By admin       2018-02-02

U.S. export commitments reached 85% of USDA’s 2017-18 projection. Shipments hit a new marketing year high but still lagged the pace needed to reach the export forecast. Cotton futures settled on sharp gains on heavy volume Thursday, bolstered by stronger-than-expected U.S. export sales. Spot March gained 107 points to close at 78.35 cents, above the prior-session high but in the lower half of its 277-point range from down 12 points at 77.16 to up 265 points at 79.93 cents. It finished back above its rising 40-day moving average but remained below its nine-day and 18-day MAs. May settled up 109 points to 79.45 cents, trading within a 252-point range from 78.30 to 80.82 cents, and July closed up 119 points to 80.24 cents. The other contracts settled flat to up 103 points, with December up 91 points to 75.42 cents. Volume increased to an estimated 75,800 lots from a final 71,536 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 37,161 lots or 52%, EFS 5,000 lots block volume 1,519 lots and EFP 148 lots. Options volume rose to 18,396 lots (10,837 calls and 7,559 puts) from 17,083 lots (9,316 calls and 7,767 puts). Net all-cotton export sales for shipment this season of 312,800 running bales during the week ended Jan. 25, up from 72,900 the prior week and a six-week high, boosted 2017-18 commitments to 12.204 million RB. Upland net sales of 303,300 RB - gross sales of 320,600 RB and cancellations of 17,200 RB - beat some expectations that had ranged from 100,000 to 200,000 RB. Commitments - outstanding sales of 7.633 million RB plus shipments - exceeded cumulative sales a year ago by 2.013 million RB or 20% and rose to 85% of the USDA export forecast. A year ago, commitments were 70% of final shipments. All-cotton shipments hit a marketing year high at 317,900 RB, up from 249,300 RB the prior week, to lift the total for the season to 4.571 million RB. Shipments have posted new crop year highs in five of the last six weeks. Still, shipments lagged year-ago exports by about 498,000 RB or about 10% and were 32% of the USDA projection, compared with 35% of final 2016-17 exports at the corresponding point last season. To achieve the forecast, shipments need to average roughly 376,400 RB a week over the 26 weeks remaining in the marketing year, while weekly sales averaging approximately 82,800 RB would match the export projection. New-crop sales slumped to 32,000 RB - 30,700 of upland and 1,300 of Pima - from 109,100 the week before. This brought 2018-19 commitments to 1.611 million RB, up 910,000 RB from forward bookings a year ago. Combined all-cotton commitments for 2017-18 and 2018-19 of 13.815 million RB were up 2.922 million RB or 27% from combined 2016-17 and 2017-18 sales a year ago. Futures open interest declined 4,558 lots to 303,832, with March’s down 9,217 lots to 130,871 and May’s up 4,175 lots to 90,808. Certified stocks were unchanged at 66,341 bales.

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