By admin       2018-03-20

May closed on its lowest finish since Feb. 22. Classing of U.S. upland cotton reached 19.115 million RB last week, up 18% from last season’s final upland grading count. New-crop planting about 75% completed in the Rio Grande Valley. Cotton futures closed sharply lower Monday amid steep losses in grains and soybeans and a plunge in U.S. stock market indexes. May lost 162 points to settle at 81.23 cents, just off the low of its 180-point range from up 14 points at 82.99 to down 166 points at 81.19 cents. It broke through the low of the bearish reversal of March 6 to its lowest intraday price since March 1 and its lowest close since Feb. 22. July settled down 146 points to 81.52 cents, near the low of its 160-point range from 83.08 to 81.48 cents. December lost 99 points to close at 77.29 cents, three ticks off the low of its 94-point range and its lowest finish since March 2. Cotton chewed through indications of scale-down mill fixations and rolling as the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 1.8% and the S&P 500 down about 2% prior to the stock market closes. Volume rose to an estimated 31,175 lots from 18,252 lots the previous session when spreads accounted for 7,840 lots or 43% and EFP 66 lots. Options volume increased to 8,404 lots (3,105 calls and 5,299 puts) from 3,611 lots (1,595 calls and 2,016 puts). U.S. upland classing slowed to 122,924 running bales last week from 140,741 RB the prior week to bring the season’s total to 19.115 million RB, up 18% from last season’s final 16.157 million RB. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service weekly report showed samples for grading came from 57 gins, including 27 in Texas, 13 in Oklahoma and six in Arizona. Tenderable cotton totaled 67.7% for the season, down from last season’s final 71.9%. Classing of 673,770 RB of Pima for the season brought the 2017-crop all-cotton total to 19.788 million RB, compared with the final grading total from the prior crop of 16.775 million RB. While ginning of the 2017 crop continued in various areas of the Cotton Belt, planting of the 2018 crop in the Texas Rio Grande Valley made excellent progress under favorable weather conditions. Planting was around 75% completed, according to local reports. Most of the irrigated fields had been planted and seedlings had emerged. Planting had begun in the Coastal Bend and Upper Coast and was 20% to 25% completed. A few sprinkles teased the Texas High Plains cotton area over the weekend, but then winds gusted to 59 miles per hour at Lubbock on Sunday as dust from dry fields turned skies brown in some areas. Lubbock registered 0.04 of an inch on Saturday, bringing precipitation since Jan. 1 to 0.24 of an inch, compared with normal of 2 inches and 2.92 inches last year. Producers have reported that subsoil moisture is present about two feet down. Elevated fire conditions persisted on Monday under dry winds forecast to gust to 45 mph. High temperatures were expected to jump from 65 degrees at Lubbock on Monday to 88 on Thursday and 89 on Friday. A red flag warning extended Monday from eastern New Mexico, across the southern counties of the Lubbock area into the Rolling Plains to the Abilene area. Futures open interest dropped 275 lots on Friday to 272,558, with May’s down 906 lots to 125,349, July’s up 464 lots to 59,511 and December’s up 101 lots to 70,257. Certified stocks were unchanged at 76,795 bales.

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