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Cotton demand picture still weak over short term
Feb '09
Another mixed day in the cotton market as we opened higher due to a strong export sales report. The last two weeks combined have produced just over 1 million bales of new sales. However, the shipments remain below last years average just under 200k each week.

Also, half of the sales were reported to China and the majorities are estimated to have gone to large state owned trading groups who are building stocks. Since they are most likely not destined for end users, the demand picture still feels weak over the short term, but we continue to get good scale down demand as mills buy hand to mouth.

Volume is still light as we are waiting for more direction from the equity markets which keep struggling to move higher. The domestic demand anualized better than last month with 3.58 million bales, but still lower than the current USDA estimate of 3.9 mbs.

Bottom line, we have found a fair market value for cotton to trade hands. However, until we build a bottom in the equity markets, commodities will struggle to go higher and should remain under pressure over the next 4-6 weeks or until new crop growing conditions start to become more of an issue. The USDA released an estimate of acreage for new crop of 8.5 million acres which is better than the NCC number of 8.1 but still over 10% lower than last year.

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