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Plexus cotton market report

May '07
NY futures found some support this week, with July gaining back 63 points to close at 49.03 cents and December advancing 87 points to close at 53.92 cents.

US export sales maintained their brisk pace, as another 563'800 running bales of Upland and Pima cotton were sold during the week ending May 3rd, with China booking over 200'000 bales. For the season, commitments have now reached 12.8 mio bales, of which 7.8 mio bales have been shipped so far.

Weekly shipments have been lagging behind the pace needed to make the current USDA export projection of 13.5 mio bales, which was probably caused by a lower trending AWP, as shippers were waiting for a cheaper redemption value.

This will change once the blending process lifts the AWP and several million bales are flushed into the marketplace as a result of it. We therefore should see weekly shipments increase sharply in the weeks to come.

Even though many traders expect the market to remain in a depressed state, we should not lose sight of the fact that in the last seven weeks over 3.5 mio bales of US cotton were sold for export.

If sales continued at this pace of 0.5 mio bales a week, it would take only 18 more weeks to sell the entire 9.1 mio bales that are currently available for export (there are 9.9 mio bales unsold overall, but 0.8 mio have will be used by domestic mills in August and September).

In other words, every bale of US cotton may find a home before new crop arrives and even if average weekly sales were to drop to 0.4 mio bales, stocks would last just an extra 5 weeks, or until the middle of October.

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