By admin       2018-02-02

ICE cotton futures rose over 1 percent on Thursday, in the biggest one-day percentage gain in three weeks, as a recent dip in prices attracted mill purchases. The most active ICE cotton contract for March expiry settled up 1.38 percent, or 1.07 cent, at 78.35 cents per lb in the biggest daily percentage rise since Jan. 11. It traded within a range of 77.16 and 79.93 cents a lb. The contract was down 2.6 percent so far this week, having recorded its biggest weekly decline last week since mid-September. In January, cotton futures recorded a 1.7 percent decline, despite marking the highest level since March 2014 earlier in the month. "Cotton was a little higher as the big speculative selling seen in the last few days started to dry up and as commercials used the current price break to fix some on-call purchases," said Jack Scoville, vice president with Price Futures Group in Chicago. "(Thursday's) rally is more on the lack of selling. ... For the right discount, mills are finding cotton quite an attractive buy," said Louis Barbera, a broker at ICAP Cotton. "I don't think we will hit a new high in March but I do expect us to eclipse 80 cents many times. However, extreme roll pressure from both speculative and the index fund communities will keep a lid to a certain extent on prices." The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday reported exports of 305,100 running bales for the week ended Jan. 25, which was a marketing-year high and up 31 percent from the previous week and 21 percent from the prior four-week average. Net upland sales totaled 303,300 running bales for 2017-18 for the same period, up significantly from the week before and 50 percent from the prior four-week average. Total futures market volume rose by 3,079 to 72,154 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 4,558 to 303,832 contracts in the previous session. Reuters, ICE Cotton futures ended higher, with an unexpected boost to sales of U.S. fiber over seas. *Cotton for March delivery rose 1.4% to end at 78.35 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange. *Shipment of cotton reached a high for the marketing year at 318,000 bales and sales were 365% of the weekly pace required to match the government's export targets, said Rose Commodity Group. *"We think that sales figures within today's report are bullish for current crop futures," the firm said, but added that rallies above 80 cents are taking it a bit too far to match the fundamentals of the market. *The International Cotton Advisory Committee warned that cotton production is growing at a faster rate than consumption, coming off gain in planted area of 12% for the 2017/2018 season globally. *ICAC said that in 2017/2018, world ending stocks are estimated at 18.9 million tons, slightly higher than the 18.7 million tons for the previous season. The price of polyester, a competitor to cotton, has risen over the course of the season and continues to increase relative to cotton, even as cotton prices have moved upward.

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