December cotton traded both sides of unchanged, sometimes vigorously, before settling lower Monday. The basis of Monday’s action was seeing the market prep for spot December’s impending delivery next Monday. However, given the disruptive potential of the Thanksgiving holiday, most producers and traders must vacate their positions by Wednesday’s close.
This rolling has been evident in the volume difference between the December and March contracts. Estimated volume for spot December was 11,000 contracts, but for next-in-line March it was nearly 20,000 contracts traded. Total estimated volume for Monday was 37,100 contracts. Interestingly, December cotton posted two intra-day rallies of 75 points, but each time speculator selling beat prices back down.
Technically, Monday’s settlement (7588) was the second lowest close for the December contract. Its lowest close (7586) occurred last week. However, the Oct. 1 low, 7537, remains as the lowest trade and therefore the seasonal low for now. The market does have a history of posting its final harvest low during Thanksgiving week, but nothing is ever etched in stone.
The U.S./China trade war remains the top headwind the market faces. It is hoped the G-20 meeting, starting on Nov. 30, will bring some alleviation to the situation. However, the regional trade talks at this past weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit did not fare well. This was the first time since the organization’s inception that no joint communique was issued. Such poor response does cast a negative light on the upcoming G-20.
Monday afternoon, USDA will issue its weekly crop progress report. However, in talking with a few producers across the Southeast, there is the possibility some of this 2018 crop will never be gathered. The fields are simply too wet to support the harvesting equipment and more rain is forecast post Thanksgiving.
December cotton settled at 7588, down 24; March was at 7805, down 24; and December 2019 closed at 7718, off 3 points.