DTN Cotton Close: Largest Daily Gain in 9 Sessions

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U.S. upland classing slowed to 90,175 RB, upping the season’s total to 19.332 million RB, up 20% from last year. Stands established in the Rio Grande Valley and light thrips damage reported. Replanted Pima made good progress at Yuma.

Cotton futures finished higher Tuesday, led by spot May as it posted its largest daily point gain in nine sessions.

May gained 105 points to close at 82.02 cents, in the upper third of its 184-point range from unchanged at 80.97 to 82.81 cents. It settled dead even with its close last Tuesday, which was the highest finish of the holiday-shortened trading week.

July settled up 74 points to 82.01 cents, trading within a 143-point range from 81.28 to 82.71 cents. December finished on the high tick of its 56-point range at 78 cents, above highs of the prior six sessions.

A rebound in U.S. equities, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading up 379 points, and ongoing dry conditions in the Texas High Plains contributed to support.

Volume quickened to an estimated 46,900 lots from 38,042 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 13,288 lots or 35%. Options volume declined to 5,096 lots (1,671 calls and 3,425 puts) from 12,848 lots (10,966 calls and 1,882 puts).

U.S. upland cotton classing slowed to 90,175 running bales last week from 114,093 RB the prior week, bringing the total for the season to 19.332 million RB, up 20% from the final upland count last season.

Tenderable cotton accounted for 67.5% for the season, down from 71.9% last season. Forty-one gins submitted samples for grading, including 17 in Texas, 13 in Oklahoma, four in Arizona and three in Kansas. Some gins in the Southwest plan to offer services through April, maybe longer.

Pima classing for the season inched up to 675,809 RB to boost the all-cotton total to 20.007 RB, up 19% from 16.775 million RB graded last year. The Visalia classing office had graded extra-long-staple samples from 26 gins submitted for producers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and far West Texas.

The USDA’s downwardly revised March production estimate of 21 million statistical 480-pound bales (20.3 million of upland and 695,000 RB of ELS), based on ginning data, was 22% above the 2016 crop. The final estimate will be released May 10.

While ginning of the 2017 crop continued, planting expanded in South Texas and stands had become established in the Rio Grande Valley, according to a weekly review by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Light thrips damage had been reported and aphids were present. Beneficial ladybug populations were expected to increase. Irrigation was underway. Planting had begun around showers in South Central Texas.

Stands of Pima replanted around Yuma, Ariz. because of cool conditions had emerged and made good progress. Temperatures in the upper 80s and 90s were forecast near-term.

Planting was scheduled to begin mid-April in the Safford area. Growers were eager to plant but waited for soils to warm to optimal temperatures to ensure early plant development. Limited acreage had been planted in Pinal and Maricopa counties.

Planting was expected to begin in the San Joaquin Valley after soils firmed from beneficial rainfall which had left fields soggy and unable to support machinery.

Futures open interest expanded 1,122 lots to 282,159 on Monday, with May’s down 1,116 to 110,077, July’s up 1,620 lots to 78,805 and December’s down 213 lots to 73,937. Certified stocks remained at 57,224 bales.

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