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ECOM daily cotton markets recap - March 21, 2007

Mar '07
Electronic futures began the day trading near unchanged as a lack of any substantial news nor outside market influence left few to actively trade any positions early. In fact, after yesterday's higher E session followed by lower open outcry session (thanks to the WSJ rally killing bullish article) may have deterred some of the electronic trading specs from playing this morning.

As it stands the open outcry opening was a touch lower amidst very little volume, and soon prices began pushing to the upside without any success. The day was soon bound to a very tight overall range. The most notable feature of the session though, was the fact that carries began to widen out from May onwards.

This has been trending out towards carry after getting rather narrow during the March delivery period, but with a large clip of cotton coming out of the loan recently, there has been more confidence in a carry market, and this was well reflected today with May/July widening back beyond 100 points July premium to settle at 110. The May / Dec also widened out to max out at 450 points Dec premium.

Other notable features today (the flat pricing was hardly noticeable) was some action in the options ring, with one of the major merchants a huge Dec volatility seller, selling as many as 2,000 of the Dec 50/70 strangles for 170-175 premium. Other merchants were on both sides of the July 54 straddles which were being bought for 400 points.

Option volatilities are allover the place at present, with the May settling at 14.5%, the July at 19% and the December at 21.5%. Expectations for US export sales and shipments tomorrow are for fairly routine numbers, with sales around 175,000 and shipments around 200,000 combined running bales.

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