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DTN Cotton Close: Settles on Strong Gains

Ernst Undesser
By Duane Howell DTN Cotton Correspondent July 17, 2017

DTN Cotton Close: Settles on Strong Gains

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

Dryland cotton harvesting expanded in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Stands squared and first blooms seen in West Texas, while replanted fields had emerged. Slight rain chance forecast, followed by dry period.

Cotton futures settled on strong gains Monday, with December climbing to a five-session high after holding last week above a key support area.

December closed up 118 points to 67.76 cents, in the upper third of its 163-point range from up two points at 66.60 to up 165 points at 68.23 cents. It posted its largest one-day gain of the month and finished on its highest close since July 7.

March settled up 126 points to 67.37 cents, in the upper quarter of its 151-point range from 66.20 to 67.71 cents. October gained the most, rising 139 points to finish at 68.57 cents. The other contracts settled up 113 to 124 points.

Volume rose to an estimated 16,552 lots from 15,321 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 4,830 lots or 32%. Options volume increased to 5,338 lots (3,749 calls and 1,589 puts) from 1,977 lots (1,590 calls and 387 puts).

On the crop scene, dryland harvesting expanded and modules accumulated on gin yards in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service reported Friday in a weekly cotton review.

More gins opened for the season. Defoliants were applied to irrigated fields. Bolls had begun to open in the Upper Coast and Coastal Bend counties. Defoliants and pre-harvest aids were expected to be applied in about 10 days. Some stray thunderstorms caused delays.

The National Agricultural Statistics pegged the planted cotton area in the lower valley at 205,000 acres, up from 127,300 acres last year.

In East Texas, the crop progressed under daytime temperature highs in the upper 90s to low 100s. Fields had begun to bloom. Intermittent thunderstorms brought rainfall to localized areas.

The crop advanced and fields dried in the West Texas Plains with daytime high temperatures mostly in the mid-to-upper 90s. Stands squared and first white blooms were seen in some fields (red blooms in a few), while replanted cotton had emerged and was in the 2-to-3-true-leaf stage.

Some Plains counties had lost as much as an estimated 50% of their planted acres to recent hailstorms and windstorms. The Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. received reports from all over its 41-county High Plains area about potential abandonment.

Although damage and loss were still being assessed, the area “likely will wind up around our overall average abandonment of 18% to 20%, perhaps a bit higher,” Steve Verett, PCG executive vice president, said in the PCG’s weekly newsletter. Abandonment last year was 9.6%.

Hailed out and blown out fields were mostly replanted with uninsured cotton, dryland sorghum, sunflowers or left fallow. Spraying to control weeds was active and hoe crews were in fields. Insect pressure was light.

A 20% chance for showers and thunderstorms was forecast for the Lubbock area Monday, including the possibility of locally heavy rain and wind gusts to 50 mph. The remainder of the week is expected to be dry with temperatures near average.

Rainfall from a few thunderstorms and showers on Sunday was generally too light and scattered to have much effect on the overall crop situation, though Lubbock got an official 1.76 inches.

Futures open interest grew 1,537 lots to 216,306 on Friday, with October’s down five lots to 160, December’s up 375 lots to 163,318 and March’s up 1,059 lots to 35,001.

Certified stocks declined 4,135 bales to 62,690. There were 4,174 newly certified bales and 39 bales decertified. No cotton awaited review.

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Ernst Undesser
By Duane Howell DTN Cotton Correspondent July 17, 2017