Rain chances eyed for the droughty Texas Plains into Oklahoma and Kansas. Prolonged classing of 2017 crop continued as upland grading of 76,234 RB brought the season’s total to 19.486 million, up 21% from last season.
Cotton futures settled on slight losses Monday amid improved chances for rain in droughty areas of the Southwest.
Most-active July closed down 13 points to 83.22 cents, near the low of its 90-point range down 31 points at 83.04 cents to up 59 points at 83.94 cents. May, now five sessions from first notice day, settled down 16 points to 83.25 cents, trading within a 104-point range between 83 cents and 84.04 cents.
December dropped 37 points to close at 78.54 cents, remaining within the 56-point range established by early morning between 78.38 cents and 78.94 cents. Traded contracts from there forward were down 46 points to unchanged.
Volume slowed to an estimated 40,400 lots from 61,371 lots the prior session when spreads accounted for 41,870 lots or 68%, EFS 750 lots and EFP 592 lots. Options volume rose to 6,450 lots (3,777 calls and 2,673 puts) from 5,560 lots (3,292 calls and 2,268 puts).
Rain chances are forecast to return Thursday through Saturday to droughty areas of the Texas High and Rolling Plains into Oklahoma and Kansas. Cumulative amounts are expected to range mostly from 0.30 of an inch to 1 inch, with localized totals up to 2.5 inches, according to some weather models.
Soaking rain and broader coverage still will be needed in the semi-arid region that typically gets planting rains through scattered thunderstorms over time rather than through a one-time general rain. It’s not unusual for parts of the Texas High Plains cotton area to still be looking for a planting rain as Memorial Day approaches.
Meanwhile, U.S. classing of 2017-crop upland cotton dipped slightly to 76,234 running bales last week from 77,000 the previous week, according to the latest Agricultural Marketing Service’s weekly recap.
This brought the total for the season to 19.486 million RB, up 21% from last season’s final upland classing of 16.157 million RB. Tenderable cotton totaled 37% for the week and 67.2% for the season, down from 71.9% in the prior year’s crop.
Weekly classing by states as the prolonged ginning season continued included 33,774 RB in Texas, 32,019 RB in Oklahoma and 10,441 RB in Kansas. Samples for grading came from 33 gins, down from 34 the prior week and 534 for the season.
Pima classing of 676,965 RB for the season boosted the all-cotton total to 20.163 million RB, up 20% from 16.775 million RB graded in the 2016 crop. The latest USDA estimate pegged the combined upland-Pima increase at 22%.
Severe to extreme drought conditions persisted in the Texas Plains last week as strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures took a toll on soil surface moisture even as growers applied pre-planting irrigations.
Rains fell over the weekend in droughty Central and South Texas areas, with amounts ranging mostly from 0.1 to 0.7 of an inch up to localized 1.2 inches. Planting advanced last week and cotton was up to a stand. Scattered showers fell in the Rio Grande Valley where dryland acreage struggled and some stands were skimpy. Irrigated cotton made good progress.
Most valley cotton had reached the pinhead square stage. Growers in the Coastal Bend had completed planting, but some replanting was underway late in the week. Planting made good progress in the Upper Coastal Bend and was about 75% completed. Some producers switched to cotton from corn.
Certified stocks dipped a single bale to 67,863 bales on Friday. Futures open interest declined 5,240 lots to 272,052, with May’s down 14,227 lots to 28,523, July’s up 6,878 lots to 127,142 and December’s up 1,783 lots to 92,750.