The cotton market traded both sides of unchanged Tuesday, but eventually settled slightly higher. Volume was quite low in comparison to recent sessions. The market continues to watch the 2019 planting season unfold, as well as awaiting any final developments on the U.S.-China trade negotiations.
Regarding 2019 plantings, USDA will, at 4 p.m. Monday, release its latest planting data estimates. Last week, the crop showed an advance of 7% versus its five-year average of 7%. So, as it stands there are no abnormalities happening, but then again it is very early in the planting cycle.
For the trade talks, all the market hears these days is how well the conversations are going between U.S. and Chinese negotiators. Yet, no deal has been struck and the market is being quite weary. In fact, we think it is developing “the little boy who cried wolf” syndrome. To that end, it would not surprise us to see the market decline after a final deal is indeed announced.
Another rail the market is awaiting to ride is the delivery period for May cotton. Officially, Spot May enters its notice period on Wednesday. Those traders that remain in the contract, depending upon their futures positions, are subject to either making or taking delivery of actual cotton. Essentially, it is thought heavy deliveries are usually seen as bearish, while light or no deliveries is taken as a market positive.
For Monday, May cotton settled at 77.19 cents, down 0.12 cent, July finished at 78.47 cents, up 0.20 cent and December closed at 77.22 cents, up 0.17 cent. Monday’s estimated volume was 21,500 contracts traded.