Cotton holds in tight range as market awaits export sales data
Cotton prices were mostly steady on Thursday as market participants were in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the weekly exports sales report due on Friday. The front-month December contract, was steady at 64.54 cents per lb as of 1:57 p.m. EDT (1757 GMT), and traded within a tight 1-cent range between 64.19 and 65.14 cents a lb. “Today is more of an anticipation. Volumes are not so good. That basically tells you that investors are waiting on the sidelines looking for tomorrow’s (export-sales) numbers,” said Jon Marcus, president of Lakefront Futures and Options brokerage in Chicago.
The US Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its weekly export-sales report at 8:30 am EDT. The market is finding its balance and is going to need some fresh news, Marcus said, adding the Friday’s export-sales data might provide a definite direction to prices. Meanwhile, market participants are also closely watching any developments on the US-China trade deal.
Beijing’s Commerce Ministry on Thursday said that China hopes to reach a phased agreement with the United States and cancel tariffs as soon as possible. Negotiators from both the economies are working closely on nailing down a Phase 1 agreement draft for their respective presidents to sign next month, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday. The United States is one of the world’s biggest producers of cotton, while China is the largest consumer.
Total futures market volume fell by 9,850 to 24,462 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 1,836 to 239,222 contracts in the previous session. Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of October 16 totaled 10,435 480-lb bales, down from 10,523 in the previous session.