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Markets

Cotton prices inch up on steady demand, softer dollar

  • We have seen good demand in the weekly export sales report ... Also, commercial buying (primarily exporters and may be some of the mills) has been stronger today.
  • The US Department of Agriculture's weekly export sales report, on Thursday, showed net sales of 437,700 running bales (RB) for 2020/2021 were up noticeably from the previous week, while exports of 351,900 RB were unchanged.
22 Mar 2021

ICE cotton futures edged up on Monday in relatively low volume trade, buoyed by robust demand and a softer dollar.

Cotton contracts for May rose 0.14 cent, or 0.2%, to 84.82 cents per lb at 12:38 p.m. EDT (1638 GMT), moving further away from a March 10 low touched on Friday.

"We have seen good demand in the weekly export sales report ... Also, commercial buying (primarily exporters and may be some of the mills) has been stronger today," said Jack Scoville, vice president at Chicago-based Price Futures Group.

The US Department of Agriculture's weekly export sales report, on Thursday, showed net sales of 437,700 running bales (RB) for 2020/2021 were up noticeably from the previous week, while exports of 351,900 RB were unchanged.

The dollar eased 0.2% against key rivals.

However, "there is no volume. The longs and shorts are sitting on their hands and they still have relatively big positions, especially considering how little cotton is left in the US," said Peter Egli, director of risk management at British merchant Plexus Cotton.

A technical trigger or some news developments are needed to wake the market up, he added.

Speculators raised their net long positions in cotton by 4,259 contracts to 65,208 in week to March 16, data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

Meanwhile, US and Chinese officials concluded on Friday what Washington called "tough and direct" talks in Alaska, which laid bare the depth of tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Total futures market volume fell by 17,204 to 12,489 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 751 to 230,636 contracts in the previous session.