Firm US export
sales, and measures to prop up the world's biggest economy, revived cotton
futures, which had looked set for a negative close after a further recovery in
India's monsoon added to the pressure on prices.
US cotton export
sales hit 317,535 bales in the week to last Thursday, the highest figure for
nearly three months.
Signally, the sales
included nearly 266,000 bales bought by China, the top consumer, where periodic
rumours of a release from its huge stockpile have depressed values.
The export announcement,
coupled with the Federal Reserve's announcement of a third round of monetary
policy to boost the US economy, were credited with helping cotton futures to a
positive close, after further evidence of a recovering Indian monsoon
undermined prices earlier.
Improved harvest hopes
meteorologists said that monsoon rains exceeded average levels for a third
successive week in the seven days to September 12, coming in 21% above typical
Rains in parts of
Gujarat - the main cotton-growing state in India, the second-ranked producing
and exporting country – reached nearly three times the norm.
While leaving the
state's rainfall some 30% short of average since the start of the monsoon
season, at the beginning of June, the rains raised hopes for a late recovery in
sowings, as highlighted on Wednesday by the US Department of Agriculture.
The revival in
rains last month "encouraged growers to continue planting", the USDA
said, lifting by 1.0m bales to 24.5m bales its forecast for Indian cotton
production in 2012-13.
is primarily due to higher-than-previously-projected harvested area."
'Outlook for cotton subdued'
The USDA revision
was made in Wasde crop report over which sent New York cotton prices 2% lower,
and continued on Thursday to attract cautions of weak prospects for values.
for cotton remains subdued," Luke Mathews at Commonwealth Bank of
Australia said, citing in particular weakened expectations for world demand,
which the USDA downgraded to 107.6m bales for 2012-13.
While representing an
increase of 3.3m bales year on year, the figure is still well below historic
levels. Consumption reached 118.6m bales three seasons ago.
cotton demand outlook remains bearish for prices," Mr Mathews said.
Prices to fall?
Indeed, with demand
hopes downgraded, the USDA raised its estimate for world cotton inventories at
the end of 2012-13 to a record 76.5m bales, more than eight months' worth of
global demand, and signalling little pressure on buyers to pay up for supplies.
The Wasde report
"was bearish [for] cotton prices as it featured higher global
ending-stocks despite lower US production", Goldman Sachs analyst Damien
"With the USDA
forecasting global cotton inventories at a new record high, we reiterate our
three-, six- and 12-month cotton price forecasts of 70 cents a pound, 75 cents
a pound and 75 cents a pound, slightly below the current forward curve."
the Wasde cotton data "mildly bearish", said that revised world
estimates "confirmed the expectations for an oversupplied market in
2012-13 and increased concerns about the falling cotton demand in China",
the top consuming country.
to anticipate the anaemic demand and large oversupply to weigh on prices in the
However, New York
cotton for December recovered from a day lot of 72.83 cents a pound to end at
73.53 cents a pound, a gain of 0.3%.