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Cotton updates for week beginning April 7
Apr '08
Despite cotton planting intentions being well within the range of guesses, cotton prices were absolutely overwhelmed on Monday and early Tuesday by a general meltdown in commodity prices.

On top of a bearish soybean acreage report, end of the month and quarter selling by funds, bullish traders were shaken up by a bearish article on commodities in Barron's Weekly. May cotton lost 1,252 points and December cotton 832 points for the month of March.

However, the early week sell off, while unnerving, was relatively brief as export demand picked up as anticipated. The balance of the week was uneventful and dull despite strength in outside markets. In fact, Thursdays range was only the third time in seven weeks that the daily range was been held to double digits. For the week, May wound up losing 82 points and Dec only 23 points.

Fresh USDA supply/demand stats are due Wednesday morning. Final ginnings showed that the crop this past season was 372,000 bales larger that USDA had estimated so ending stocks will be increased at least by that much. If USDA cuts exports again, which they may very well do, then add that much more to the carryout. Most merchants look for final ending stocks to be 10 million or more.

USDA May options expire on Friday.Cert stocks reached new all-time highs each day last week in preparation for the May delivery on April 24th. Potentially, certificated stocks are now nearing 970,000 bales. With differences now more than conventional carrying charges, the upcoming delivery period looks to be most interesting.

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