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Weather uncertainty creeps in to cotton market
May '08
That is a good description for the cotton market as I wade through the waterlogged Midsouth. Cotton prices continue to reflect the burdensome carryover both in the U.S. and around the world. The 70-73 cent level, basis July will likely be the primary trading area for another month.

Yet, a test of 68 cents is in the works, just as is touch of 74 cents. Currently, the market is attempting a seasonal rally that could challenge the 74 cent mark. However, export sales begin to disappear as July moves above 72 cents. December is positioning itself to begin to gain on the July contract. Weather uncertainty is beginning to creep in to the market picture.

The seasonals moved July higher on early Friday trading as mills came in for more buying when July slipped to 69.55 on Thursday. To date, mill demand has kept July from moving lower as every attempt to break below 69 cents was met with excellent buying.

Yet, short staple cotton has suffered from lack of demand as more and more mills are looking to spin quality yarn. West Texas, once the world capital of short staple cotton, has transformed itself to one of the world's premiere quality growing areas.

While export sales picked up late this week, the prior week's sales slumped as July had hovered near 72 cents and above. Actually, the level of sales and principal locations were very similar to sales made in the third week of April. Sales lagged during the week ending May 5, 2008 as mills held firm on bids only below 71 cents. Net sales totaled only 231,500 RB.

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