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Market Monitor | August 2016

Cotton futures scale 2014 peak

According to a NASDAQ Report, cotton for December delivery rose 2.1 per cent to end at 75.83 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, the highest since June 24, 2014. Cotton has been a star performer this year among commodities. Prices are up 20 per cent year-to-date following an upward revision by the USDA’s forecast for the US exports of the fibre along with a drop in its estimate of stocks in India. “The market is now likely to be in deficit for a second consecutive season,” Capital Economics said in a note. “Although we would caution that stocks remain high.”

The world is estimated to be sitting on approximately 91 million bales of cotton in stockpiles, according to government estimates. Each bale weighs 480 pounds. More than half the world’s stockpiles are held by China, which has been auctioning the fibre into its local market. China plans to increase its daily offer rate of 30,000 tonne a day in September.

Meanwhile, according to an International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) Report, international cotton prices jumped to over 80 cents/lb in the second half of July 2016 from an average of 70 cents/lb for the rest of the season. Significantly lower crops in the five largest producing countries and higher than expected demand led to tighter stocks at the end of 2015-16, at which time world ending stocks were estimated to have fallen by 12 per cent to 19.7 million tonne. Stocks outside of China decreased by 9 per cent, to 8.4 million tonne, which is the lowest level since 2010-11, when they reached 8.3 million tonne. Furthermore, strong demand in China has reduced its national stocks by 12 per cent, to 11.3 million tonne.

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