The cotton market finished strongly higher on Friday, even though the financial markets remained under pressure. Initially, the less-than-expected jobs data report was thought to be bearish to the U.S. dollar, but bullish to the Dow. However, trade tensions with China overshadowed most supportive fundamentals. Cotton, as well, was undermined as fears about a complete trade talk breakdown were heighten.
The Chinese corporate officer of Huawei was in court Friday facing arraignment for extradition to the United States. China has demanded the immediate release of that person.
Next week, USDA will publish its latest supply-demand data for December. While U.S. exports are running ahead of last year’s pace, the first two months of the new marketing season shows exports to China are down some 50%. Anyway, the current crop is expected to decline to 18.22 million versus November’s 18.41 million. Ending stocks are expected to be 4.16 million compared to the previous 4.30 million bales. World stocks, currently pegged at 72.33 million, are looking to come in slightly lower than the 72.61 million seen in the November report.
A potential nagging technical problem for March cotton may be the lower switch-of-contract gap left behind upon December cotton’s expiration. Several seasons ago a similar event occurred, and it took that year’s March cotton until January 6 to paint that gap. Knowing the market’s penchant for repeating history, it is that bears watching.
Friday’s estimated volume was 32,100 contracts traded. For the week March cotton was up 1.32 cents.
March cotton settled 80.23 cents, up 1.15 cents, July was 81.73 cents, up 0.61 cents and December 2019 was 78.03 cents, up 0.55 cents.