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Holiday fails to curb cotton trading

02
May '08
Cotton traded in a 400 point range today on good volume. Overnight trading was higher following the bounce from yesterday, but ran into trade selling above 72.50. This upside momentum came off of friendly grain prices overnight and crop year highs for export sales released at 7:30 CST.

However, the upside ran out of steam and selling took over with weak grain openings which eventually went down the limit in other commodity and pushed cotton to near limit down levels as well. Volume was 31,000 futures and 13,000 options as the market continues to test the downside and even large export sales could not stop the bleeding.

Charts are looking very negative as the dollar and stock market take advantage of the spec liquidation in commodities. Basically, the FED sent the signal that rate cuts could pause going forward which will strengthen the dollar over the long term.

Europe and the rest of the world were on May day holiday today while the U.S. enjoyed the spotlight and the stock market reached 2008 highs breaking 13,000. Export sales last week registered impressive business in China with 450k sales alone and 650k total which set a season record.

However, there was only 200k in shipments which continues to put us behind where we need to be for the 07/08 export sales forecast by the USDA (see page 2 in attached PDF).

We are in a negative seasonal pattern as we approach the large Northern Hemisphere plantings to add to the fundamental weakness. Technically, we broke the strong support line at 70 cents in N'08 and the next strong line of support can be found at 66.13.

The cotton market feels like it could have some follow through downside tomorrow as there seems to be a change of commitment from specs to the commodity market.

Oil prices fell all the way to 110 before they bounced back, but the rest of the basket was down heavily as the CRB fell below 400. Short term feels weak and we may have to test the 66.13 support line in cotton before we can make a run at the highs.

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