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NEW YORK: ICE cotton futures slipped on Tuesday ahead of a monthly federal supply and demand report, while a break below a key technical level also added some selling pressure. Cotton contracts for May fell 2.94 cents, or 3.3% to 85.38 cents per lb at 11:41 AM EDT. It traded within a range of 85.38 and 88.2 cents a lb.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s World Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report is due at 12 pm EDT, with expectations for a cut in US production and ending stocks. Analysts also expect a hike to US export forecasts.

“(To move higher), the market needs bullish numbers and not friendly numbers,” said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Georgia, “Friendly numbers” would imply cuts to output forecasts largely in line with expectations, around 200-250 bales, while a “bullish” number would be a cut of 350-450 bales, Brown added.

Cotton dipped despite a retreating dollar making greenback-denominated cotton less expensive in other currencies. Louis Barbera, partner and analyst at VLM Commodities Ltd said that cotton’s break below its intraday trend line of 86.65 cents could also have pulled prices down.

A close below 86.65 cents could trigger further selling pressure, he added. Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of March 8 totalled 99,706 480-lb bales, unchanged from 99,706 in the previous session.

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