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Canada offtakes biggest chunk of Pima & Upland cotton

Jan '07
NY futures traded sideways this week, with March dropping 16 points to close at 54.37 cents, while December gained 11 points to close at 60.11 cents.

With the AWP sitting tight at the moment, the futures market has been unable to generate any momentum beyond the habitual AWP/futures spread of around 950 to 1100 points. For the coming week, the AWP will be set at 44.07 cents, after being pegged at 44.34 cents in the current period and 44.25 cents the week before. As a result, March futures traded in a very narrow range of just 95 points this week.

For the second week in a row, US export sales were quite respectable at 254'100 running bales of Upland and Pima, with the biggest block going to Canada (82,400), followed by Turkey (37,700), South Korea (25,300), and China (22,600). Shipments amounted to 169'500 running bales, nowhere near the pace needed to make the USDA export projection of 15.7 mio bales.

So far, only 6.9 mio statistical bales have been contracted, of which 3.7 mio bales have been exported. In other words, the US would have to sell approximately 10 mio bales and ship 12 mio bales between now and the end of July to make the USDA number. Not impossible, but increasingly unlikely given the slow pace of business.

Most of the recent US sales were probably done 'on-call', since current fixed price ideas by mills generally do not work against loan cotton. Last week, unfixed on-call sales, which may include foreign growths as well, went up by almost 160'000 bales and they total nearly 5.5 mio bales at the moment, whereas unfixed on-call purchases amount to just 1.24 mio bales.

Typically, merchants sell futures against these on-call sales on rallies, and buy them back once the market drops to a level that mills want to fix at. This kind of action provides an additional layer of support and resistance in the futures market.

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