Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA

    Truck loaded with modules backing into gin. ©Debra L Ferguson

    Spot quotations were up 217 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 86.90 cents per pound for the week ending Thursday, February 25, 2021.

    This is the highest weekly average since week ending June 14, 2018 when the average was 90.27. The weekly average was up from 84.73 cents last week and from 60.84 reported the corresponding period a year ago. Daily average quotations ranged from a season high of 88.80 cents Wednesday, February 24, to a low of 84.80 cents Thursday, February 25.

    Spot transactions reported in the Daily Spot Cotton Quotations for the week ended February 25 totaled 16,250 bales. This compares to 9,626 reported last week and 21,679 spot transactions reported the corresponding week a year ago.

    Total spot transactions for the season were 1,247,695 bales compared to 1,325,024 bales the corresponding week a year ago. The ICE May settlement price ended the week at 89.69 cents, compared to 90.30 cents last week.

    USDA ANNOUNCES SPECIAL IMPORT QUOTA #19 FOR UPLAND COTTON February 25, 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 March 4, 2021, allowing importation of 8,648,011 kilograms (39,720 bales of 480-lbs) of upland cotton.

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    Quota number 19 will be established as of March 4, 2021 and will apply to upland cotton purchased not later than June 1, 2021 and entered into the U.S. not later than August 30, 2021. The quota is equivalent to one week’s consumption of cotton by domestic mills at the seasonally-adjusted average rate for the period October 2020 through December 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 light. Supplies and producer offerings were light. 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.

    Sunny to mostly cloudy conditions prevailed across the lower Southeast during the period. Seasonably cold daytime high temperatures in the upper 40s to upper 50s warmed into the mid-70s later in the week. Scattered showers brought around one to one and one-half inches of moisture to areas from the Gulf to Atlantic Coasts. Lesser accumulations of one-quarter to one-half of an inch were observed in most of central and north Alabama. Fieldwork was delayed due to wet conditions.

    A few gins remained on gin days as they waited for the last remaining fields to be harvested and the last modules to arrive on gin yards. Producers, ginners, and industry members attended virtual industry meetings and production seminars.

    A mix of sunny and overcast conditions were observed across the upper Southeast as scattered storms moved across the region throughout the period. Seasonably cold daytime high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 40s over the weekend warmed into the 60s and 70s later in the week. Widespread showers brought moderate rainfall to areas throughout the Carolinas and Virginia.

    Weekly accumulated rainfall totals measured from 1 to 2 inches, with heavier amounts observed along the coastal Carolinas. Fieldwork activities remained at a standstill. A few gins remained on gin days as they waited for the final modules to arrive on gin yards. Producers, ginners, and industry members attended virtual industry meetings and production seminars.

    Textile Mill

    Buyers for domestic mills purchased a light volume of color 41, leaf 4, and staple 35 and longer for March and May delivery. Mill buyers inquired for a heavy volume of 2021-crop cotton, color 41-51, leaf 5 and better, and staple 32 and longer for November 2021 through December 2022 delivery. No additional sales were reported. Finished product demand had improved at some smaller mills and operating schedules continued to incrementally increase at some locations. Mills continued to produce personal protective equipment for frontline workers and military supplies.

    Demand through export channels was moderate, but sales had tapered due to rising ICE futures prices. Agents for mills in China and Korea inquired for a moderate volume of USDA Green Card Class, color 31, leaf 3, and staple 37 for nearby and August shipment. Agents for mills in Thailand and Vietnam inquired for a moderate volume of color 21 and 31, leaf 2 and 3, and staple 34 and 35 for April and May shipment. No sales were reported.

    Trading

    • A light volume even-running lot containing color 41, leaf mostly 3, staple 36, mike 40-45, strength 30-32, uniformity averaging 81.5, and 25 percent seed coat fragments sold for 91.00 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 higher. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. Producers booked a light volume of 2021-crop CCC-loan equities as ICE December futures prices rose steadily during the week. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to negatively impact the overall global economy, but daily infection rates have been declining in most places. Vaccinations were progressing steadily in all areas.

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    Seasonably mild climatic conditions returned after a week of extreme winter conditions and heavy snowfall. Daytime highs rebounded sharply from the single digits to the 50s and 60s by the end of the week. Overnight temperatures were in the 30s and 40s, near the historical average. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, sufficient precipitation was received in the past week to reduce the areas of moderate drought in western Tennessee. More precipitation would be helpful to fully recharge subsoil moisture levels.

    Producers were encouraged by the strong showing of commodity prices, but many were still hoping for even higher prices before booking the remainder of their estimated 2021 cotton production. Producers and other interested parties participated in virtual industry meetings and educational seminars.

    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 inactive. Strong commodity prices encouraged producers to book a light volume of 2021-crop cotton. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to negatively impact the overall global economy, but daily infection rates have been declining in many areas. Vaccinations were moving forward at a steady pace in all areas.

    Seasonably average weather conditions returned after a week of extreme winter temperatures and precipitation. High temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. Overnight lows were in the 40s to 60s. Producers were encouraged by the bullish nature of the ICE December futures prices as they continued planning crop selections for the upcoming planting season. No fieldwork was reported.

    According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the precipitation received in the past week helped reduce the areas of moderate drought in Louisiana and Mississippi, but more rain is needed to fully recharge the soil moisture profile. Producers and other members of the cotton industry participated in a hybrid virtual/live Louisiana Cotton and Grain Producers annual meeting, as well as other virtual industry events and educational seminars.

    Trading

    North Delta

    • Producers booked a light volume of CCC-loan equities for 28.00 to 29.00 cents per pound.

    South Delta

    • Producers booked a light volume of CCC-loan equities for 28.00 to 29.00 cents per pound.

    Southwestern Markets Regional Summary

    East Texas

    Spot cotton trading was moderate. Supplies and producer offerings were moderate. Demand was moderate. Average local spot prices were higher. Producer interest in forward contracting was heavy. Trading of CCC-loan equities was slow. Foreign inquiries were light. Interest was best from Pakistan, Taiwan, and Turkey. The COVID-19 Pandemic continued to influence marketing logistics and impact global cotton demand. Medical communities continued administering vaccinations.

    The visible remnants of last week’s winter storm melted away and more seasonable temperatures prevailed in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) and in south Texas. Daytime highs were in the low 50s to low 80s with overnight lows in the 30s to mid-50s. Fieldwork was active in the RGV with a light volume of cotton fields planted. Rain is in the nearby forecast for the Upper Coastal counties and fields were prepared.

    Planting seed was stored at warehouses, but delivery to the producers was lagging due to the impact of COVID-19 slowing normal operations, according to local reports. Seed was booked in the Blackland Prairies, where activities centered around repairs following the storm.

    In Kansas, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 15 percent very short, 27 short, and 51 percent adequate, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Crop Progress report published on February 22. Subsoil moisture was rated similar at 15 percent very short, 29 short, and 52 percent adequate. Gins were shutdown temporarily to allow the natural gas and electric rates to moderate.

    The ground remained frozen and fieldwork was inactive. Fewer acres were expected to be planted next season for different reasons including crop rotations. In Oklahoma, fieldwork was active until rainfall stopped all activities at the end of the period. A heavy amount of planting seed had been booked. There was renewed interest in cotton planting as prices moved higher.

    West Texas

    Spot cotton trading was moderate. Supplies and producer offerings were light. Demand was moderate. Average local spot prices were higher. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was slow. Foreign inquiries were light. Interest was best from Pakistan, Taiwan, and Turkey. COVID-19 vaccination distributions were underway, but were hampered by inclement weather that left available appointments unused during the period.

    Accumulated ice and snow melted early in the period with daytime highs in the low 40s to upper 60s. Overnight temperatures were in the teens to low 40s. All precipitation was beneficial, but the amounts received were light. More rainfall is needed to help ease droughty conditions. Daytime temperatures moved above the freezing mark for the first time in more than eight days for most locations.

    Damage assessments were underway for equipment, facilities, crops, and livestock. The week following the historic arctic storm Uri was focused on recovery and normalization. Water well companies were inundated with repairs to agricultural water pumping systems, as well as commercial and residential facilities. Restoring electricity was also a high priority. Many of the weather stations lost electricity and data transmission was interrupted.

    Ginning continued. Recently planted cover crops were damaged and will not be replanted. Producers continued to weigh their planting options. Planting seed was booked and a few retailers received seed deliveries.

    Trading

    East Texas

    • In Kansas, a light volume of color 43 and 44, leaf 3-6, staple 34 and longer, mike averaging 40.1, strength 26-29, uniformity 80-81, and 75 percent extraneous matter sold for around 71.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
    • In Oklahoma, a light volume containing color 21 and 31, leaf 2 and 3, staple 36 and longer, mike 35-46, strength 29-35, and uniformity 78-82 sold for around 91.50 cents, same terms as above.
    • A light volume of color 22 and 32, leaf 3-6, staple 35-37, mike averaging 35.8, strength 32-35, uniformity 80-82, and 50 percent extraneous matter sold for around 82.50 cents, same terms as above.
    • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for 12.75 to 27.50 cents.

    West Texas

    • A heavy volume of color 11 and 21, leaf 3 and better, staple 37 and longer, mike 30-34, strength 28-34, and uniformity 77-82 sold for around 85.00 cents per pound, FOB car/truck (compression charges not paid).
    • A moderate volume mixed lot containing color 33 and better, leaf 2-7, staple 37 and longer, mike 30-46, strength 28-35, uniformity 77-84, and 25 percent extraneous matter sold for around 81.00 cents, same terms as above.
    • Mixed lots containing a moderate volume of color 22 and better, leaf 3 and better, staple 34 and 35, mike 31-36, strength 29-34, and uniformity 78-80 sold for around 80.00 cents, same terms as above.
    • A light volume containing mostly color 21 and 31, leaf 3 and 4, staple 36 and 37, mike 27-30, strength 29-34, uniformity 77-88, and 50 percent extraneous matter sold for around 73.00 cents, same terms as above.
    • A light volume of CCC-loan equities traded for around 19.00 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. Cooperatives and merchants opened pool sign-ups. No domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light. Competitive foreign growths such as Brazilian and Indian cotton as well as U.S. off-qualities were attractively priced to mill buyers.

    Slight improvements were noted in consumer spending, world economies, labor, and demand for agricultural products due to COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, various government stimulus programs, and local and regional recovery efforts.

    Daytime high temperatures were in the mid-70s in central Arizona. Planting continued in Yuma. Local sources estimated 25 to 30 percent of the crop was planted. Mostly sunny conditions kept daytime high temperatures in the 60s and 70s for New Mexico and El Paso, TX. Overnight lows were in the 30s. Fieldwork was active in the region. No moisture was recorded in cotton-growing areas of the DSW.

    San Joaquin Valley (SJV)

    Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and demand were light. Average local spot prices were higher. Producers inquired for 2021-crop forward contracts. Cooperatives and merchants opened pool sign-ups. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were light. Competitive foreign growths such as Brazilian and Indian cotton were attractively priced to mill buyers.

    Some improvements were noted in consumer spending, world economies, labor, and demand for agricultural products due to COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, various government stimulus programs, and local and regional recovery efforts. Temperatures were in the high 60s to low 70s. Producers prepared fields and equipment for planting. Producers considered spring planting options.

    American Pima (AP)

    Spot cotton trading was active. Supplies and producer offerings of 2020-crop cotton were heavy. Demand was good. Average local spot prices were higher. No forward contracting or domestic mill activity was reported. Foreign mill inquiries were slow. Shippers’ offering prices for 2020-crop cotton were firm. Some improvements were noted in consumer spending, world economies, labor, and demand for agricultural products due to COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, various government stimulus programs, and local and regional recovery efforts.

    Temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. No moisture was recorded in the period. Planting was active in Yuma, AZ. Fieldwork was active across the region. The final 2020-crop samples were received at the Visalia Classing Office from Arizona gins. Ginning continued in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

    Trading

    Desert Southwest

    • A heavy volume mixed lot mostly color 21 and better, leaf 2 and better, staple 35 and longer, mike 35-50, strength 28-33, and uniformity 78-83 sold for around 500 points off ICE May futures, uncompressed, FOB warehouse.
    • A moderate volume of color 21 and 31, leaf 1 and 2, staple 36 and longer, mike 43-55, strength 29-33, and uniformity 79-83 sold for around 650 points off ICE May futures, same terms as above.
    • A moderate volume of Arizona 2021-crop cotton for contract base quality color 31, leaf 3, and staple 36 was booked at even to 50 points on ICE December futures. These contracts were subject to government discounts.

    San Joaquin Valley

    • No trading activity was reported.

    American Pima

    • A moderate volume of color 2, leaf 2, and staple 48 traded for around 140.00 cents per pound, UD free, FOB warehouse.
    • A light volume of color mostly color 1, leaf 1, and staple 50 traded for around 139.00 cents uncompressed FOB warehouse.



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