable with higher prices, as planting and production dynamics hold the potential for larger than expected U.S. cotton plantings.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: Market on Path to Higher and Higher Lows

March 20, 2015

Cotton prices bounced back in response to the time-honored adage, “low prices cure low prices.” But there are still a few bumps and curves along the way.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market Bumps on Weaker Dollar and U.S. Supply Questions

March 20, 2015

While most commodity prices turned lower again, cotton rallied a bit, thanks to a constructive U.S. export sales report. But the big question going forward is how many tenderable grades are left in the U.S.?

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: March Madness as Prices Tumble

March 16, 2015

Thus far, March has not been kind to the cotton market.

Market Analysis

Dull Trading Likely in a Stumbling, Mumbling Market

March 16, 2015

After losing its prior month gains in one week, the cotton market was left stumbling and mumbling. We are now likely in for a month – maybe two – of dull trading.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Is the Worst of the Selloff Behind Us?

March 13, 2015

The cotton market seems to be regaining its footing, and trade buying is starting to resurface. This leads us to believe that the worst of this selloff may be behind us.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market Momentum Continues to Stall

March 10, 2015

Market momentum has clearly been stalling. Physical business needs to pick up, but the latest wave of buying may be over for now.

Market Analysis

Cotton Market Sliding Along with No Drastic Moves

March 6, 2015

Much like the icy conditions across the Cotton Belt, prices have slid back and forth and sideways, as the price charts remain void of any drastic activity.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Not Surprisingly, Market Improvement Slows Down

March 2, 2015

The market is still full of uncertainties, and this recent slowdown might just be a signal that the market needs to take a breather.

Market Analysis

Quality Continues to Drive Cotton’s “Joyful Ride”

February 21, 2015

Cotton’s joyful ride continues, as prices have pressed the 65 cent level, driven by demand for quality machine harvested cotton.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Time for the Market to Rest and Regroup?

February 20, 2015

Look for the market pull back a bit and regroup over the coming weeks. But don’t worry. It’s just taking a breather.