DTN Cotton Open: Wobbles on Poor Exports

Cotton seedlings. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

The cotton market was higher overnight but quickly soured when USDA reported less-than-stellar export sales for last week. Previously, sales were 270,000 but today they were only 122,000 and China was noticeably absent.

USDA’s full report is as follows: Net sales of 122,300 RB for 2020/2021 were down 55 percent from the previous week and 54 percent from the prior 4-week average.

Increases primarily for Turkey (29,400 RB), Pakistan (21,800 RB, including 1,500 RB switched from the United Arab Emirates), Vietnam (20,500 RB, including 5,200 RB switched from China and 600 RB switched from South Korea), Bangladesh (12,300 RB), and Indonesia (9,600 RB), were offset by reductions for the United Arab Emirates (1,500 RB) and South Korea (600 RB).

For 2021/2022, net sales of 22,800 RB were reported for Guatemala (19,300 RB) and Thailand (3,500 RB). Exports of 313,200 RB were down 16 percent from the previous week and 8 percent from the prior 4-week average. Exports were primarily to Vietnam (92,500 RB), Pakistan (61,400 RB), China (38,800 RB), Turkey (37,100 RB), and Bangladesh (28,500 RB).

Net sales of Pima totaling 3,100 RB–a marketing-year low–were down 58 percent from the previous week and 51 percent from the prior 4-week average. Increases were reported for South Korea (1,400 RB), Peru (1,200 RB), Pakistan (400 RB), and Guatemala (100 RB).

Exports of 16,400 RB were down 24 percent from the previous week, but up 18 percent from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to India (7,600 RB), China (2,700 RB), Honduras (1,700 RB), Vietnam (1,500 RB), and Egypt (1,300 RB).

Thursday morning the Commerce Department reported booming retail sales data. For the month of March sales were up nearly 10%. In addition, the Labor Department indicated jobless claims for unemployment insurance hit their lowest point in a year. Apparently, the vaccines to combat COVID-19 are becoming widespread enough to economically matter.

Weather-wise, the five-day forecast calls for some rain in Texas, but is expected to miss the western part of the state, a key production area. The 6-10 day forecast does call for above normal rainfall for in Texas, but below-normal precipitation conditions return in the 8-14 day. The Southeast is looking at heavy rains Thursday and Saturday. With such extremes, some analysts are trying to determine if the La Nina phenomenon is indeed at work.

For Thursday, support for May cotton is 83.10 cents and 82.00 cents, with resistance at 86.45 cents and 87.50 cents. The estimated morning volume is 20,705 contracts.

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