Cotton begins stair stepping down as dollar stepped back up
What started off as a very promising week for the bulls, ended with a whimper. Highs were made on Monday and lows on Friday.
Until Fridays late session sell off, cotton had an alternating pattern of higher and lower closes. However, late in the session Friday, prices finally caved into extremely weak outside market and the violation of Thursdays outside range day.
Nevertheless, cotton held in there remarkably well most of the session Friday considering the dollar went through the roof and the very poor performances by most of the outside markets. By the close Friday, cotton struggled unsuccessfully to even post an unchanged week. Fresh export demand was credited with providing the support.
Looking back, the Federal Reserve's surprise move the week before triggered the biggest two-day break of the US greenback since 1985. As a result cotton broke out of a tight two-cent range that had kept the market at bay for the previous three weeks. As projected, the breakout did indeed lead to a test of the 45 cents area. However, the selling as May neared the point 12 cents above the AWP was far to heavy for a light volume rally to overcome. Cotton began stair stepping down as the dollar stair stepped back up.
Cotton settled Friday just above the lows for the week. May cotton finished the week at 4334, down 62 points for the day, down 166 from Mondays highs and down 74 points for the week. December ended the week at 4872, 62 lower for the day and down 52 points for the week.
Traders are looking forward next Tuesday's Prospective Plantings report in hopes of it giving the market a shot in the caboose. However, it may well take some sort of surprise to move cotton off high center. Most traders are anticipating intentions 200,000 either side of 8.3 million acres. According to the wire service reports, guesses range all the way from 7.9 and 8.7 million acres. However, by far, most credible guesses are gathered between 8.3 and 8.5. The National Cotton Councils survey back in early January was 8.01 and USDA's Outlook Conference used 8.5 for their forecasts.
Producers should be aware that USDA will likely make their annual adjustment to the transportation cost of shipping cotton either this coming Thursday, April 2nd or the following week on Thursday April 9th. This could very possibly have the effect of raising the AWP significantly and of course dropping the LDP a like amount.
Next Wednesday, April 1st, Cotton Incorporated is holding it's annual risk management seminar in Lubbock at the Holiday Inn and Towers to better educate producers concerning possibilities and pitfalls in cotton options. Theoretically, options when used in conjunction with a good marketing plan should help equip producers to better be able to take advantage of market swings. Since lunch will be served, advance reservations are preferable.
Then on Friday, April 3rd at 7:30 am, the Ag Market Network will originate live from the Lubbock Civic Center in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners show and Plains Cotton Growers annual meeting. Allen Terhaar, executive director of the Cotton Council International, will join the regular panel. Producers are welcome and encouraged to be in the audience. However, the roundtable can still be heard over the Internet at agmarketnework.net