Upland classing reached 8.726 million RB, about 45% of the estimated crop. Harvesting expanded in the Southwest, advanced uninterrupted in the Lower Southeast and was hindered on late cotton in the Delta. Ginning nearly finished at Yuma and harvest virtually over in San Joaquin Valley.
Cotton futures reversed off new intraday highs for the move to close lower Monday, down eight to 62 points.
March closed down 51 points to 71.42 cents, in the lower quarter of its 120-point range from up 46 points at 72.39 — a new high since Sept. 11 — to down 74 points at 71.19 cents. Scale producer selling amid overbought momentum readings may have contributed to stalling the rally.
Maturing December had the smallest loss, settling at 72.15 cents, in the middle of its 81-point range between 71.84 and 72.65 cents.
Volume rose to an estimated 33,033 lots from 24,333 lots the previous abbreviated session when spreads accounted for 9,645 lots or 40% and EFS 1,000 lots. Options volume slipped to 7,468 lots (4,962 calls and 2,506 puts) from 8,630 lots (5,673 calls and 2,975 puts).
U.S. upland classing slowed to 1.291 million running bales during Thanksgiving week ended Thursday from 1.509 million RB the prior week, boosting the season’s total to 8.726 million RB, up about 20% from 7.27 million RB graded a year ago.
The latest USDA weekly figures indicated about 45% of the estimated upland crop had been classed. Tenderable cotton slipped to 71.4% for the week and 76.6% for the season from 72.4% and 77.5% the prior week, respectively. That compares with a respective 71.6% and 71.4% last year.
Samples for grading were received from 486 gins for the week, unchanged from the week before, and 518 for the season.
A hard freeze early in the reporting week on the Texas High Plains, which many producers had been waiting for, was expected to expedite once-over stripper harvesting, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service indicated in a weekly cotton review.
High humidity and foggy conditions had slowed progress early in the period, but ideal weather allowed harvesting to gain momentum at midweek. Harvesting continued late into nights. Sources estimated harvesting of the West Texas Plains crop was 30% to 40%completed.
Ginning continued, but a few gins had processed all the modules on their yards and were temporarily idle. Many gins operated on Thanksgiving Day. Cottonseed prices were reported at $120 to $165 per ton.
Harvesting expanded in Kansas and Oklahoma. The Abilene classing office estimated 170,000 to 200,000 bales were expected from Kansas, while the Oklahoma crop has the potential to produce a million bales.
The harvest advanced without interruption across the Lower Southeast where partly cloudy conditions prevailed over Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and Georgia. Fieldwork moved at a slower pace in the Upper Southeast where light, scattered rain fell in North Carolina and Virginia.
Gins operated at capacity in the Lower Southeast, processing backlogs of modules. In the Carolinas, reports indicated many gins weren’t operating at capacity because of a shortage of workers.
Isolated showers in the North Delta and clear, cold weather in the South Delta hindered harvesting of late-planted cotton and producers were concerned about quality issues. Most North Delta gins had large backlogs on their yards, while some smaller gins completed operations.
In the Desert Southwest, ginning neared completion around Yuma, while all other Arizona gins operated at capacity. Harvesting and ginning advanced under excellent weather in New Mexico and the El Paso area. Active cottonseed sales were reported in New Mexico and El Paso, with most going to dairies at $175 to $190 per ton.
Harvesting was reported virtually completed in the San Joaquin Valley where ginning continued uninterrupted.
Futures open interest grew 2,473 lots to 233,331 on Friday, suggesting funds and specs were adding to their net longs, with December’s down 114 lots to 560 and March’s up 1,709 lots to 161,564. Certified stocks remained at 47,951 bales for the fifth consecutive session.