Cotton Breaks Lower as Bulls Lose Hope

Cotton futures moved lower Friday with the U.S. cotton harvest well under way and some long-positioned traders selling on the contract's recent losses.

Cotton for December dropped 0.6%, to end at 66.88 cents a pound, on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, its lowest close since Aug. 16.

It is the first time in 27 sessions that cotton has broken out of a tight trading range between 67.52 cents and 69.46 cents a pound. Plexus Cotton noted that speculators in the market are still about 4 million bales more net long than they were in July and the market's recent pull back could bring additional selling from speculators.

"The plentiful supply is pressuring prices," according to Commerzbank.

About 31% of the U.S. crop had been harvested as of the end of last week, with Texas, the largest growing state, further along than the long term average. About 58% of the crop has been rated good or excellent and bulls in the market who had expected significant changes to crop supplies as a result of flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey were disappointed last week when the U.S. Agriculture Department issued very little change to its production forecasts.

In other markets, raw sugar for March was down 0.9%, to end at 14 cents a pound; cocoa for December lost 0.3%, to close at $2,138 a ton; arabica coffee for December was down 1.3%, to settle at $1.2525 a pound; and concentrated orange juice for December was up 2.6%, to settle at $1.2525 a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 20, 2017 17:30 ET (21:30 GMT)