Saturday, 10 January 2015

Cotton gains in light trading

Cotton futures inched up on Thursday in light volume, trading near the previous day's settlement price as dealers eyed a monthly government supply and demand report due out Monday and shrugged off strong export sales data released in the morning. The most-active March cotton contract on ICE Futures US rose 0.13 cent, or 0.2 percent, to settle at 60.56 cents a lb, paring gains after rising as high as 60.64 in overnight trading and 60.62 immediately after the release of the US Agriculture Department's export sales report at 8:30 am.

The US Agriculture Department's weekly export sales report showed 158,900 bales of new sales in upland cotton for the week ended January 1, including 70,900 new bales sold to top consumer China. Concerns about Chinese demand after an overhaul of the country's government stockpiling program have pressured prices in recent months. However, traders pointed out that there were new sales to just 11 different destinations, fewer than normal, and that cancellations were up, preventing the report from being seen as an overall bullish signal.

"We've had stronger," Ron Lawson, partner at commodity investment firm Logic Advisors in California, said of the report. "Right now, everybody is waiting to see what happens on Monday's WASDE report," he added, referring to the US Agriculture Department's World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report, due out Monday. Prices have been hovering near late November's five-year lows, with mills eager to buy around 59 cents a lb and producers willing to sell when the price exceeds 61 cents a lb. "There's enough sellers above and enough buyers below to keep the market in this range," said Chris Kramedjian, a risk management consultant at INTL FCStone in Tennessee.
Copyright Reuters, 2015

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