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ICE Cotton trends stay nearly unchanged this week
Feb '14
ICE Cotton traded near unchanged for the week at 88.35 c/lbs basis the K4 contract. Widespread discussion about pending fixations against on-call sales led mills to fix or roll in an orderly fashion, and it’s likely that no large stopper emerged due to concerns about the N/Z invert and the absence of an attractive H/K spread. 
This helped avoid any fireworks this week, and the H4 contract will most likely not see the bulk of the cert stocks change hands. 
The tension between current and new crop will continue as the K and N contracts play out. USDA export sales for current crop finally slowed to 71k bales, while new crop buying picked up to over 200k due to an attractive Z4 price and exports were strong again at 325k. 
The USDA’s top economist predicts 14/15 US area at 11.5m acres, slightly above the NCC number of 11.26m, with much yet to be determined in terms of soy area and cotton abandonment. Policy rumors continue in China.
In the broader markets, this week was notable for the surge seen in many commodity markets. Coffee, in particular, exploded higher on Brazilian weather concerns and gains were seen too in WTI oil (two-year highs), soybeans, and sugar. 
Meeting minutes from the Fed’s January meeting showed a commitment to continue reducing stimulus while leaving rates unchanged for the forseeable future. Japan’s central bank committed itself to further easy policy, while in China the flash PMI for February projected lower-than-expected economic activity and the RMB softened slightly against the USD. 
The week’s most memorable feature though lies more in the political than the economic realm, with unrest in Ukraine, Venezuela and Thailand likely to have longer-lasting repercussions in those markets.


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