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Higher cotton prices to see slow down in textile consumption
02
Feb '08
Cotton futures have continued to consolidate in the 68-69 cent range, basis the New York March contract, while attempting to recoup the limit down losses of January 23. Near term price activity should continue in a consolidation phase with a slightly negative bias simply because of the beginning of the Chinese New Year, a weeklong celebration that will see the closure or slow down of many textile mills.

Absent the New Year celebrations, the price bias would be higher. Thus, pressured by good demand and in the face of a declining acreage, cotton prices remain on a longer term upward path.

Nevertheless, until the planting season in the Northern Hemisphere has concluded, the outside markets, principally the grains, oilseeds, financial and equity markets will likely influence cotton prices more than actual cotton fundamentals. Consequently, the cotton market will continue to face strong price volatility. However, it is the uncertainty surrounding energy and financial markets that seems to be in near term control of cotton.

Export sales for the week ending January 24, while strong, were considerably less than expected, thus proving to be very disappointing to the market.

Net sales totaled 300,700 RB with Upland sales of 291,400 RB and Pima sales of 15,600 RB. Primary buyers of Upland were China (140,800 RB); Taiwan and Vietnam. The primary buyers of Pima were India (5,400 RB); Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Sales of 500,000 to 750,000 RB had been expected. Yet, it is noted that China was a large scale buyer on the market dip below 67.50 cents that week. There is considerable demand waiting any other drop to or near 67.50 cents.

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