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SFS futures closing cotton commentary - March 22

Mar '07
Spec buying in the early part of the cotton session touched off some buy stops which is about the only reason that Wednesday's 35 point range expanded to 45. Commercial selling on a discretionary basis effectively capped the early bounce. The bull's hope lasted all of about 10 minutes.

After that, trading stalled to a crawl. Lacking any fresh motivation, cotton tried unsuccessfully to make new lows late in the session. Scattered commercial support was noted near the lows. Volume wasn't all that bad with an initial estimate of 11,500 in the pit with another 3,000 on the screen. Cotton settled with gains of only one to two points with spreads accounting for a big percentage of the volume.

China's slow rate of imports, growing doubts over available statistics and indications that they (China) will likely increase cotton acreage next year have prompted Cotlook to reduce their estimate of world usage thereby narrowing the supply/demand gap for the next two seasons.

Options volume was estimated at 7,000 calls and 2,600 puts. Over 3,000 Dec 65 calls traded; some crossed between merchants and some laid up with futures.

Basis this morning's North Europe A Index, next weeks AWP should calculate at 4379 vs. this weeks 4406. This would raise the LDP accordingly to 8.21 cents per pound.

Neither the export or domestic consumption reports were met with anything but yawns. Export sales were decent at 335,900 (Total sales both years including pima) but shipments of 241,400 are still far below the 400,000 plus needed to reach 14 million.

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