DTN Cotton Close: Finishes Near Session Lows

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Harvesting expected in four to six weeks in the Rio Grande Valley. Squaring advanced rapidly in Georgia. Delta crop made good progress but development varied widely. Heat warnings posted in Arizona. Intense lygus pressure reported in the San Joaquin Valley.

Cotton futures reversed off overnight gains to close lower across the board Monday, down 32 to 62 points, with most-active December extending its losing streak to seven sessions in a row.

December lost the least, though settling in the lower quarter of its 153-point range from up 84 points at 70.20 to down 69 points at 68.67 cents. The low was nine ticks above Friday’s low, which was the lowest price since Dec. 20.

July settled down 49 points to 71.39 cents, its lowest close since Dec. 30 and near the low of its 225-point range from up 152 points at 73.40 to down 73 points at 71.15 cents. First notice day is next Monday. October closed down 50 points at 70.36 cents.

Volume slowed to an estimated 27,879 lots from 48,195 lots the prior session when spreads accounted for 17,451 lots or 36%, EFS 7,418 lots and EFP 97 lots. Options volume declined to 2,272 lots (859 calls and 1,413 puts) from 12,135 lots (4,440 calls and 7,695 puts).

Heat units increased and bolls popped open on the lower branches of Texas Rio Grande Valley plants last week, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service reported Friday in a cotton review.

Widespread harvesting was expected to begin in four to six weeks. Ginning likely will start after backlogs of modules are accumulated on gin yards. Irrigation was applied in South Texas and the valley to help keep up with water demand for continued fruiting.

Cotton bloomed heavily in the Coastal Bend and some earlier-planted fields had begun to set bolls. Some cotton had begun to bloom in the Upper Coast, while producers in the Blackland Prairies were busy managing weed populations spurred by heavy rain the prior reporting period.

Stands emerged under sunny skies early in the reporting week on the High Plains but suffered under hot, dry conditions later. Thunderstorms brought hail, high winds and isolated rainfall. Irrigation was applied if available. Some cotton was at five to six true leaves.

In the lower Southeast, clear weather coming into the period helped to dry soggy fields in in areas where heavy rain had fallen in recent weeks. Planting slowly neared completion in Alabama, while seedlings were emerging and squaring advanced at a rapid pace in Georgia.

Planting neared completion in the Carolinas and Virginia. Producers scouted for insects and monitored square retention. Light to moderate pressure from thrips was reported in the Coastal Plain with heavier infestations in the Pee Dee region.

Hot, humid, mostly dry conditions prevailed in the Delta. Less than half-an-inch of rain fell in the Memphis territory and around half-inch in parts of the South Delta where some areas didn’t get any beneficial moisture. The crop made good progress, but development varied widely.

Warnings of excessive heat were posted in Arizona. Producers were advised to manage the crop for heat and water stress as conditions were set for a Level 1 stress situation.

Some fields received the first post-planting irrigations in the Sean Joaquin Valley. Intense lygus pressure was reported. Many fields have been treated multiple times.

Futures open interest fell 17,188 lots to 215,054 on Friday, with July’s down 17,036 lots to 19,646, December’s up 304 lots to 159,142 and March’s down 564 lots to 24,909.

Certified stocks grew 2.013 bales to 478,113. There were 2,629 newly certified bales and 616 bales decertified. Awaiting review were 8,803 bales, including 2,112 at Galveston and 6,691 at Memphis.

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