Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA

Photo: USDA

Average spot quotations were 68 points higher 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 54.15 cents per pound for the week ending Thursday, August 15, 2019.

The weekly average was up from 53.47 last week, but down from 79.34 cents reported the corresponding period a year ago. Daily average quotations ranged from a low of 52.85 cents Monday, August 12 to a high of 54.98 cents Thursday, August 15.

Spot transactions reported in the Daily Spot Cotton Quotations for the week ended August 15 totaled 5,407 bales. This compares to 2,872 reported last week and 2,999 spot transactions reported the corresponding week a year ago.

Total spot transactions for the season were 9,026 bales compared to 7,630 bales the corresponding week a year ago. The ICE October settlement price ended the week at 59.66 cents, compared to 59.54 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 higher. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive.

Fair to partly cloudy conditions dominated the weather pattern over the lower Southeastern region during the period. Seasonably hot daytime temperatures were in the low to mid-90s, with overnight lows in the upper 70s to low 80s. Moderate precipitation was received in areas throughout Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Weekly accumulated rainfall totals measured from 1 to 4 inches of moisture. Portions of southeast Georgia received 1 to 2 inches of moisture, with lesser accumulations observed in central areas.

Cotton fields progressed well and were maturing rapidly under the intense heat. Local experts reported that dryland fields varied in maturity, due to inconsistent rainfall patterns in recent weeks. Bolls were cracking open in the earliest-planted fields and producers were beginning to think about defoliation options. In younger fields, plant growth regulators continued to be applied as well as treatments for stink bugs.

Plant bugs were reported in north Alabama, as well as spider mites in dry areas. In Georgia, aphids were present in some fields and a few fields were treated for whiteflies. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released August 12, cotton bolls opening advanced to 9 percent in Georgia and 2 percent in Alabama.

Fair to mostly sunny conditions were observed across the upper Southeastern region during the period. Daytime high temperatures were in the upper 80s to low 90s, with nighttime lows in the upper 60s to low 70s. Scattered thunderstorms brought moisture to areas of the central and coastal Carolinas and portions of Virginia. Weekly accumulated precipitation totals measured from 1 to 2 inches of moisture. The beneficial moisture invigorated fields and the crop advanced under the hot conditions.

Local experts reported most fields were in the fifth to seventh week of bloom, and many locations were approaching cut-out. Producers continued to scout fields and made treatments for isolated infestations of bollworms, plant bugs, and stink bugs. According to NASS, boll-setting reached 91 percent in North Carolina, 86 in South Carolina, and 78 percent in Virginia; cotton bolls opening was 1 percent in the Carolinas.

Textile Mill

Domestic mill buyers inquired for a moderate volume of color 41, leaf 4, and staple 36 for nearby delivery. Mill buyers also inquired for a moderate volume of color 41, leaf 4, and staple 35 and longer for January through October 2020 delivery. No sales were reported. Most mills have covered their raw cotton needs through fourth quarter 2019. Demand for open-end and ring-spun yarn was moderate.

Demand through export channels was moderate. Indonesian mill buyers inquired for a moderate volume of recaps containing color mostly 41, leaf 4, and staple 35 and longer for nearby shipment. No sales were reported.

Trading

  • No trading activity was reported.

South Central Markets Regional Summary

North Delta

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

More on Cotton


Extreme heat dominated the weather pattern during the week. Daytime highs were in the mid-90s, but the heat index soared as high as 115 degrees in parts of the Memphis territory. Although overnight lows settled in the low 70s, the heat was slow to dissipate during the evening hours. The National Weather Service maintained heat advisories for many communities. All residents were advised to spend as little time as possible in the heat and to limit or avoid strenuous outdoor activities altogether.

Scattered showers brought up to 2 inch of rain to parts of the region; spectacular displays of heat lightning were observed in several areas, with power outages reported in localized places. The crop made progress under hot and mostly dry growing conditions. Irrigation continued as necessary to maintain soil moisture levels, due to high evapotranspiration rates in areas without rainfall; dryland crops which received precipitation greatly benefitted from the additional moisture.

Producers reported that more fields had reached cut-out and no longer require further inputs to protect yields. Late-planted fields were plagued by high populations of bollworms and plant bugs. Treatments were required to control infestations. Some producers reported late-season weed control problems as a direct result of excess and/or untimely rainfall during the growing season.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Crop Progress report released August 12, boll opening advanced to 3 percent in Arkansas and Tennessee; crop development in Missouri continued to lag at least two weeks behind the five-year average.

South Delta

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

Scorching daytime temperatures were experienced during the week. Daytime highs were in the upper 90s, with the heat index in the 110s and overnight lows in the upper 70s. The National Weather Service maintained heat advisories for many places. Scattered showers brought up to 1 inch of rain to most of the region. Late-planted fields were irrigated wherever possible to maintain good moisture conditions.

Some boll shed was reported in a few fields due to excessive heat. The crop continued to advance under hot and mostly dry conditions. Crop advisors reported that as a result of poor control in some varieties, bollworms were feeding on mature bolls deep in the canopy, which complicated further attempts to eliminate infestations. Populations of spider mites were easily controlled in dry fields. Many fields had reached cut-out and bolls were beginning to open.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Crop Progress report released August 12, boll opening reached 18 percent in Louisiana and 3 percent in Mississippi. The figure for Louisiana was near the five-year average, while Mississippi lagged about one week behind.

Trading

North Delta

  • A light volume of mostly color 41 and 42, leaf 5 and better, staple 36 and longer, mike 44-53, strength 29-34, and uniformity 80-83 traded for around 60.50 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (Rule 5, compression charges paid).

South Delta

  • No trading activity was reported.

Southwestern Markets Regional Summary

East Texas

Spot cotton trading was slow. Supplies and producer offerings were light. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were higher. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was slow. Foreign inquiries were light, but moderate for new-crop.

Harvesting expanded on dryland acres in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) and a few irrigated fields have been harvested. Harvesting was 50 percent completed, according to local sources. Water was applied to some of the irrigated fields. Not all of the gins in the RGV have begun operations. In the Coastal Bend, defoliants were applied on some fields and harvesting had reached 25 percent completed, according to local experts. Fields were treated for boll weevils in Zavala County. The warehouses were busy receiving bales and were anxious to ship, but orders were lacking.

Securing enough warehouse space to store the 2019-crop was a concern. Some space was occupied with 2018-crop bales. Bolls had begun to pop open in the northern Blackland Prairies. Producers were expected to begin applying defoliants after harvesting corn. Light showers brought some moisture to localized areas.

Most areas received more than 1 inch of precipitation in Kansas that helped the crop. Dryland was blooming out of the top of the plant. Most of the stands have caught up, but the later planted irrigated fields remained two weeks behind schedule.

In Oklahoma, the crop in the southwestern counties benefited from recent rainfall. Most fields neared cut-out. Monitoring continued for plant pests.

West Texas

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

Blooming was underway with daytime high temperatures in the upper 90s to low 100s, and overnight lows in the mid-60s to low 80s. Hot, dry conditions prevailed during the period. Irrigation water was applied. Some areas mostly in the Panhandle received a few rain showers, but the dryland crop needs more moisture. Many counties reached the last effective bloom date during the reporting period. This is a critical time for the plants to receive rainfall or irrigation moisture. Some dryland fields passed that point and have begun to lose yield, according to industry experts. Heavier than normal insect populations were treated. Hoe crews manually removed weeds from the fields. Cultivation was ongoing.

Trading

East Texas

  • In Oklahoma, a mixed lot containing a light volume of mostly color 41 and 51, leaf 4 and 5, staple 33 and 34, mike 38-48, strength 28-30, and uniformity 78-80 sold for around 51.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • A mixed lot containing a light volume of mostly color 21, leaf 2 and 3, staple 35 and longer, mike 30-35, strength 27-30, and uniformity 76-80 sold for around 50.50 cents, same terms as above.
  • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for around 8.75 cents.

West Texas

  • A mixed lot containing a light volume of mostly color 21 and 31, leaf 3 and 4, staple 35 and longer, mike averaging 33.8, strength averaging 31.5, and uniformity averaging 80.1 sold for around 52.50 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • A light volume of mostly color 31 and 41, leaf 4 and 5, staple 37, mike 29-36, strength 32-36, and uniformity 78-82 sold for around 51.00 cents, same terms as above.

Western Markets Regional Summary

Desert Southwest (DSW)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and demand were light. Average local spot prices were higher. Producers were offered new-crop contracts, but none were signed as the ICE December futures market remained under 70 cents. No domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light. Demand for 2019-crop was good from mills, who traditionally purchase Far West cotton.

AgFax Weed Solutions


Excessive heat warnings were issued as temperatures rose to the mid-110s in Arizona late in the period. No rainfall was recorded. Heat stress was prevalent in the past two weeks. Producers continued to irrigate their crop to provide relief to the plants. Boll-setting advanced in central Arizona and Safford. Bolls were cracking open in Yuma. Defoliation activities increased.

Local sources reported ginning would begin around the second week of September. Temperatures were in the high 90s to low 100s in New Mexico and El Paso, TX. Monsoon moisture deposited around one-third of an inch mid-week. The crop made good progress.

San Joaquin Valley (SJV)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and demand were light. Average local spot prices were higher. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light. Interest for 2019-crop cotton was steady from mills, who use roller-ginned Upland in their laydowns.

After a brief 3-day respite, triple-digit temperatures returned mid-week. Excessive heat warnings were in place as temperatures rose to the high 100s. Daylight hours were waning. Boll-setting advanced. The crop continues to make good progress. Local industry experts encouraged producers to remain vigilant in monitoring fields and removing plastic contaminates prior to harvest. Producers and pest control advisors made field sweeps to check and control late season pests. Gins readied equipment for ginning. Producers attended annual meetings.

American Pima (AP)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies of 2018-crop cotton 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. Merchants continued to offer 2018-crop cotton.

Hot, dry temperatures in the region pushed the crop to completion. Rainfall was recorded for New Mexico and El Paso, TX. Around one-third of an inch of moisture was received mid-week. Defoliation was active in Yuma, AZ. Boll-setting was good throughout the Far West. Far West producers were busy irrigating and monitoring for late season pests. Some whitefly was found but remained under the threshold for treatment. Industry experts encouraged producers to remain vigilant in checking fields and removing plastic contaminates prior to harvest.

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