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ECOM daily cotton markets recap - March 1, 2007

Mar '07
Cotton began the day on the screens being slightly lower, with a general lack of activity overnight. The US export sales and shipments was lower than expectations, especially as some were looking for some China shocks in the sales column. This was not to be, and it was thus with a generally weak tone that the open outcry opened some 15-20 lower. Prices kept on the defensive

for much of the session, however May/July bull spreading was fairly supportive as was some supportive options strategies. The extent of damage in Soybeans (down 27 cents on spot) was not really reflected in Cotton, which held up quite decently overall. Prices finished some 17-29 points lower in the active months. Estimated volume was up a little at 17,207 lots.

The USDA's Keith Collins gave a speech for prospects on the US farm economy for the coming season. He was generally price friendly, suggesting that US cotton acreage loss to Corn and Soybeans (as well as heavy Soybeans acreage loss to Corn) would see the smallest US planted acreage since 1990. Privately we are starting to hear some sub 12 million acres planted acreage which needless to say with a lot of high yielding irrigated acres switching to grains would see a massively reduced US crop size.

This morning's US export sales and shipments were a disappointment. There had been widespread rumors of a massive US sale to China which failed to materialize, and in the end, a 164,300 running bales combined and 208,900 shipments is just not going to cut it with the USDA estimate of 14.5 million bales.

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