Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA

Photo: Nick McMichen

Average spot quotations averaged 187 points lower than the previous week, according to the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service’s Cotton and Tobacco Program. Quotations for the base quality of cotton (color 41, leaf 4, staple 34, mike 35-36 and 43-49, strength 27.0-28.9, and uniformity 81.0-81.9) in the seven designated markets averaged 56.58 cents per pound for the week ending Thursday, July 18, 2019.

This is the lowest weekly average since week ending March 31, 2016 when the average was 56.11. The weekly average was down from 58.45 last week and from 85.14 cents reported the corresponding period a year ago. Daily average quotations ranged from a high of 57.99 cents Monday, July 15 to a season low of 55.28 cents Thursday, July 18.

Spot transactions reported in the Daily Spot Cotton Quotations for the week ended July 18 totaled 3,250 bales. This compares to 1,262 reported last week and 2,237 spot transactions reported the corresponding week a year ago.

Total spot transactions for the season were 1,264,938 bales compared to 2,058,676 bales the corresponding week a year ago. The ICE Oct settlement prices ended the week at 60.78 cents, compared to 62.89 cents last week.

Southeastern Markets Regional Summary

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and producer offerings were light. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were lower. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive.

More on Cotton


Mostly cloudy to overcast conditions prevailed across the lower Southeastern region over the weekend. Daytime high temperatures were in the upper 80s to low 90s. Widespread showers associated with Tropical Storm Barry brought moisture to areas throughout west Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Rainfall accumulations measured from 1 to 4 inches of moisture.

Producers welcomed the soaking rainfall, which replenished soil moisture and relieved heat stressed plants. In Georgia, rain events were spotty during the week; southern cotton growing areas of the state received from trace amounts to around one-half of an inch of moisture. The crop continued to make good progress; squaring advanced and boll-setting gained momentum. Local experts reported aphid populations had declined rapidly.

Stink bug populations were heavier than normal and some fields required multiple treatments to combat the pests. Bollworm moth flights were getting underway. Some fields were treated for Target Spot disease. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released July 15, cotton squaring advanced to 82 percent in Alabama and 79 percent in Georgia; boll-setting advanced to 45 percent in Georgia and 32 percent in Alabama.

A mix of fair to sunny conditions dominated the weather pattern across the upper Southeastern region during the period. Scattered thunderstorms brought moderately heavy moisture to areas of eastern North Carolina and portions of coastal Virginia early in the period. Precipitation totals measured from one-quarter of an inch to four inches of rainfall. Light, spotty shower activity was observed in localized areas of eastern South Carolina.

Fieldwork was interrupted in areas that received the heaviest rainfall. Seasonably warm daytime highs were in the low-to-mid 90s. The crop progressed well; squaring and boll-setting advanced. In many fields plant maturity remained variable and producers made spot applications of plant growth regulators. Producers scouted fields and applied pesticides to combat stink bugs.

Bollworm moth flights were underway in areas of North Carolina. Pressure from aphids was heavy in areas of Virginia. According to NASS, cotton squaring reached 82 percent in North Carolina, 68 in South Carolina, and 77 percent in Virginia. Boll-setting reached 35 percent in North Carolina, 34 in South Carolina, and 9 percent in Virginia.

Textile Mill

Inquiries from domestic mill buyers remained light. No sales were reported. Most mills have covered their raw cotton needs through the third quarter of 2019. Demand for open-end and ring-spun yarn was moderate.

Demand through export channels was moderate. Agents for mills throughout the Far East inquired for any discounted or low-grade styles of cotton.

Trading

  • No trading activity was reported.

South Central Markets Regional Summary

North Delta

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies of available cotton and demand were light. Average local spot prices were lower. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. No forward contracting was reported.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Barry, including high winds and heavy rain storms, moved through the region during the week. The moisture was generally beneficial, particularly in drier areas; however, some parts of Arkansas and Missouri received approximately 6 inches of precipitation, and many fields were flooded. Fieldwork was at a standstill due to saturated soils.

Daytime temperatures were in the 90s in the wake of the storm and the heat index soared into the low 100s as a result of high humidity; the National Weather Service maintained a heat advisory for most of the Memphis territory. Overnight lows were in the 70s. The crop made excellent progress under hot, wet conditions.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, boll-setting advanced to 72 percent in Arkansas, 1 in Missouri, and 13 percent in Tennessee. Producers carefully monitored plant bug and bollworm populations. Aircraft was used to treat fields for infestations of insect pests. The Southern Cotton Ginners Association began its series of annual regional meetings to inform members of important issues effecting the cotton industry.

South Delta

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies of available cotton were moderate. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were lower. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. No forward contracting was reported.

Hurricane Barry was downgraded to a Tropical Storm when it came ashore in central Louisiana early in the period. Strong winds and torrential rains moved through the region over the course of several days. Fields in need of moisture generally benefitted from the moisture; however, some parts of the cotton-producing areas of central Mississippi received up to 8 inches of precipitation, and many fields were flooded.

No fieldwork was possible due to wet conditions. Daytime temperatures were in the 90s and the heat index soared into the low 100s as a result of extremely high humidity; the heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service last week remained in effect. Overnight lows were in the mid-70s. The crop responded well to the hot, humid conditions. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, boll-setting advanced to 40 percent in Louisiana and 21 percent in Mississippi.

Producers carefully monitored plant bug and bollworm populations. Aerial a pplications were made as necessary to control insect pests and excessive vegetative growth. The Southern Cotton Ginners Association began its series of annual regional meetings, which keeps members up-to-date regarding issues effecting the cotton industry.

Trading

North Delta

  • No trading activity was reported.

South Delta

  • No trading activity was reported.

Southwestern Markets Regional Summary

East Texas

Spot cotton trading was slow. Supplies and producer offerings were moderate. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were lower. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. Foreign inquiries were light.

AgFax Weed Solutions


In the Rio Grande Valley, the crop continued to make good progress under hot, sunny conditions with daytime high temperatures in the upper 90s to low 100s, and overnight lows in the upper 70s to low 80s. Heat units built and fields dried out from recent heavy rainfall. The plants were loaded and bolls had begun to pop open. Defoliants were applied in Cameron County, according to the Pest Cast newsletter, published on July 13. Harvesting is nearby. Bolls had begun to pop open in the Coastal Bend.

In the Blackland Prairies, some stands had begun to bloom and others continued to square. Dry conditions prevailed, and the crop improved. Plant growth regulators were applied. Producers continued to manage weed flushes.

In Kansas, the crop began to improve with warmer daytime temperatures. Fields dried and producers were able to plow and target weeds. More heat units are needed to help the stands progress. Ginning was completed. In Oklahoma, fields had begun to square. Although the crop was late, progress was made under drier field conditions with daytime high temperatures in the mid-90s to low 100s. Irrigation water was applied.

West Texas

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and producer offerings were moderate. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were lower. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. Foreign inquiries were light.

The crop continued to make good progress under hot, sunny conditions with daytime high temperatures in the mid-90s to low 100s, and overnight lows in the upper 70s to low 80s. Irrigation water was applied. Fertilizer was applied on dryland fields. Industry members were optimistic about the deep root systems that have been established by the plants in counties south of Lubbock.

Although the crop is advancing, a widespread rain event is needed. Intermittent rainfall on July 11 brought up to 3 inches of moisture to localized areas. Some stands sustained hail damage. Lots of stand variability was reported. Some stands were blooming and some had 2-true leaves. Stands in the Northern High Plains had begun to square, while other stands struggled to advance. Producers monitored and applied treatments for fleahoppers and lygus.

Trading

East Texas

  • In Kansas, a mixed lot containing a heavy volume of mostly color 42-85, leaf 5-8, staple 35 and 36, mike 28-47, strength 23-29, uniformity 77-81, and 75 percent extraneous matter sold for around 42.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • In Oklahoma, a light volume of mostly color 21 and 31, leaf 2 and 3, staple 37 and 38, mike averaging 36.4, strength averaging 28.6, and uniformity averaging 79.4 sold for around 58.50 cents, same terms as above.
  • A light volume of mostly color 41, leaf 3 and 4, staple 34, mike averaging 34.5, strength 27-30, and uniformity averaging 78.9 sold for around 45.00 cents, same terms as above.

West Texas

  • A mixed lot containing a light volume of mostly color 42-85, leaf 5-8, staple 35 and 36, mike 26-47, strength averaging 27.0, uniformity averaging 80.6, and 75 percent extraneous matter sold for around 42.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • A light volume of organic color 31 and better, leaf 3 and better, staple 40 and longer was sold for prompt shipment.
  • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for 7.00 cents.

Western Markets Regional Summary

Desert Southwest (DSW)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and demand were light. Average local spot prices were lower. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light.

Daytime high temperatures were in the mid-100s to mid-110s in Arizona. No rainfall was recorded for western and central Arizona in the period. Sources reported boll-setting was good in Yuma. The crop condition was rated mostly good to excellent, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report for week ending July 14.

Light monsoon activity brought spotty showers to Safford, AZ, New Mexico, and El Paso, TX. The moisture was beneficial. In general, hot conditions progressed the crop daily and helped the crop catch up. The condition of the New Mexico crop was rated mostly fair to good, according to NASS. Local experts would like to have more monsoon activity as extremely dry conditions existed. DSW producers were fertilizing and irrigating. Light insect pressure was reported and easily controlled.

San Joaquin Valley (SJV)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and demand were light. Average local spot prices were lower. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light.

Temperatures were mostly in the 90s. The crop made good progress. Blooming and boll-setting advanced. The Valley has had 11 days of temperatures of 100+ degrees compared to 22 days of 100+ degree temperatures by this time last year.

American Pima (AP)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies were moderate. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were steady. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light.

Mostly hot, dry weather advanced the Far West crop. Blooming and boll development advanced. Scattered showers were received in Safford, AZ, New Mexico, and El Paso, TX.

Trading

Desert Southwest

  • No trading activity was reported.

San Joaquin Valley

  • No trading activity was reported.

American Pima

  • No trading activity was reported.

The Latest


Send press releases to Ernst@Agfax.com.

View All Events


Send press releases to Ernst@Agfax.com.

View All Events