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Textile mills face inflated transportation costs

May '08
The bearish cotton fundamentals have finally embedded themselves within the activity of the New York futures market. The nearby July contract fell 150 points below the 68 cent level I felt would support prices. The slippage in July futures down to the 64-65 cent level took the market back to near the October 2007 lows.

Therefore, since the October lows, price movement has experienced an unprecedented near 50 cent rise and subsequent fall. As a friend stated this week, I would have sure hate to be a cotton merchant.

The new crop December contract did hold the 74-75 cent level, a support level than should continue to prop up the market. Likewise, this weeks July lows should also hold as excellent demand resurfaced once July slipped below 67 cents.

Textile mills have been somewhat estranged from the market for the past three weeks. The mill absence from the U.S. export market left net export sales during the week ending May 22, 2008 at only 110,600 RB. Upland sales totaled only 107,800 RB while Pima sales were 2,800 RB. China (29,200 RB); Thailand and Turkey were the primary buyers of Upland. India (2,500 RB); Pakistan and Japan were the primary buyers of Pima.

Weekly export shipments continue to lag some 150-200,000 bales behind the pace necessary to meet the USDA projection of 14.2 million bales. Export shipments totaled 270,500 RB with Upland accounting for shipments of 258,800 RB, about the same for the third consecutive week.

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