DTN Cotton Close: Triple-Digit Current-Crop Gains

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Cotton futures settled on triple-digit gains in 2017-18 marketing year contracts Thursday, with spot March leading the way to finish on a contract high close.

    March gained 114 points to settle at 79.25 cents, near the high of its 133-point range from down five points at 78.06 to up 128 points at 79.39 cents. It got within six ticks of its contract high set last Thursday.

    May settled up 107 points to 79.33 cents, just off the high of its 124-point range from 78.16 to a match of Tuesday’s contract high at 79.40 cents. July closed up 101 points at 79.69 cents after posting a new contract high at 79.77 cents.

    The other contracts ended up 74 points to down four points, with December up 35 points at 74.74 cents after hitting a new contract high at 74.84 cents.

    New three-year highs in oil prices, which make synthetic fibers more expensive, along with new highs in U.S. stock indexes and global shares on upbeat data among the world’s largest economies helped to fuel the cotton gains. U.S. dollar index futures weakness also may have played a role.

    Volume increased to an estimated 27,082 lots from 23,676 lots the prior session when spreads accounted for 10,941 lots or 47% and EFS 98 lots. Options volume rose to 11,048 lots (5,088 calls and 5,960 puts) from 4,856 lots (2,136 calls and 2,720 puts).

    Expectations for the delayed U.S. upland export sales report for the week ended Dec. 28 appear to range mostly slightly on either side of the prior week’s 163,700 running bales.

    The report is set for release by USDA at 7:30 a.m. CST on Friday. Prices during the reporting week, which spanned the Christmas holiday, ranged in spot March from 75.41 to the contract high at 74.95 cents.

    Net upland sales the last four weeks have averaged 234,100 RB, down 30% from the previous four weeks but still well above the pace required to match USDA’s 2017-18 export forecast.

    Upland shipments quickened to a marketing year high of 276,700 RB the last reporting week, largest since the week ended July 20, but still below the average needed to achieve the USDA estimate. Exports of upland the last four weeks have averaged 209,600 RB, just over double the prior four-week average of 104,100 RB.

    The USDA last month raised its 2017-18 export forecast 300,000 480-pound bales to 14.8 million, third highest on record behind 14.92 million last season and 17.67 million in 2005-06. An updated estimate will be part of next week’s supply-demand report.

    On the textile front, foam-based technology developed at Texas Tech University is reported to have the potential to change the way jeans are made through a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly denim-dyeing process.

    Fabric mills around the world use millions of gallons of water to dye denim the deep blue color consumers want. Using foam, a team at the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute has developed a process to successfully apply indigo dye to cotton yarns in a way described as more efficient.

    “This is one of a kind,” Dean Ethridge, a research professor who is leading the effort, said in a Tech report. “This technology is flexible. It’s space efficient and is amenable to scientific control of the parameters for exact dyeing results.”

    Futures open interest dipped 94 lots to 282,907 on Wednesday, with March’s down 1,939 lots to 171,791 and May’s up 47 lots to 54,982. Certified stocks dropped eight bales to 47,589.

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