The cotton market was sharply lower Friday and on the week, as disappointment over the phase-one trade deal rolled into concerns over the coronavirus in China. The latest information indicates the Chinese government has isolated some 45 million people in several cities, the main one being Wuhan. In fact, the disease is now being called the Wuhan virus.
China has closed shopping malls, theme parks, and banned all public gatherings in those affected towns and cities. Fears of disruption of global air travel, resulting in a slow-down in commerce sent many financial and commodities market lower.
In other news, USDA issued its delayed weekly exports-sales data Friday. The numbers were friendly, as weekly sales topped the 300,000-bale mark, with exports well above their monthly pace. Next week, exports-sales return to their normal Thursday schedule. In addition, next week marks the Chinese Lunar New Year’s celebration, and that ought to be interesting.
For the week, spot cotton was off 1.85 cents and for the day March cotton was down 0.65 cent. Estimated volume was 29,765 contracts traded.