U.S. ginning to mid-October jumped 60% from a year ago. Sunshine helped dry Upper Southeast. Some fields suffered 30% to 50% loss. Some Delta yields topped 1,500 pounds. West Texas Plains classing rose to 81,494 RB. Organic growers wait on freeze. Harvest expanded in Far West.
Cotton futures meandered within narrow ranges to a slightly lower finish on light volume Monday, with December settling at a new low close since Oct. 12, the date of USDA’s monthly supply-demand estimates.
December closed down 30 points to 68.77 cents, in the lower quarter of its 66-point range from up 12 points at 69.19 to down 54 points at 68.53, a seven-session low, amid an expanding Northern Hemisphere harvest.
March dropped 25 points to settle at 69.22 cents, while December 2017 slipped 22 points to close at 68.86 cents.
Volume slowed to an estimated 17,989 lots from 24,906 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 13,380 lots or 54%, EFS 624 lots and EFP 163 lots. Options volume totaled 2,891 calls and 1,487 puts.
U.S. all-cotton ginning totaled 2.313 million running bales as of Oct. 15, up 60% from 1,447,600 a year ago and 10% from 2,107,800 in 2014, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported.
Upland ginning rose to 2,304,650 RB from 1,433,800 and 2,096,400 RB, respectively. Gins had processed about 15% of the October upland crop estimate converted to running bales from statistical 480-pound bales.
Separately, sunshine and warmth last week helped to dry water-logged fields in the Upper Southeast hit by Hurricane Matthew, but standing water remained in many areas, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service said in a cotton review Friday.
Crop damage ranged from minor to catastrophic. In eastern North Carolina, many fields close to rivers remained submerged. Some fields that had shown yield potentials of 1,000 to 1,200 pounds per acre were estimated reduced by 30% to 50%.
Boll-rot and hard-locked bolls were reported in many areas that had experienced weeks of wet weather. Some producers were devastated by the second straight year of widespread flooding at harvest.
Defoliation and harvesting expanded rapidly in the Lower Southeast under ideal weather. Yields were down in some areas of coastal Georgia where the hurricane blew lint off the stalk. Backlogs of modules accumulated on gin yards in Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and Georgia.
A low pressure weather system brought moderate temperatures and around an inch of rain to most areas of the North Delta early in the reporting period. Defoliation and harvesting were delayed briefly in areas that got the heaviest rain. Ginning continued uninterrupted. Most yields were above average, topping 1,500 pounds in some irrigated cotton.
No measurable rain fell in the South Delta. Defoliation was nearly completed except for a few late-planted fields in the hills of Mississippi. Most yields were above average, though some were reported at or slightly below average. A few producers reported dryland yields of 500 pounds or less.
In eastern Texas, most fields had been harvested. Excessive rains early in the season negatively impacted yields by 25% to 50%, local estimates indicated. Ginning was active. Some gins finalized operations in South Texas.
Producers continued to apply boll openers and defoliants in the West Texas Plains as harvesting expanded in the region served by the Abilene, Lamesa and Lubbock classing offices. The combined classing total for the week ended Thursday rose to 81,484 bales from 21,697 the previous week.
Organic producers waited for freezing weather to shut down cotton plants naturally and condition the crop for harvesting. Industry sources estimated the crop at 15,000 to 18,000 bales. U.S. 2015 organic upland and Pima production totaled 18,030 bales. Production is concentrated in West Texas.
In the Far West, harvesting and ginning expanded under sunny skies in Central Arizona. Harvesting gained momentum in the northern San Joaquin Valley, though light rain fell early in the period. More than 2 inches of rain in the Sacramento Valley delayed the harvest and module movement.
Futures open interest dropped 297 lots Friday to 257,831, with December’s down 3,134 lots to 144,239 and March’s up 1,284 lots to 75,681. Cert stocks declined 2,288 bales to 26,079.