The cotton market settled fractionally higher after posting new highs for its move. Both the jobs report and weekly sales and exports were taken as neutral by most markets, and cotton as well. Of course, USDA’s supply-demand took center stage at High Noon.
The government did cut the 2019 production, but its action was nowhere close to the reduced amounts anticipated. The 2019 crop now stands at 20.10 million bales versus last month’s level of 20.21 million. Additionally, U.S. exports were left unchanged, although domestic ending stocks declined to 5.40 million bales, which represented a 100,000 bales slice.
World ending stocks were whacked some 725,000, pushing global carryout from 80.32 million down to 79.59 million. Standing below the 80-million bale mark can be taken as a psychological positive by traders.
Next week, all eyes will be on Washington, D.C., as the phase-one trade deal is expected to be signed by China and the U.S. Of course, much of the positive anticipation for this ceremony is thought to be already baked in the market. After all, from its December low, the market has rallied about 10%, and from its August harvest low, prices have risen about 25%.
Nonetheless, it is a definite positive that the world’s top two economies have come to trading terms to some degree.
For the week, spot March cotton is up 2.11 cents. For Friday, March cotton ended at 71.31 cents, plus 0.62 cent, July closed at 73.42 cents, plus 0.59 cent, and December finished at 72.48 cents, up 0.37 cent. Friday’s estimated volume was an impressive 49,655 contracts.