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Export sales within expectations
15
Feb '08
Cotton was up overnight based on strong results from Asian equity markets (3-4%) and rumors of new sales done with China back from holidays. Grains were also higher after several down days earlier this week and opened higher in spite of neutral to negative export sales numbers for cotton and the grains.

Along with strong energy and metal prices, the strength of the CRB overall carried into cotton and lead to some local short covering which hit some fund buy stops and before we knew it we were limit up.

There was always a chance there could be a stopper in NY with the majority of the cert stocks having old crop penalties that can compete for nearby shipment and especially for large sales to China? Volume was strong with 72,000 futures and 22,000 options as the strength in March snapped the spreads tighter in the front months and lead to some panic spread trading.

Export sales were within expectations, but grains were way below the 4-week averages especially in wheat, but they still all opened higher after closing strong overnight. This spooked the cotton market and lead to some panic short covering which did not take long to bring out some fund buying with little upside selling.

We have already cleared out the buyers and sellers in this trade channel which has been well worn out over the last six weeks between 67/70 cents based H'08.

There does seem to be a stopper for the H'08 cert stocks which is similar to last year and may lead to another invert in carry charges with H'08 going over the K'08. However, it will be interesting how high the back months can go as there will be good scale up trade selling in the K'08 above 72 and Z'08 above 78 cents.

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