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Cotton prices continue to follow same mini roller coaster track

Jun '07
Cotton prices continue to follow the same mini roller coaster track they have trekked for a couple of months now. Granted, the bias is to challenge the higher peaks from time to time, but in reality, I feel the market is more obsessed with not moving back to 49-50 cents in July than moving higher in the near term. Despite challenging production related weather concerns surrounding the U.S. crop, world carryover and certificated stocks will continue to keep a lid on prices.

The bias is slightly upward, but the supply demand picture is little changed from the prior month. Additionally, export demand has not surfaced, as expected, and without this demand in place the certificated stocks will only prolong the market's agony. The market continues to tread water...at best.

Exports were another disappointment with net sales for the week ending May 31 of 184,500 RB with upland accounting for 215,200 RB and Pima sales posting a negative 30,700 RB bales (cancellations). Total shipments were a bit better at 407,900 RB, but still below the pace needed to reach the USDA estimate of 13.25 million bales. Upland shipments were a marketing year high of 395,600 RB and Pima shipments were 12,300 RB.

USDA, in its June supply demand report, issued Monday, June 11 did lower its estimate of U.S exports for the 2006-07 marketing year to 13.0 million bales, down 250,000 from its May estimate. This was expected. Yet, while it is a tad late to continue to second guess USDA on the export number, weekly shipments have to make a significant improvement if that13.0 million bales estimate is to be met. Likely, the final U.S. export figure will be near 12.75 million bales.

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