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
Market Analysis

The Dog Days of August – and Cotton – Are Upon Us

August 29, 2016

The Dog Days of August have arrived. That gives Dr. O.A. Cleveland time to reflect on the market, Egyptian cotton, and the offer of a polyester shirt.

Market Analysis

Bears Impact Market, But Long Term Still Bullish

August 22, 2016

The near term technical perspective for the cotton market has turned a bit bearish. But, the longer term outlook remains bullish.

Market Analysis

Market Strong, But Looking for Answers on China, India

August 5, 2016

This market has 80 cents written all over it. But it’s also calling for a closer look at reported cotton stocks in China and India.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: Feed This Hungry Cotton Market Now!

August 1, 2016

The cotton market is hungry and wants to be fed. It’s time for growers to move their price fixations up and sell it some cotton!

Market Analysis

Mother Nature Now in Charge of the Market

July 24, 2016

At this point in the crop production year, be assured that Mother Nature will still have the major say with respect to cotton prices.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: USDA Turns the Bulls Loose

July 18, 2016

Say it again: Technicals are the leading indicator of fundamentals; they kept telling us higher prices were coming.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: It’s Christmas in July!

July 13, 2016

The calendar says July. But for cotton growers, it may as well be “Merry Christmas.”

Around The Gin
Product News

ChemChina/Syngenta Deal Gets U.S. Foreign Investment Approval

August 22, 2016

ChemChina and Syngenta have received a key clearance for the proposed consolidation of the companies.

Product News

Enlist Cotton Trait Earns Full Export Approval

August 10, 2016

Cotton varieties containing Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist trait now have full export approval in key countries.

Product News

Spray Equipment Offer Helps Maximize On-Target Applications

August 3, 2016

A new spray technology equipment offer can help growers participating in Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions upgrade their sprayers to maximize on-target applications.

Product News

EPA Allows Sale and Use of Existing Belt Inventory

August 2, 2016

The U.S. EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board has upheld an earlier decision to cancel registration for Bayer's insecticide Belt, but is allowing sales of existing stocks to growers for use.

Product News

Indigo Launches Water Efficiency Product for Cotton

July 26, 2016

Boston-based research firm Indigo has launched its first commercial product – Indigo Cotton – which helps improve the cotton plant’s water use efficiency.

Product News

Enlist Technology Provides Tolerance to Three Key Herbicides

July 13, 2016

The Enlist weed control system will give growers the ability to use three modes of action postemergence in both cotton and soybeans.

Product News

Providing Upland Varieties with Acala-like Quality

July 13, 2016

PhytoGen offers growers several upland cotton varieties with Acala-like fiber quality for added premiums and higher profitability.

Product News

PhytoGen Names Winners in Best Yielder Club Sweepstakes

June 29, 2016

A North Carolina cotton grower was named grand prize winner in the 2016 PhytoGen Best Yielder Club sweepstakes.

Latest News
Market Analysis

The Dog Days of August – and Cotton – Are Upon Us

August 29, 2016

The Dog Days of August have arrived. That gives Dr. O.A. Cleveland time to reflect on the market, Egyptian cotton, and the offer of a polyester shirt.

Market Analysis

Bears Impact Market, But Long Term Still Bullish

August 22, 2016

The near term technical perspective for the cotton market has turned a bit bearish. But, the longer term outlook remains bullish.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Prices Slip Under Pressure

August 15, 2016

The sudden jump in cotton prices was recently referred to as “Christmas in July.” Well, the new wears off eventually – even for Christmas gifts.

Market Analysis

Market Holds On in Face of Neutral Report

August 14, 2016

USDA’s August cotton reports were neutral-to-supportive, keeping the 70-78 cent trading range in place as the major trading channel.

Market Analysis

Market Strong, But Looking for Answers on China, India

August 5, 2016

This market has 80 cents written all over it. But it’s also calling for a closer look at reported cotton stocks in China and India.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: Feed This Hungry Cotton Market Now!

August 1, 2016

The cotton market is hungry and wants to be fed. It’s time for growers to move their price fixations up and sell it some cotton!

Market Analysis

Mother Nature Now in Charge of the Market

July 24, 2016

At this point in the crop production year, be assured that Mother Nature will still have the major say with respect to cotton prices.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: USDA Turns the Bulls Loose

July 18, 2016

Say it again: Technicals are the leading indicator of fundamentals; they kept telling us higher prices were coming.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: It’s Christmas in July!

July 13, 2016

The calendar says July. But for cotton growers, it may as well be “Merry Christmas.”

Market Analysis

Watching Bulls, Bears and Fundamentals

July 11, 2016

Fundamentals rule in the long run, but technicals provide the roadmap. Just be sure to keep an eye on the bulls and bears.

Market Analysis

Cleveland: A Fun Week of Bulls, Bears and Brexit

July 5, 2016

The cotton market experienced a fun, exciting week as trading focused on strong bullish and bearish fundamentals – and little to no impact from Brexit.

Market Analysis

Shurley: Acreage Numbers Could Challenge Range-Bound Prices

July 1, 2016

In light of the June 30 USDA acres planted numbers, it would have to be considered good news if cotton’s “range bound” prices can remain at or above 64 cents.

Market Analysis

Market Fundamentals Positive, but Not Yet Bullish

June 20, 2016

July prices are still bumping into resistance. But there are enough positive fundamentals in the market to provide a bit of bullish hope.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Thoughts Ahead of the Acreage Report

June 16, 2016

There’s usually speculation on the June USDA Acreage number and how it might compare to the March Prospective Plantings number. So far, it's all quiet.

Market Analysis

Commodity and Mill Actions Pushing Cotton Higher

June 10, 2016

It was a pretty good week for cotton, as fund money continued to flow to all commodities, and mills began to ease their price expectations higher.