A continued rebound in global stock markets lent support. U.S. export commitments widened the lead over year-ago cumulative sales to 2.298 million RB. Shipments topped the pace needed to make the estimate.
Cotton futures surged to strong closing gains Thursday on another round of strong U.S. weekly export sales and shipments amid an easing of trade war fears.
Spot May led the gains, settling up 293 points to 82.57 cents, just off the high of its 319-point range from down 19 points at 79.45 cents to up 300 points at 82.64 cents. It inverted back over July, finishing above the prior-day high on its largest point gain since March 5 and a 10-session high settlement.
July settled up 243 points to 82.15 cents, near the high of its 280-point range from 79.60 cents to 82.40 cents. December gained 105 points to close at 77.87 cents, three ticks off the high of its 125-point range.
Global stock markets also lent support as they continued a rebound that began late the previous session on signs indicating the United States and China were open to negotiations on tit-for-tat tariffs proposed by the world’s two largest economies.
Volume slipped to an estimated 69,092 lots from a whopping 90,376 lots the prior session when spreads accounted for 35,124 lots or 39%, EFP 1,276 lots and EFS 50 lots. Options volume increased to 15,649 lots (12,874 calls and 2,275 puts) from 13,079 lots (4,307 calls and 8,772 puts).
Net U.S. all-cotton export sales for shipment this season increased to 378,400 running bales during the week ended March 29 from 309,500 RB the prior week, bringing 2017-18 commitments to 15.435 million RB.
Commitments — outstanding sales of 7.054 million RB plus shipments — widened the lead over cumulative sales a year ago by 94,000 RB to 2.298 million, up about 17%. The sales total stood 7% above the USDA export forecast, up from 91% of final 2016-17 shipments a year ago.
Sales for shipment next season of 43,800 RB, down from 63,700 the week before, hiked 2018-19 bookings to 2.867 million RB. The lead over forward commitments a year ago narrowed 86,000 RB to a still bulging 1.026 million.
New-crop commitments are about 18% of USDA’s early 2018-19 forecast, compared with about 13% of the current 2017-18 export estimate at the corresponding point last year.
All-cotton shipments of 481,000 RB, up from 453,200 RB the previous week and 462,400 RB in the corresponding week last season, brought exports for the season to 8.382 million. The lag behind year-ago shipments has narrowed five consecutive weeks.
Shipments have reached 58% of the USDA projection, compared with 60% of final 2016-17 exports a year ago. To achieve the forecast, shipments now need to average roughly 337,500 RB a week.
Futures open interest fell 3,325 lots to 274,510 on Wednesday’s price plunge, with May’s down 3,272 lots to 97,429, July’s up 405 lots to 79,241 and December’s down 1,172 lots to 75,520. Certified stocks increased by a single bale to 57,225.