The cotton market reversed its one-day bullish course, disappointed by USDA’s summary report of its delayed sales. The total old crop sales from January 10 through February 14 came out at 977,000 bales. Using simple arithmetic, weekly sales averaged some 160,000 bales per week. China was not seen in that multi-week mix as a buyer of old crop bales, but rather a net canceler. Total shipments for those weeks exceeding one million bales, which if nothing else, had a bullish psychological sound to it.
In other news, the USDA agricultural forum reported potential cotton acres for 2019 were 14.3 million acres, while 1.1% above last year’s plantings it was below current industry expectations for the new crop.
There is no definitive news regarding the U.S./China trade talks. They are scheduled to end Friday, but supposedly, President Trump will join the meeting at 2:30 p.m. eastern. The two sides have agreed to break out their major differences into six parts called memorandums of understanding. However, negotiators have struggled this week to agree on specific language within those memorandums to address tough U.S. demands for structural changes in China’s economy.
The memorandums would cover forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade. Although, the U.S. and China need a trade deal, eventually it will come down to whether they really want one.
May cotton closed at 73.01 cents, down 1.00 cent, July was at 74.17 cents, down 0.82 cent and December settled at 73.51 cents, off 0.43 cent. Friday’s estimated volume was 43,800 contracts traded. The May Cotton was up 1.15 cents for the week.