“Dramatic” Market Difficult to Nail Down

A new current move up topped out above 97 cents in what was little more than panic trading, as this week’s trading range was a rather wide 800 points. One is tempted to call this a roller coaster, but that phrase does not conjure up enough drama for the current market.

The usual dose of what’s going in China, the speculative community salivating at the mention of cotton, and textile mills dancing everywhere in the market – both highs and lows – seem to be behind each trade. Throw in a full diagnosis of mad cow disease, and one pretty much can nail the cotton market.

The difficulty is placing the nail. It is somewhere between 89 and 98 cents. My 12-year-old son can come closer, but I can’t.

Nevertheless, at this stage in the marketing year, my expectations are that prices will trend lower. That is not a typo. The word from me has always been higher, but now I am using that bear word “lower.” But there will be no rush lower, just a tendency to move lower, since the mills have yet to work out of their massive bullish mill call sales. Recall, I just commented that another run to 98 cents could easily be in the works, and likely is. But it will be quick and over in a flash. The bull is very, very fat.

With all this action, the new crop December stood still at 79-80 cents. The old crop bullishness has not been able to bring December along the same path. As has been stated several times, I am not giving up on December, rather it will take some abnormal weather events to move it higher. The trading range for the coming two months should be between 81 and 76 cents, a rather narrow six-cent range.

The first indicator will actually come when USDA releases its March 30 plantings intentions. The annual report will be based on market and agronomic conditions as of March 1, however, it is viewed as a principal indicator of actual plantings. The industry range is from 11.5 to 10.8 million acres. The 11.2 to 11.5 million acre estimate appears forthcoming.

USDA released it final ginnings report of the year, indicating that 12.87 million bales were ginned, not the 13.2 million that USDA estimates had used. The market was expecting such a report, and it likely helped provide some of the spark in this week’s move higher. Yet, as with expectations, its price benefit immediately wore off.

Yet, this does indicate that U.S. ending stocks will likely range from 2.4-2.6 million bales, a very low number. In fact, with stocks below 3.5 million bales, the market will be somewhat fixated on new crop weather and agronomic conditions as the growing season progresses. The current forecast for the 2014 U.S. crop is 16.1 million bales. Yet, an unkind Mother Nature can easily reduce that to 13 million bales and open the door for the new crop December to jump to 85 cents and higher.

Export sales, while not booming, continue to be respectable with market prices above 90 cents. However, it must be recognized that the U.S. has little cotton available. Foreign mills are still somewhat uncovered for both third and fourth quarter needs, and this will keep pressure on prices. Yet, the Indian crop has met with a very wide and favorable response from the Asian textile industry, especially China. Thus, that acts to keep old crop prices somewhat under control.

We are set for the upcoming Lubbock Gin Show. Maybe I can take some rain with me. Volatility is the key, and the market will be jumping. This market needs more cotton!

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Market Analysis Stories

Market Analysis

With WTO Brazil Settled, Cotton Casts a Wary Eye on Chinese Policy

October 31, 2014

With the conclusion of the WTO Brazil case, the U.S. cotton industry can bring a renewed focus to the challenges ahead, coming from a familiar source.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market “Boxed In” Between Support and Resistance

October 24, 2014

Volatility dropped this week, as the market is discounting a scenario in which prices are not expected to change significantly over the coming months. Once all harvest is complete and sorted out, we may see renewed pressure on cash prices.

Market Analysis

Sleepy Market Hiding Potential Volatility

October 20, 2014

Cotton trading remains locked in a rather wide ten cent trading channel, but actively trading only a four cent band around 63 cents – 61 to 65 cents, that is. In other words, maybe we are being lulled to sleep.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market on Firm Footing Through Harvest

October 17, 2014

December prices should remain on firm footing until the bulk of the U.S. crop has been harvested and the quality is known. But the massive global inventory probably means a sideways-to-lower market going forward.

Market Analysis

Demand for Quality Cotton Keeps Market Positive

October 11, 2014

The market spent most of the week in positive territory, as its ability to close higher continues to voice the immediate need for quality cotton.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Fragile Market Shows Improvement, Outlook Still Cautious

October 11, 2014

After recently falling to the 61-cent level, prices have made a modest, but still welcomed, recovery.

Market Analysis

Chinese Government Now a Marketplace Fundamental

October 6, 2014

The more things change, the more they stay the same. But through their recent actions, the primary fundamental in the marketplace has now become the Chinese government.

Around The Gin

Product News

Grow Ag Leaders Scholarship Program Includes Cotton Belt States

October 28, 2014

Grow Ag Leaders is offering more than $500,000 in college scholarships to students interested in agricultural careers. The program is available in 40 states, including many throughout the Cotton Belt.

Product News

Platform Specialty Products to Acquire Arysta LifeScience as Component for New Company

October 21, 2014

Platform Specialty Products has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Arysta LifeScience for approximately $3.51 billion.

Product News

PhytoGen Partners with Farmers to Aid Local Charities

October 17, 2014

Since becoming a partner in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year program three years ago, PhytoGen has made donations to 25 charities on behalf of state farmers of the year.

Product News

Enlist Duo Herbicide Approved; Enlist Weed Control System Now Cleared for Use

October 16, 2014

The Enlist Weed Control System from Dow AgroSciences has been approved for field use in corn and soybeans in 2015 by federal regulatory authorities, with introduction in cotton still scheduled for 2016.

News

Registration for 2015 Beltwide Cotton Conferences Opens as Program Takes Shape

October 3, 2014

Registration now is open for the 2015 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for January 5-7 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, TX.

Product News

October 10 Deadline for Public Comments on Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System Plants

September 25, 2014

The public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement for cotton and soybean plants for Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System will remain open through October 10.

Cotton Production

New Cotton Webcasts Focus on Using Yield Monitor Data for Precision Planning

September 10, 2014

Two new webcasts to help growers successfully capture and use data from yield monitors have been added to the Focus on Cotton online webcast resource, developed by Cotton Incorporated and the Plant Management Network.

Marketing

First Class Selected for Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame

September 8, 2014

Five honorees have been elected to the first class of Cotton Incorporated’s newly-established Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame.

Latest News

Market Analysis

With WTO Brazil Settled, Cotton Casts a Wary Eye on Chinese Policy

October 31, 2014

With the conclusion of the WTO Brazil case, the U.S. cotton industry can bring a renewed focus to the challenges ahead, coming from a familiar source.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Lackluster Week Closes on a High Note

October 27, 2014

An end of week uptick closed the market up 81 points from the previous week. But the longer-term direction is still sideways, with a range of mostly 62 to 67 cents.

Market Analysis

Same Song, Same Tune – Market Sings the Low-to-Mid 60s Blues

October 24, 2014

The same record that has been spinning for weeks is still playing. The 61 to 62 cent price resistance holds firm, attempts to close above 65 cents continue to be thwarted, and the potential for a short covering rally lingers strong in the background.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market “Boxed In” Between Support and Resistance

October 24, 2014

Volatility dropped this week, as the market is discounting a scenario in which prices are not expected to change significantly over the coming months. Once all harvest is complete and sorted out, we may see renewed pressure on cash prices.

Market Analysis

Sleepy Market Hiding Potential Volatility

October 20, 2014

Cotton trading remains locked in a rather wide ten cent trading channel, but actively trading only a four cent band around 63 cents – 61 to 65 cents, that is. In other words, maybe we are being lulled to sleep.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market on Firm Footing Through Harvest

October 17, 2014

December prices should remain on firm footing until the bulk of the U.S. crop has been harvested and the quality is known. But the massive global inventory probably means a sideways-to-lower market going forward.

Market Analysis

Demand for Quality Cotton Keeps Market Positive

October 11, 2014

The market spent most of the week in positive territory, as its ability to close higher continues to voice the immediate need for quality cotton.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Fragile Market Shows Improvement, Outlook Still Cautious

October 11, 2014

After recently falling to the 61-cent level, prices have made a modest, but still welcomed, recovery.

Market Analysis

Chinese Government Now a Marketplace Fundamental

October 6, 2014

The more things change, the more they stay the same. But through their recent actions, the primary fundamental in the marketplace has now become the Chinese government.

International

Plexus: Market Still Has More Questions than Answers

October 3, 2014

Recent news from China has left the market cautiously bearish, mindful of the fact that there is still a lot of harvest time weather to negotiate.

International

ICAC – Lower World Cotton Prices to Persist in 2014/15

October 3, 2014

Noting the predicted 1.8 million tons of surplus cotton production and changes in China's cotton policy, a recent report from International Cotton Advisory Committee says prices are unlikely to rise to the levels of the last two seasons.

Market Analysis

Confusion Reigns in Market Following China Cotton Policy Announcements

September 29, 2014

Weighed down by unexpected announcements from China, cotton prices continued to trend lower and confusion reigned, as traders attempted to decipher the actual Chinese cotton policy.

Market Analysis

Shurley on Cotton: Time for Growers to Consider Their Marketing Options

September 26, 2014

This is not a good time to be trying to sell cotton. Nothing will appear relatively attractive at this point, but growers nevertheless need to carefully consider their options.

Market Analysis

Segment Swap Program Educates Cotton Board Producers About Importer Decisions

September 22, 2014

The Cotton Board's producer members recently participated in a “Segment Swap” program designed to give them a better understand of how cotton importers make their sourcing decisions.

International

China Announces Cuts to Cotton Import Quotas

September 22, 2014

In a move that could add more pressure to global cotton prices, China has announced that it will cut 2015 cotton import quotas to the minimum 894,000 tons required under its commitments to the World Trade Organization.