The cotton market is trading both sides of unchanged as it awaits fresh price-moving data. Later this week, USDA will issue its export sales report on Thursday, and its dynamically important planting intentions information on Friday.
Despite the absence of China from the export-sales arena, total U.S. sales are right on the heels of the five-year average for this time of year. We are told only a difference of one percentage point separates the present from the historical. Thus, if China were to come into the export picture late season, then total U.S. sales might really show out.
As far as Friday’s planting report, we must all remember that data is intentional. That means, producers can change their minds, or worst, Mother Nature can whittle away at production. Final acres for the 2019 crop are not published by USDA until late June, so Friday is an important number, but not the only number.
At any rate, one newswire service is suggesting 2019 plantings will fall between 14.1 million acres to 15.40 million acres, with an average of 14.498 million acres. Last year’s crop was 14.1 million acres.
Still, the market needs to be asking itself what if the U.S.-China trade deal indeed comes to pass. China may very well buy “a ton” of cotton from the U.S., and the U.S. may very well need to produce that “ton of cotton”.
For today, support for May cotton stands at 76.90 cents and 76.30 cents, with resistance at 78.45 cents. Estimated overnight volume is 4,755 contracts.