Cotton Reverses Course to End Lower

By Julie Wernau Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cotton futures reversed course to end lower Tuesday after a short covering rally stalled out amid signs of a rapid and robust U.S. harvest.

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Cotton for March delivery fell 1% to end at 70.14 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, after rising as high as 71.34 cents a pound in earlier trade.

The contract breached 70 cents a pound on Monday, which Rose Commodity Groups said triggered stop orders. The firm expected the contract to meet resistance between 71 and 72 cents.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to estimate a bumper U.S. crop, which is 74% complete, ahead of the average pace. Remaining upside could still come from surprising production forecasts over the next several months, along with bullish exports and sales of U.S. cotton abroad, said John Robinson at Texas A&M.

But so far the pace of export shipments against the 2017-2018 marketing year are short of the USDA's target at about 67%, according to Rose Commodity Group.

"The world outside of China is building a cushion against an eventual rise in Chinese imports. A key question for prices when Chinese imports increase is how rapidly it might happen," Cotton Inc., the marketing arm for the U.S. cotton industry, said in its monthly economic letter.

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In other markets, raw sugar for March fell 0.7% to 14.88 cents a pound, cocoa for March was up 1% at $2,110 a ton, arabica coffee for March jumped 0.7% to end at $1.2665 a pound, January frozen concentrated orange juice futures lost 0.3% to end at $1.6675 a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2017 17:38 ET (22:38 GMT)