ICE cotton futures gained 1% by the end of last week, after a strong US government export sales report prompted purchases. The most active ICE cotton contract for March expiry settled up 0.79 cent, or 0.96%, at 83.42 cents per lb. It traded within a range of 82.36 and 83.76 cents a lb. Cotton futures were up 2.1% for the week and marked its 12th weekly rise in 13.
“It’s a bullish trend and we had very supportive sales in exports data today… That was the impetus to go up,” said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Moultrie, Georgia. “There’s a lot of mill fixation yet to happen. Every time the market dips you’re probably seeing some normal buying from specs but some of these mills are buying in some cotton as well,” Brown said.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on last week reported exports of 289,900 running bales for the week ended Jan. 11, a marketing-year high, which were up 3% from the previous week and 27% from the prior 4-week average.
Net upland sales summed up to 275,100 running bales for 2017/2018 for the same period, which was little changed from the previous week, but up 15% from the prior 4-week average. Total futures market volume fell by 14,652 to 31,908 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 4,089 to 308,726 contracts in the previous session.