NEW YORK: ICE cotton futures rose on Friday, supported by a strong weekly exports sales report from the US government and a sagging dollar. The cotton contract for March was up 0.46 cent, or 0.6%, at 72.82 cents per lb by 11:31 a.m. EST (1631 GMT). However, the contract is down 0.3% so far this week and was heading for its first weekly decline in four.
"The export sales were real good and the dollar is threatening to take out a 2-1/2 year low, so that's friendly. We've got two friendly things working on the market today," said Rogers Varner, president of Varner Brokerage in Cleveland.
The US Department of Agriculture's weekly export sales report showed net sales of 354,700 running bales (RB) for 2020/21, up noticeably from the previous week and up 84% from the prior 4-week average.
The dollar index slipped to a near three-month low against its rivals. A weaker greenback makes cotton less expensive for buyers of the natural fibre in other currencies.
Also, "there's a very bullish sentiment in the stock market. ... Some of that sentiment is bleeding over into the commodity markets," Varner added.
Mood in the wider financial markets remained upbeat on optimism around an economic rebound next year fuelled by Covid-19 vaccine progress. Total futures market volume fell by 3,403 to 9,495 lots. Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of Nov. 24 totalled 115,929 480-lb bales, down from 121,109 in the previous session.