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Markets

Cotton jumps to near 9-month peak on harvest worries

  • The cotton contract for December rose 1.25 cents, or 1.8%, to 71.17 cents per lb.
  • There are forecasts for above normal rain in the southeast that could delay the ongoing harvest.
20 Oct 2020

ICE cotton futures jumped as much as 1.9% to the highest in nearly nine months on Monday, as rains stoked concerns of a slowdown in the harvest of the natural fiber.

The cotton contract for December rose 1.25 cents, or 1.8%, to 71.17 cents per lb by 2:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT).

The front-month contract earlier hit its highest since Jan. 22 at 71.22 cents

There are forecasts for above normal rain in the southeast that could delay the ongoing harvest, said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Georgia.

"The market is convinced that the US Department of Agriculture has the output too high on the last supply-demand report and Hurricane Delta and Sally did more damage than it's yet been accounted for."

The US production was marginally lowered to 17.05 million bales in October from the 17.06 forecast in September.

Major growing regions in the United States were hit by storms this hurricane season, which brought strong winds and heavy rainfall.

Further providing support, the dollar fell 0.4% against rivals, making commodities like cotton cheaper for holders of other currencies.

"Demand has been much better than once thought and multiple origins are sniffing around for US cotton," Louis Barbera, partner and analyst at VLM Commodities Ltd, said in a note on Sunday.

"We are starting to get the notion that the crop is going to be closer to 16 million bales for upland than the earlier estimates."

Total futures market volume rose by 2,380 to 34,411 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 1,171 to 237,223 contracts in the previous session.

Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of Oct. 16 totaled 26,041 480-lb bales, up from 25,973 in the previous session.