March 20, 2019
By Keith Brown DTN Cotton Correspondent
The cotton market settled in opposite directions Wednesday, with the old crop and new crop higher. For most of the session, the volume was slow, but by the end of the session, trading had greatly increased. There is continued hope a trade deal with China will get done, but the reality is talks are dragging on too long.
President Trump said Wednesday he would maintain the original tariffs on China for as long as it takes, even as he is dispatching the U.S. negotiating team to Beijing next week.
Of course, the trade talks are not the only immediate concern of the market. Thursday, USDA will issue its latest export sales data. Traders are hoping to see China as a major net buyer of old-crop cotton.
Such a result would suggest China’s current sources for buying non-U.S. cotton may be becoming exhausted, potentially leaving the U.S. as the proverbial only game in-town supplier.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday. Also, the Fed indicated there would be no rate hike for the balance of 2019, with the possibility of one or two hikes in 2020, and none in 2021. The U.S. dollar sank some 40 points on that news.
Weather continues to be an outlier for the 2019 crop. Currently, it is overly wet across the much of the South, but parts of West Texas are becoming inordinately dry. Of course, if no trade deal is reached soon or if talks are suspended, such action will override any sort of bullish weather scare news.
For Wednesday May cotton settled 75.50 cents, down 0.15 cent, July finished at 76.56 cents, down 0.016 cent, but December closed 74.99 cents, up 0.09 cent. Wednesday’s estimated volume was 27,000 contracts traded.