Cotton futures dip on robust harvest expectations
ICE cotton futures inched lower on Monday amid expectations of a large crop of the natural fiber as harvest progresses in the United States, while investors awaited further clarity on the US-China trade negotiations.
Cotton contracts for December fell 0.08 cent, or 0.12%, at 64.82 cents per lb at 1819 GMT. It traded within a range of 64.48 and 65.3 cents a lb.
The harvest is resuming after some adverse weather last week and the crop might not be as small as people thought, especially because last week’s export sales were not good, said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Moultrie, Georgia.
Export-sales data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed net sales of 140,500 running bales for the week ended Oct. 17, down 32% from the week before.
On the trade front, US President Donald Trump said on Monday he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule but did not elaborate on the timing.
“We cried wolf too many times and only an actual agreement will provoke a reaction by the market now,” said Peter Egli, director of risk management at British merchant Plexus Cotton.
“A trade deal could spike the market, but longer term I feel we’ll have too much supply once crops are in and this will eventually weigh on prices,” he said.
The natural fiber has slid by more than 10% so far this year owing to the long trade tiff between top cotton consumer China and the United States, one of the top producers.
Total futures market volume fell by 7,016 to 23,023 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 1,867 to 238,224 contracts in the previous session.
Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of Oct. 25 totaled 19,979 480-lb bales, up from 14,587 in the previous session.