ICE Cotton closed only around 50 pts higher this week, as the market seemed to stall after last week’s strong gains. The main surprise this week was today’s US export sales figure, which topped 500k including the current and next marketing years.
By any measure, this was a tremendous figure that far surpassed market expectations, tightening the US balance sheet further. In the short-term, though, the market was unimpressed today as export sales have since slowed noticeably. Deliveries of new crop cotton to the board have also increased, with cert stocks now totaling 71k bales and likely more on the way.
In China, rumors about the details of the government’s 14/15 plan are emerging, with the unavoidable implication being a far greater supply of domestic free stocks in the coming year, potentially weakening Chinese import demand to levels not seen in 10 years.
In outside markets, concerns over global growth have re-emerged, with particular concern in China over the precedentsettin potential default of a “wealth management product” marketed to consumers by large state-owned banks. The broader concern is over the deteriorating credit environment in China and the strained state of the country’s large shadow banking sector.
A private PMI forecast showing contraction released overnight also didn’t help. The Australian (AUD) and Canadian (CAD) Dollars touched new lows, and the USD appears to be on firm footing heading into next week’s Federal Reserve meeting. The drop in the AUD, Brazilian Real, and Argentine Peso (14% yesterday!) may all be reflected in cotton prices too, as falls in these currencies put pressure on export prices for Q2 and Q3 shipment.