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DTN Cotton Close: Settles at 7-Day High

Ernst Undesser
By Duane Howell DTN Cotton Correspondent August 21, 2017

DTN Cotton Close: Settles at 7-Day High

Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Dr. Jourdan Bell

Most gins operated at capacity in South Texas last week as harvesting and ginning of a high-yielding, high-quality crop continued. Tenderable cotton accounted for 92.2% of 333,140 bales classed at Corpus Christi.

Cotton futures settled on modest gains on thin volume and narrow trading ranges Monday as December closed above highs of the previous three sessions.

December gained 28 points to close at 67.56 cents, just above the midpoint of its 63-point range from down 11 points at 67.17 cents to up 52 points at 67.80 cents. It settled at its highest close since last Monday.

March closed up 24 points to 67.30 cents, trading within a 54-point span from 66.96 to 67.52 cents. Thinly traded October gained the most, settling up 92 points to 68.71 cents.

Tight supply availability offered support ahead of volume movement of new-crop cotton, though some whopping yields are reported coming out of the nation’s first 2017-crop fields being harvested in South Texas.

Volume was estimated at only 8,233 lots, down from 16,867 lots the prior session when spreads accounted for 6,272 lots or 37%, EFP 44 lots and EFS 17 lots. Options volume totaled 1,380 lots — 593 calls and 787 puts.

Harvesting and ginning of a high-yielding, high-quality crop continued last week in South Texas where modules of seed cotton lined fields awaiting transportation to gin yards.

Most gins were operating at capacity, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service reported in a weekly cotton review. Reports indicated backlogs of cottonseed were on gin yards.

Yields of up to three bales per acre have been reported off dryland fields in the Rio Grande Valley and some even higher yields off irrigated cotton, other sources have reported.

The Corpus Christi classing facility graded 109,570 running bales during the week ended Thursday to boost the season’s total to 333,140, up from 197,928 bales a year ago.

Tenderable cotton accounted for 91.3% for the week and 92.2% for the season. Color grades 31 (middling) and higher totaled 79.1% for the season, with staples averaging 35.8, strength 29.6, mikes 4.3 and uniformity 80.8.

The basis on the base quality for East Texas-Oklahoma ended the calendar week at 54 points off October, compared with 124 points off a week earlier. Heavy foreign inquiries were reported. Interest was best from China, Indonesia and Turkey.

In Central Texas, cotton root rot was reported in some fields. Rainfall continued intermittently in some areas. Defoliation and boll openers were applied in the Blackland Prairies. Bolls cracked open. Some ginners expected modules to arrive at gin yards as early as this week.

Some analysts and industry people had agreed following USDA’s August projection of record high U.S. yields that this likely would be the largest production forecast of the year. However, reports from South Texas and elsewhere along with improved crop ratings for the week ended Aug. 13 have raised doubts about that.

Yet a crucial crop maturation period still is ahead for the Texas High and Rolling Plains where the acres for harvest foreseen in the August estimates were estimated at 77% of the statewide total.

Futures open interest grew 2,723 lots to 224,330 on Friday, with December’s up 1,631 lots to 147,607 and March’s up 806 lots to 53,178. The board total was up 5,120 lots for the week.

Certified stocks declined 1,803 bales to 13,983, down from 19,342 bales a week earlier and the smallest since March 31, 2015.

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Ernst Undesser
By Duane Howell DTN Cotton Correspondent August 21, 2017