Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA

Coosa, Georgia, cotton field ready for harvest. Photo: Nick McMichen

Average spot quotations were 49 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 58.43 cents per pound for the week ending Thursday, October 3, 2019.

The weekly average was up from 57.94 last week, but down from 72.66 cents reported the corresponding period a year ago. Daily average quotations ranged from a low of 58.26 cents Monday, September 30 to a high of 58.74 cents Thursday, October 3.

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Spot transactions reported in the Daily Spot Cotton Quotations for the week ended October 3 totaled 15,300 bales. This compares to 9,447 reported last week and 3,510 spot transactions reported the corresponding week a year ago.

Total spot transactions for the season were 116,493 bales compared to 20,789 bales the corresponding week a year ago. The ICE December settlement price ended the week at 61.60 cents, compared to 60.28 cents last week.

Southeastern Markets Regional Summary

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

Mostly sunny conditions prevailed over the lower Southeastern region during the period. Unseasonably hot conditions dominated the weather pattern with daytime high temperatures in the low to upper 90s. Light scattered moisture was received in isolated pockets of northeast Alabama and south Georgia during the week. Rainfall totals measured from trace amounts to around one-half of an inch of moisture, offering little relief to wilting and heat stressed plants.

Elsewhere in Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and Georgia, droughty conditions expanded as the hot and dry pattern continued over the region and many areas experienced their warmest and driest September on record, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Full irrigation schedules were maintained on later planted fields.

Harvesting advanced and modules were accumulating in fields and on gin yards. Defoliation expanded, but had stopped in some areas due to extremely dry conditions. Producers would welcome a timely rainfall to relieve heat stressed plants and enhance boll development on the top of the crop. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released September 30, harvesting advanced to 18 percent completed in Georgia and 12 percent completed in Alabama.

A mix of sunny to cloudy conditions prevailed over the upper Southeastern region during the period. Daytime high temperatures varied from the upper 80s to upper 90s throughout the week. Scattered thundershowers brought very localized light precipitation to portions of the Carolinas and cotton growing areas of Virginia during the week.

Precipitation totals measured from trace amounts to around one half of an inch of moisture. New areas of extreme drought developed in areas of South Carolina, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Heat stressed plants wilted under the hot and dry conditions. Producers would welcome a soaking rainfall to invigorate plants and enhance boll development on the top of the crop.

Defoliation and harvesting activities were getting underway. According to NASS, cotton harvested had reached 12 percent in South Carolina, 10 in Virginia, and 5 percent in North Carolina.

Textile Mill

Domestic mill buyers inquired for a moderate volume of color 41, leaf 4, and staple 34 for first quarter 2020. No sales were reported. Reports indicated 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. Agents throughout the Far East inquired for any discounted styles of cotton. No sales were reported.

Trading

  • A moderate volume mixed lot containing color mostly 31-51, leaf 5 and better, staple 34-37, mike 43-49, strength 26-28, and uniformity 79-81 sold for around 56.50 cents per pound, FOB car/truck, Georgia terms (Rule 5, compression charges paid, 30 days free storage).

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 firm. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. No forward contracting was reported.

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Clear to partly cloudy skies prevailed during the week. Several storm cells brought up to 2 inches of precipitation to the northern parts of the Memphis territory, which provided some relief from the scorching temperatures and dusty field conditions. Daytime highs were in the 90s and overnight lows were in the 70s. Much cooler temperatures were in the forecast for the week ahead.

Harvesting activities were delayed in northern areas due to wet conditions, but advanced rapidly in most other areas. Defoliation continued and stalks were shredded on harvested fields. Receipts increased rapidly at the Dumas and Memphis Classing Offices.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released September 30, harvesting had reached 22 percent completed in Arkansas, 6 in Missouri, and 12 percent in Tennessee. NASS continued to rate the crop condition mostly good-to-excellent in Arkansas and Tennessee, and fair-to-good in Missouri. Yields ranged from 1,000 to 1,600 pounds per acre.

South Delta

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

Hot daytime temperatures dominated the weather pattern during the week. Highs were in the upper 90s. Overnight lows moderated to the upper 60s. No rainfall was reported. Field activities progressed rapidly under ideal weather conditions. Producers were hoping for rain showers and cooler temperatures, but only a few isolated thunderstorms were in the forecast for the week ahead. Defoliation expanded over a widespread area.

Harvesting gained momentum, but a number of late-planted fields in Mississippi remained undefoliated. The number of gins processing cotton increased throughout the region. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released September 30, harvesting had reached 33 percent completed in Louisiana and 23 percent in Mississippi.

NASS rated the crop condition mostly fair-to-good in Louisiana and Mississippi. Yields ranged from 1,000 to 1,800 pounds per acre.

Trading

North Delta

  • No trading activity was reported.

South Delta

  • A light volume of 2018-crop CCC-loan equities traded for around -6.50 cents per pound.

Southwestern Markets Regional Summary .

East Texas

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

In the Rio Grande Valley, ginning continued, but a few gins neared completion. Fieldwork was active in the Coastal Bend and Upper Coast, but intermittently delayed from light rain showers. Final harvesting was underway as well as stalk destruction. Shiftwork continued at the gins. In the northern Blackland Prairies, a dry weather pattern settled over the area and harvesting and ginning expanded. Modules were transported to gin yards.

In Kansas, the crop condition was rated 12 percent poor, 37 fair, and 40 percent good, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released on September 30. Bolls opening was 46 percent, lagging behind last year’s 62, and the five-year average of 48 percent.

In Oklahoma, the condition was rated 10 percent poor, 60 fair, and 30 percent good, according to NASS. Bolls opening had reached 69 percent, ahead of 59 from the previous year, and 6 percent higher than the five-year average. Machinery is ready for harvesting. Lots of acres have received defoliant applications, and will be ready for harvest in the next reporting period.

West Texas

Spot cotton trading was slow for the 2018-crop. Supplies and producer offerings were light. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were firm. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. Foreign inquiries were light.

Rainy conditions prevailed with daytime temperatures in the mid-60s to low 90s and overnight lows in the 60s and 70s. Heavy thunderstorms during the period brought up to 7 inches of precipitation, according to local reports. The rainfall will be valuable for the 2020-crop, but comes too late to benefit the current crop. Some fields received excessive hail damage and will not be harvested.

Regrowth at the top of plants has been reported. Some fields have been harvested, but progress was stalled due to wet conditions. Harvesting is expected to expand in the next two weeks, depending on the weather. Fields have had harvest aid treatments applied in the Texas Panhandle and across the market area into the southern Rolling Plains. A few gins have opened in each territory, and 9 gins submitted samples to be graded at the Abilene, Lamesa, and Lubbock Classing Offices.

Trading

East Texas

  • In Texas, a heavy volume of new-crop mostly color 11 and 21, leaf 3 and better, staple 37, mike averaging 47.6, strength averaging 29.6, and uniformity averaging 80.8 sold for around 60.00 cents per pound, FOB warehouse (compression charges not paid).
  • A moderate volume of mostly color 31 and better, leaf 2 and 3, staple 34 and longer, mike averaging 45.5, strength averaging 29.3, and uniformity averaging 79.7 sold for around 56.25 cents, same terms as above.
  • A mixed lot containing a moderate volume of mostly color 51 and 61, leaf 3, staple 36 and 37, mike 43-48, strength 26-29, uniformity 78-81, and 25 percent extraneous matter sold for around 48.00 cents, same terms as above.
  • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for -2.00 to 7.62 cents.

West Texas

  • A moderate volume of 2018-crop cotton color 42, leaf 2 and 3, staple 33, mike 50-51, strength averaging 30.1, uniformity averaging 80.9, and 100 percent extraneous matter sold for around 56.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • A light volume of cotton, color 31 and better, leaf 2 and 3, staple 37, mike averaging 36.0, strength averaging 30.0, and uniformity averaging 81.3 sold for around 52.00 cents, FOB warehouse (compression charges not paid).
  • A light volume of cotton, mostly color 41, leaf 5 and 6, staple 38, mike averaging 34.1, strength averaging 30.6, and uniformity averaging 80.6 sold for around 50.00 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. Trading of CCC-loan equities was slow. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. A light volume of 2018-crop sales were reported. Foreign mill inquiries were best from Pakistan.

Partly cloudy skies prevailed most of the period. Temperatures were in the low to mid-90s for most of the week. No significant amount of precipitation was recorded during the period. In Central Arizona, defoliation continued and harvesting began on a limited scale. Local gins received their first modules of the season. Ginning was expected to begin the week of October 7. Local Safford Valley sources reported that water supplies have ceased and the crop was ready for defoliation, which will begin in the next 7 to 10 days. Ginning continued in Yuma, AZ. According to the National Agricultural Statistic Service’s Arizona Crop Progress report, 41 percent of the crop was in good condition. Temperatures continued to be mild in New Mexico and El Paso, TX, with thunderstorms entering the territory late in the period.

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.

During the period, a cold front entered the area, cooling temperatures. Daytime temperatures were in the low to mid-70s. Defoliation activities continued. Gins made final repairs. Producers prepared equipment for harvest.

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. A light volume of 2018-crop sales was reported. No sales for the 2020 marketing year were reported.

Temperatures ranged from the low 70s to mid-90s in the Far West. Defoliation continued. The crop in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of California was being defoliated on a limited scale, and due to weak demand and low prices, there is no rush. Ginning in the SJV will begin around mid-October.

Trading

Desert Southwest

  • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for around 0.20 cents per pound.

San Joaquin Valley

  • No trading activity was reported.

American Pima

  • No trading activity was reported.

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