Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA

Cotton modules in picked field at sunset. ©Debra L Ferguson

Spot quotations averaged 96 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 61.09 cents per pound for the week ending Thursday, November 7, 2019.

The weekly average was down from 62.05 last week and from 74.83 cents reported the corresponding period a year ago. Daily average quotations ranged from a low of 60.80 cents Monday, November 4 to a high of 61.49 cents Thursday, November 7.

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Spot transactions reported in the Daily Spot Cotton Quotations for the week ended November 7 totaled 22,261 bales. This compares to 27,086 reported last week and 11,691 spot transactions reported the corresponding week a year ago.

Total spot transactions for the season were 237,276 bales compared to 50,861 bales the corresponding week a year ago. The ICE December settlement price ended the week at 64.35 cents, compared to 64.44 cents last week.

Southeastern Markets Regional Summary

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

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy conditions were observed across Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and Georgia during the period. Daytime high temperatures varied from the low 60s to upper 70s. Isolated showers brought light precipitation to portions of southwest and northwest Alabama during the period. Rainfall totals measured from trace amounts to around one inch of precipitation.

Elsewhere in the southeast, light scattered rainfall totals measured from trace amounts to one-tenth of an inch. Defoliation and harvesting activities continued uninterrupted. Producers shredded stalks. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released November 4, harvesting advanced to 71 percent completed in Alabama and 67 percent completed in Georgia.

Partly cloudy conditions prevailed during the period with daytime high temperatures in the mid-60s to mid-70s. Scattered showers brought light moisture to eastern regions and very localized regions of the coastal Carolinas. Precipitation measurements ranged from trace amounts to around one-quarter of an inch. Defoliation and harvesting activities continued uninterrupted.

Gins continued to operate at capacity as they processed backlogs of modules on gin yards. According to NASS, harvesting advanced to 71 percent completed in South Carolina, and 58 percent completed in North Carolina.

Textile Mill

Demand was good for color 41 and better, leaf 4 and better, and staple 34 and longer for January through October 2020 delivery. No sales were reported. Reports indicated most mills had covered their immediate-to-nearby raw cotton needs. 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 of color mostly 21 and 31, leaf 2 and 3, staple 36-38, mike 35-49, strength 28-30, and uniformity 81-82 sold for around 325 to 350 points on ICE December futures, FOB car/truck, Georgia terms (Rule 5, compression charges paid, 30 days free storage).
  • A light volume of color mostly 31, leaf 2 and 3, staple 36 and 37, mike 43-49, strength 28-32, and uniformity 80-82 sold for around 175 points on ICE December futures, FOB car/truck (Rule 5, compression charges paid).
  • Mixed lots containing color mostly 41, leaf 2 and 3, staple 35-37, mike 37-49, strength 25-30, and uniformity mostly 80-81 sold for around 100 points on ICE December futures, same terms as above.

South Central Markets Regional Summary

North Delta

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

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Seasonably cool temperatures and rain showers characterized the weather pattern. Daytime high temperatures were in the 60s. Overnight lows were in the 30s early in the week. Clear skies emerged briefly mid-week, but a cold air flow brought temperatures in the upper 20s late week, along with more rain showers. Field operations, particularly harvesting and stalk shredding, were delayed.

Producers were concerned that the frequent rain showers, accompanied by high winds, would result in both grade and yield reductions. Most fields have been defoliated; unharvested fields require clear, dry weather before harvesting can resume. Most gins were steadily processing cotton, and classing continued around the clock.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Crop Progress report released November 4, harvesting reached 84 percent completed in Arkansas, 60 in Missouri, and 67 percent completed in Tennessee. A few producers reported yields of around 1,200 pounds per acre.

South Delta

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

Clear to partly cloudy conditions prevailed during the week. Daytime highs were in the 60s and 70s. Overnight lows ranged from the mid-30s to the low 50s as a result of several storm systems. Less than 1 inch of rain was reported. Harvest advanced slowly and other field activities were delayed as producers waited for soft soils to firm enough to support equipment. Producers with cotton still on the stalk were hoping for an extended period of clear, dry weather to allow cotton bolls to dry sufficiently.

Ginning continued at a steady pace with few mechanical or weather related delays. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Crop Progress report released November 4, harvesting had reached 90 percent completed in Louisiana and 77 percent completed in Mississippi. Reported yields ranged from 1,000 to 1,300 pounds per acre.

Trading

North Delta

  • A light volume of mixed lots, old-crop cotton of mostly color 52 and better, leaf 4 and better, staple 33 and longer, mike averaging 50.0, strength averaging 29.7, uniformity averaging 81.4, with 25 percent extraneous matter (mostly bark) sold for around 29.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (Rule 5, compression charges paid.)

South Delta

  • A light volume of mixed lots, old-crop cotton of mostly color 52 and better, leaf 4 and better, staple 33 and longer, mike averaging 50.0, strength averaging 29.7, uniformity averaging 81.4, with 25 percent extraneous matter (mostly bark) sold for around 29.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (Rule 5, compression charges paid.)

Southwestern Markets Regional Summary

East Texas

Spot cotton trading was active. Supplies and producer offerings were heavy. Demand was very good. Average local spot prices were lower. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was slow. Foreign inquiries were moderate. Interest was best from China and Pakistan.

Ginning neared completion in the Rio Grande Valley. Ginning continued for some gins in the Upper Coast, but a few recently finished. Gins in the Winter Garden area expect to operate into January. Ginning neared completion in the Blackland Prairies for some gins.

Most gins ran one shift and had enough backlog of modules to continue ginning. Harvesting was considered completed, even though a few fields remained to be harvested. A winter storm brought heavy rainfall to east Texas at the end of the period. Soggy fields slowed the transportation of modules to gin yards.

Kansas received winter weather late in the reporting period, with daytime highs in the low 40s to mid-60s and overnight lows in the teens to upper 30s. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Crop Progress report released on November 4, harvesting was 18 percent completed, ahead 7 points from last year, and near the 15 percent five-year average.

In Oklahoma, harvesting expanded and quickly progressed under clear, cool conditions. Harvesting had reached 33 percent completed, 6 points ahead of last year, and near the 35 percent five-year average, according to NASS. Harvesting was interrupted by a winter storm event that brought rainfall.

West Texas

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

Harvesting made good progress early in the reporting period, but was interrupted by rainfall. A cold front brought moderate rainfall, wind, and foggy conditions on November 6 and 7. Modules located in soggy fields will remain until fields dry enough to support equipment. Daytime temperature highs were in the low 40s to low 70s, and nighttime lows were in the teens to upper 40s.

Harvesting was 20 to 60 percent completed ahead of the rainy weather, according to local reports. Harvesting was further along in some counties because of the peanut harvest slowing cotton harvest. Some fields were abandoned under insurance regulations. Those fields were shredded and plowed. Ginning continued, and some gins processed all of the back logged modules on the gin yards. The seed cotton is clean and ginning efficiently. Cottonseed prices were reported at 165 to 220 per ton.

Trading

East Texas

  • In Texas, a mixed lot containing a heavy volume of mostly color 51 and better, leaf 2-5, staple 37 and longer, mike 36-46, strength 28-35, and uniformity 78-83 sold for around 57.00 cents per pound, FOB warehouse (compression charges not paid).
  • In Oklahoma, a light volume of mostly color 32 and better, leaf 3 and better, staple 33 and longer, mike averaging 46.5, strength averaging 30.1, and uniformity averaging 79.9 sold for around 57.00 cents, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • A light volume of mostly color 11 and 21, leaf 2 and 3, staple 33 and 34, mike averaging 47.1, strength 27-30, and uniformity averaging 79.7 sold for around 55.50 cents, same terms as above.
  • A light volume of 2018-crop CCC-loan equities traded for 0.00 to 1.75 cents.

West Texas

  • A moderate volume of mostly color 21, leaf 1 and 2, staple 37, mike averaging 44.7, strength averaging 30.5, and uniformity averaging 79.6 sold for around 64.25 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • A mixed lot containing a heavy volume of mostly color 21, leaf 1 and 2, staple 32, mike 46-50, strength 27-30, and uniformity averaging 80.2 sold for around 54.50 cents, same terms as above.
  • A moderate volume of mostly color 22 and 32, leaf 2 and 3, staple 33 and 34, mike 42-46, strength averaging 26.0, and uniformity averaging 78.1 sold for around 53.00 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 lower. Producers were considering whether to put cotton into the CCC-loan program or try for cash bids, as ICE December futures prices remained steady in the mid-60 cents range. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light.

Temperatures were in the mid-80s in central Arizona. A late monsoon type event brought scattered showers, which moved through quickly bringing trace amounts of moisture into the Phoenix area late week. In higher elevations, thunderstorm activity produced cold and drizzly conditions. Harvesting was slowed in the Safford Valley, due to wet weather. Local sources estimated that approximately 40 to 50 percent of the Arizona crop was harvested. Modules were trucked to gin yards. Ginning continued uninterrupted.

In southeastern Arizona near Wilcox, producers prepared equipment for harvest. Some quality concerns were expressed about short staple. One DSW gin reported that they will not operate this season.

Thunderstorms rolled through New Mexico and El Paso, TX late week. Precipitation amounts of one-quarter of an inch up to one-half of an inch were received as a cold front moved through the area. Daytime high temperatures fluctuated between the 60s and 80s. Harvesting was delayed by wet weather. A few modules were on gin yards. Some gins began 2 shifts, but not full operating schedules.

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 moderate. Interest was for both saw and roller ginned Upland from China and Japan.

Temperatures were in the high 70s to low 80s for the week. A high-pressure system off the Pacific Ocean kept conditions dry and dusty. Rainfall was needed to help clear the air. Harvesting neared completion. Producers shredded stalks in compliance with the California Pink Bollworm program. Ginning continued uninterrupted. Modules filled gin yards. Quality data for saw and roller ginning was very good.

American Pima (AP)

Spot cotton trading was slow. Supplies of 2018-crop cotton were moderate. Supplies of 2019-crop cotton were light. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were steady. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were moderate. Shippers offered 2018-crop cotton. Interest was best from Bangladesh, India, Italy, Peru, and Turkey for 2018-crop cotton. Interest was best from Japan and Peru for 2019-crop cotton. Shippers were waiting for possible Chinese import quotas to initiate.

There were no October rain events for the Far West region. A high-pressure system kept conditions dry and dusty for California. Daytime high temperatures were moderate for the week. A cold front brought moisture and dropped temperatures into the 60s for the Safford Valley in Arizona, New Mexico, and El Paso, TX late week. First pick harvesting was nearly completed in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Some second picking continued. Producers shredded stalks in compliance with the California Pink Bollworm program. Wet weather slowed picking in El Paso, TX. There was some concern about wet conditions on fully defoliated cotton. Ginning continued uninterrupted in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Some gins began night shift operations. Ginning began in New Mexico. Quality data for 2019-crop cotton was excellent.

Trading

Desert Southwest

  • No trading activity was reported.

San Joaquin Valley

  • No trading activity was reported.

American Pima

  • A light volume of 2019-crop cotton color 1 and 2, leaf 1 and 2, staple 48 and 50, mike averaging 40.5, strength averaging 45.6, and uniformity 86.8 was sold early in the period.
  • A moderate volume of 2018-crop cotton was sold to mills in Peru.

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