Shurley on Cotton: Prices Attempt to Stabilize, But Still Show Weakness

By Dr. Don Shurley

 

Over the past two weeks, prices for Dec14 futures have continued to slide, but tried to stabilize in a tight band of mostly 67 to 68.5 cents. Typically when you see an extended narrow trading range like this, it indicates that there is not much pressure/interest to push prices either direction on current news. Until July 24, it seems.

On July 24, prices suddenly broke down 203 points to close at just over 66 cents. This may signal yet another round of weakness in prices.

This week’s export report showed a second consecutive week of strong 2014/15 sales. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to prevent the 200 point decline in Dec14 prices. It has been expected that good export sales at these now lower prices would be the medicine to what ails this market, or at least slow the bleeding. This recent decline tells us that other factors/concerns are obviously also at play.

Reports seem to suggest that the decline was due to forecasts for slower than expected global economic growth and forecast for higher than expected acreage and production of cotton in India.

Crop conditions have declined slightly for three consecutive weeks (as of July 20). In reality, the condition of the crop has changed little the entire season, hovering around 3.5 (mostly fair to good). Present crop condition, on average, is running ahead of last year. While crop condition has been relatively unchanged, Dec14 prices have declined 10 cents, suggesting other significant factors are at play.

Crop condition on August 1 is not always a reliable predictor of yield. A crop condition of 3.5 could suggest a yield of 820 to 830 lbs per acre. But some years have been “outliers,” and have been much better or worse than this. The current USDA estimate is 16.5 million bales at 816 lbs/acre. The August estimate will be the first of the season based on actual producer survey and conditions. An August estimate that would push the crop higher will likely continue to add downward pressure on prices. Future price direction will depend on any supply shocks globally and demand news.

Shurley is Professor Emeritus of Cotton Economics, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Market Analysis Stories

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

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.

Around The Gin

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.

Crop Inputs

FMC to Acquire Cheminova

September 8, 2014

Auriga Industries has agreed to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary Cheminova to FMC Corporation.

Latest News

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.

Market Analysis

Little Market Movement As China’s Plans Begin to Emerge

September 19, 2014

The current trading range continues, as the market analyzes the impact of flooding in the U.S., continued dryness in Australia and the first initial official announcement by the Chinese government with respect to its new cotton policy.

Market Analysis

Plexus: Market Continues to Meander Sideways

September 19, 2014

The cotton market has been shrouded in plenty of uncertainty lately, which continues to drive its meandering sideways movement.