Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA

Ginned cotton bale coming off conveyor at Mill Creek Gin. ©Debra L Ferguson

Average spot quotations were up 89 points from 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 77.41 cents per pound for the week ending Thursday, January 21, 2021.

The weekly average was up from 76.52 cents last week and from 65.95 reported the corresponding period a year ago. Daily average quotations ranged from a low of 76.56 cents Friday, January 15 to a season high of 78.64 cents Thursday, January 21.

Spot transactions reported in the Daily Spot Cotton Quotations for the week ended January 21 totaled 44,177 bales. This compares to 79,659 reported last week and 49,718 spot transactions reported the corresponding week a year ago.

Total spot transactions for the season were 1,104,667 bales compared to 1,154,549 bales the corresponding week a year ago. The ICE March settlement price ended the week at 82.57 cents, compared to 81.15 cents last week.

USDA ANNOUNCES SPECIAL IMPORT QUOTA #14 FOR UPLAND COTTON January 21, 2021

The Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation announced a special import quota for upland cotton that permits importation of a quantity of upland cotton equal to one week’s domestic mill use. The quota will be established on January 28, 2021, allowing importation of 9,464,255 kilograms (43,469 bales of 480-lbs) of upland cotton.

More on Cotton


Quota number 14 will be established as of January 28, 2021 and will apply to upland cotton purchased not later than April 27, 2021 and entered into the U.S. not later than July 26, 2021. The quota is equivalent to one week’s consumption of cotton by domestic mills at the seasonally-adjusted average rate for the period September 2020 through November 2020, the most recent three months for which data are available.

Future quotas, in addition to the quantity announced, will be established if price conditions warrant.

Southeastern Markets Regional Summary

Spot cotton trading was moderate. Supplies and producer offerings were moderate. Demand was good. Average local spot prices were higher. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to negatively affect cotton demand and disrupt supply chains.

A mix of sunny to cloudy conditions were observed across the lower Southeast during the period. Daytime high temperatures varied from the low 50s to low 60s. Mostly dry conditions prevailed throughout the week allowing fieldwork to continue without interruption. Producers harvested the last remaining fields, transported modules to gin yards, and shredded stalks.

Ginning continued at larger plants; many smaller gins had finished pressing operations for the season or gone to gin days. Producers, ginners, and industry members attended the Southern Southeastern virtual meeting.

Overcast conditions entering the period gave way to sunny skies during most of the week. Daytime high temperatures varied from the upper 40s to low 60s. Scattered showers brought trace amounts to around one-half of an inch of moisture to the eastern Carolinas and Virginia early in the period.

Dry and sunny conditions the rest of the week allowed fieldwork to continue without interruption. Ginning continued; a few gins had finished operations for the season and some others had gone to gin days. Producers, ginners, and industry members attended the Southern Southeastern virtual meeting.

Textile Mill

Buyers for domestic mills inquired for a moderate volume of color 41, leaf 4, and staple 34 and 36 for second quarter delivery. No sales were reported. Mill buyers also made initial inquiries for 2021-crop cotton, color 41, leaf 4, and staple 34 and 36 for fourth quarter 2021 through first quarter 2022 delivery. No sales were reported.

Reports indicated that mills continued to incrementally increase operating schedules as warranted by increased finished product demand. Yarn demand was good. Mills continued to produce personal protective equipment for frontline workers and military supplies.

Demand through export channels was moderate. Demand was good throughout the Far East for any discounted styles of cotton.

Trading

  • A light volume of color 31 and 41, leaf 3 and 4, staple 36 and 37, mike 37-49, strength 29-31, uniformity 80-82, and 50 percent seed coat fragments traded for around 125 points off ICE March futures, FOB car/truck, Georgia terms (Rule 5, compression charges paid, 30 days free storage).
  • A light volume of color 41 and 51, leaf 3 and 4, staple mostly 38, mike 43-47, strength 28-31, uniformity80-82, and 50 percent seed coat fragments sold for around 325 points off ICE March futures, same terms as above.

South Central Markets Regional Summary

North Delta

Spot cotton trading was slow. Supplies of available cotton were moderate. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were higher. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. No forward contracting was reported, but interest among producers is increasing as the price of cotton rises in the marketplace. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to negatively impact the overall global economy and daily infection rates were steadily increasing in many areas.

AgFax Weed Solutions


Mostly cloudy skies and seasonably cool temperatures prevailed during the week. Highs were in the 40s and 50s. Overnight lows were in the 30s and 40s. Up to 1 inch of precipitation was recorded during the period. No field activities were reported. Several gins continued to process modules that were arriving at their yards daily. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, rainfall over the past month has been below average, resulting in abnormal dryness throughout much of northeastern Arkansas and western Tennessee.

Some producers have indicated that good commodity prices for grains has dampened interest in sowing cotton this spring, but rising cotton prices could reverse that sentiment before spring planting begins in late April.

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 slow. No forward contracting was reported, but producers are carefully watching the price of the December ICE futures contract. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to negatively impact economic activity around the world and daily infection rates were steadily increasing in many areas.

Cloudy to partly cloudy conditions characterized the weather pattern during the week. Mild daytime highs were in the 50s to 60s. Less than 1 inch of rain was reported in most areas. No field activities were reported. The Rayville Classing Office was classing cotton samples on a day-by-day basis. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, rainfall over the past month has been below average, resulting in abnormal dryness throughout much of northeastern Louisiana and central Mississippi.

Local experts have reported that strong commodity prices for grains has dampened interest in sowing cotton this spring, but rising cotton prices could reverse that sentiment before spring planting begins in April.

Trading

North Delta

  • A light volume of color 41 and better, leaf 4 and better, staple 37 and longer, mike averaging 40.0, strength averaging 31.5, and uniformity averaging 83.4 traded for around 150 on ICE March futures, FOB car/truck (Rule 5, compression charges paid).
  • A moderate volume of color 51 and better, leaf 4 and better, staple 37 and longer, mike 37-52, strength 28-34, and uniformity 80-84 traded for around 150 points off ICE March futures, same terms as above.

South Delta

  • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for 23.00 cents per pound.

Southwestern Markets Regional Summary

East Texas

Spot cotton trading was active. Supplies and producer offerings were heavy. Demand was good. Average local spot prices were higher. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was slow. Foreign inquiries were heavy. Interest was best from Korea, Pakistan, and Taiwan. The COVID-19 Pandemic continued to influence market uncertainty and impact global cotton demand. Medical communities struggled with positive case surges. Vaccination clinics were held.

Widespread rainfall brought beneficial moisture to East Texas, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. In Corpus Christi, cool, crisp weather conditions were reported with daytime temperature highs in the mid-40s to low 50s, and overnight lows in the upper 30s to mid-50s. Rain was received in the Blackland Prairies that left fields soggy and interrupted fieldwork. Ginning continued at the few gins that were still open. Virtual meetings were held to inform and educate industry members.

Harvesting neared the end in Kansas, and ginning continued at all locations. In Oklahoma, harvesting was done. Ginning continued at most locations with a few gins finished for the season. Producers attended the virtual Red River Crops Conference hosted by Oklahoma State University Extension.

West Texas

Spot cotton trading was active. Supplies and producer offerings were heavy. Demand was good. Average local spot prices were higher. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was slow. Foreign inquiries were heavy. Interest was best from Korea, Pakistan, and Taiwan. The COVID-19 Pandemic continued to impact commodity markets and global cotton demand. Infection spikes continued to pressure local medical institutions and resources. Vaccination distributions were underway.

Wintry weather brought light snow and rain to counties in the Panhandle and windy conditions elsewhere that elevated fire dangers. Daytime temperature highs were in the mid-40s to upper 60s and overnight lows were in the low 20s to mid-40s. Fieldwork was minimal, but fertilizer was applied.

Ginning continued at locations that had modules on the yards for processing. Producers attended virtual meetings. Decisions will need to be made regarding which seed varieties to plant in the spring. Those choices determine which herbicidal chemistries to use ahead of sowing.

Trading

East Texas

  • In Texas, a light volume of color 41, leaf 5 and better, staple 34 and 35, mike 34-36, strength 29-32, and uniformity 79-82 sold for around 67.75 cents per pound, FOB warehouse (compression charges not paid).
  • In Kansas, a light volume of color 41, 42, and 43, leaf 4 and 5, staple 34 and 35, mike averaging 42.3, strength averaging 29.1, uniformity averaging 81.2, and 75 percent extraneous matter sold for around 70.00 cents, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • In Oklahoma, an even-running lot containing a light volume of color 31, leaf 2 and 3, staple 35 and 36, mike 45-47, strength 28-31, and uniformity 79-81 sold for around 78.00 cents, same terms as above.
  • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for 18.25 to 25.75 cents.

West Texas

  • An even-running lot containing a light volume of color 21 and 31, leaf 2 and 3, staple 36 and longer, mike 38-42, strength 28-31, and uniformity 77-80 sold for around 80.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
  • A heavy volume containing mostly color 11 and 21, leaf 1 and 2, staple 34-37, mike 27-43, strength 25-33, and uniformity 77-80 sold for around 77.75 cents, same terms as above.
  • A mixed lot containing a heavy volume of color 32 and better, leaf 3 and better, staple 35 and longer, mike 37-52, strength 29-33, and uniformity 78-83 sold for around 73.75 cents, same terms as above.
  • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for around 22.50 cents.

Western Markets Regional Summary

Desert Southwest (DSW)

Spot cotton trading was slow. Supplies and producer offerings were moderate. Demand was moderate. Average local spot prices were higher. Producers delivered previously contracted cotton to merchant and cooperative marketing pools. Producer interest in forward contracting 2021-crop was good, but most were waiting for 80.00 cents on the ICE December futures contract. No domestic mill activity was reported.

Foreign mill inquiries were good. Shippers continued to report U.S. port congestion, vessel wait times, container availability, trucking logistics, and labor shortages. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to pressure worldwide economies and labor.

Beneficial rainfall and windy conditions moved into southern Arizona from Baja California. Above-average temperatures lowered into the high 60s for central Arizona. Producers are considering alternate row crops. The San Carlos Irrigation and Drainage District released an initial January water allocation of 0.36-acre foot. High temperatures varied in the 50s to 60s for New Mexico and El Paso, TX.

Showers entered the area late Wednesday evening. An extremely dry fall/winter season affected water availability and outlook. Local sources reported water allotments would not be available until June 1, which will affect initial plantings. Growers will be forced to pump from wells. The ‘non’soon season took a toll on the DSW. Fieldwork was active in the region. Ginning continued. The Visalia Classing Office continues to operate two-shifts.

San Joaquin Valley (SJV)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and demand were moderate. Average local spot prices were higher. Producers delivered previously contracted cotton to merchant and cooperative marketing pools. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light. Shippers continued to report U.S. port congestion, vessel wait times, container availability, trucking logistics, and labor shortages. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to pressure worldwide economies and labor.

Above-average temperatures were the norm. Daytime high temperatures were in the high 60s, nearly 10 degrees higher than usual. Early morning fog was present in the period. No rainfall was received in the Valley. The California Department of Water Resources reported the statewide snowpack at 42 percent of average as of January 19. The snowpack water equivalent was reported at 6 inches. More rain and snow are needed. Ginning continued. The Visalia Classing Office continues to operate two-shifts.

American Pima (AP)

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies of 2020-crop cotton were heavy. Demand was very good. Producers delivered previously contracted cotton to merchant and cooperative marketing pools. Average local spot prices were steady. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were moderate. Interest was best from China, India, Pakistan, and Peru.

Shippers offering prices were firm for 2020-crop cotton. Shippers continued to report U.S. port congestion, vessel wait times, container availability, trucking logistics, and labor shortages. The COVID-19 Pandemic slowed the progress of global economies and labor.

Partly cloudy to sunny conditions were the norm throughout the region. The Desert Southwest received scattered showers mid-week. An extremely dry fall/winter season affected water availability and outlook for the Far West. The forecast looks hopeful for rain and snow. There is still time before final planting decisions are made. Ginning continued uninterrupted. The Visalia Classing Office continues to operate two-shifts.

Trading

Desert Southwest

  • A heavy volume of Arizona cotton color 21 and better, leaf 2 and better, staple mostly 37 and longer, mike 39-53, strength 26-36, and uniformity 78-83 sold for around 83.50 cents per pound, uncompressed, FOB warehouse.
  • A light volume of mostly color 21, leaf 2 and better, staple 35 and longer sold for around 175 points off March ICE futures, same terms as above.
  • A heavy volume of 2021-crop cotton was contracted.

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