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Cotton sales more than double
Feb '08
This morning's US export report was better than expected. New sales were 546,000 running bales upland and pima combined, more than double, than the week before. A sizable 277,000 bales were sold to China. Shipments were slightly lower than the week before with 225,200 running bales combined.

The impressive sales number supported the strong market movement on the last day prior to March contract first notice day on Monday. Overnight ICE market opened up strong with March contract trading limit up and December contract setting today's high. All months traded lower after pit open on lower grains price movement.

As holders of short contracts tried to get out of their positions before the first notice day, March contract traded up the limit again. The overall higher commodities market also provided support. The March May spreads narrowed to around 50 points. Friday session closed with slight gain of around 60 points on back months.

The other highlight in the market is the Agricultural Outlook Forum hosted by USDA in Virginia. It came out of the meeting that U.S. new crop ending stocks are forecasted at 3.7 million stat bales.

World production number was adjusted higher due to increases in China, India and possible recovery in Pakistan. USDA projects that cotton imports into China will increase by 12% in 2008-2009, which is a main factor driving global cotton trade in the new crop year.

Technically, we have broken the sideways trading pattern this week. March traded up limit at 76.23 during today's session. The last time market saw spot month trading above 76 cents was in 2004. December contract has since made a 450 point run up.

Please see chart on page 2 in attached PDF. We carried an open interest of over 10,500 March contracts into today, and heard that NY is processing big volumes in preparation of the delivery notices. General market mood is bullish on technicals and outside commodities market. Though market is expecting a nearby correction, but do not expect it to pull back enough to fill the gap.

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