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DTN Closing Cotton            05/25 15:14

   Cotton Settles on Sharp Gains

   Weather forecasts, as crop insurance planting deadlines approach for cotton 
on the droughty Texas Plains, and a big batch of outstanding mill sales in 
July, lifted prices. Steep drop in oil prices also lent support as U.S. dollar 
index futures strengthened.

By Duane Howell
DTN Cotton Correspondent

   Cotton futures finished sharply higher Friday, lifted mainly by weather 
forecasts as crop insurance planting deadlines approach on the droughty Texas 
Plains and by a big batch of outstanding July mill sales. 

   July led the gains, settling up 175 points to 89.21 cents, a contract high 
close but still within Tuesday's reversal down from its contract high of 89.88 
cents. July finished in the upper quarter of the session's 254-point range from 
down 31 points at 87.15 cents to up 223 points at 89.69 cents. 

   December gained 110 points to close at 86.65 cents, a new contract high 
settlement and near the high of its 150-point range from 85.35 to a new 
life-of-contract high at 86.85 cents. The other contract months settled up 82 
points to 122 points, with most closing on triple-digit gains. 

   A steep drop in crude oil prices also lent support as U.S. dollar index 
futures strengthened against a basket of major currencies. For the week, July 
gained 266 points and December advanced 422 points. 

   The market will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. 

   Volume rose to an estimated 51,100 lots from 47,120 lots the previous 
session when spreads accounted for 25,601 lots or 54%, EFS 150 lots and EFP 14 
lots. Options volume increased to 26,494 lots (16,409 calls and 10,085 puts) 
from 17,946 lots (8,677 calls and 9,269 puts). 

   Hot, dry weather is expected to persist on the Texas Plains where daytime 
high temperatures are forecast at 101 degrees on Saturday at Lubbock (86 
degrees is normal for the date) and remain for a string of days around the 
century mark and higher. Slight chances for isolated to widely scattered 
showers and thunderstorms are seen for Sunday and Monday. 

   Cotton insurance planting deadlines on the High Plains range from May 31 in 
northern counties, to June 5 in the central area and June 10 to the south. Some 
deadlines in the Rolling Plains extend later into June. 

   Precipitation at Lubbock since Jan. 1 has totaled 2.36 inches, 42% of the 
normal 5.56 inches and down from 5.49 inches last year. Some area cotton 
counties have been considerably drier. 

   Heavy rains are expected in parts of the Southeast the next five to seven 
days. Around three inches of rain fell in areas throughout Alabama, parts of 
South Georgia and the Gulf and Atlantic coastal regions the past week. The wet 
weather delayed planting, but rain was desperately needed. Virginia got up to 
eight inches of accumulated rain, bringing planting to a standstill, and wet 
conditions slowed planting in the Carolinas. 

   Meanwhile, outstanding mill on-call sales based in July outweighed the 
unpriced position of producers by a ratio of 9.75:1 last week, according to 
data reported by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission after the close 
Thursday. 

   That was up from 7.99:1 the previous week. Mills priced 3,090 lots to reduce 
their unpriced July position to 46,553 lots and producers priced 1,430 lots to 
cut theirs to 4,776 lots. A year ago, the unpriced July positions were 37,413 
lots for mills and 4,057 lots for producers, a ratio of potential buying to 
potential selling of 9.22:1. 

   Across the board, mills raised their unpriced sales by 1,785 lots to a 
record 164,837 and producers priced 2,742 lots to shave their unfixed position 
to 43,227. Unpriced positions in December 2019 saw a 1,558-lot increase to 
10,232 for mills and a 126-lot decrease to 13,403 for producers. 

   Certified stocks grew 6,797 bales to 84,389 on Thursday, according to the 
ICE daily report. There were 6,885 newly certified bales and 88 bales 
decertified. Open interest increased 2,190 lots to 300,837, with July's down 
5,665 lots to 118,655 and December's up 6,778 lots to 139,892.


(BE)

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