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Weekly cotton exports report

Feb '07
The New York market continued its upward momentum this week as it neared Friday's close trading higher all week. Despite poor domestic consumption, an increased interest in exports supported the market as delivery notices on the expiring contract were all but non existence until Friday. Apparently Allenberg was the big stopper on Friday taking most of the 1000 plus notices.

This keeps the certificated stocks in very strong hands and should be very supportive to the market at these price levels. With cotton still flowing to the loan the market will attempt to creep higher.

However, the key word is "creep" as the 55-56 cent level will keep a lid on any price advancement while the 52 cent floor will likely remain in place. Thus, the market will continue to tread water into the March expiry.

The weekly export sales report was more than expectations, and expectations were high. For the week ending February 15, 2007, net sales of upland cotton totaled 378,900 bales. China was the primary buyer, taking 123,300 bales.

However, as noted last week when China, for the first time this year, made volume purchases, sales to China accounted for only about one third of the total weekly sales compared to year ago levels when their weekly purchases were much larger in volume and also accounted for about one half of weekly US sales.

While the sales were a welcome relief, the probability of US exports for the 2006-07 marketing year will likey fall below the current USDA estimate. Yet, an additional plus to the market coming from the report was that the sales to China were made near the February 15 market lows for the year, suggesting that any attempt to move lower will be met by heavy export sales.

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