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DTN Closing Cotton            04/16 13:44

   Cotton Specs Roll to New Crop

   Friday May cotton closed at 83.71 cents, down 1.31 cents, with traders 
rolling out into the Dec contract.

Keith Brown
DTN Contributing Cotton Analyst

   There was a huge disparity in the spread activity between old- and new-crop 
markets Friday. The obvious difference we would attribute to speculators 
rolling out to the December contract. With delivery for spot May one week from 
this Monday, and the potential for worsening adverse weather for West Texas, it 
appeared some traders preferred to bypass the July futures altogether and to 
take their chances out in the new-crop contracts.

   Friday afternoon, CFTC will issue its weekly Commitment of Traders report. 
At last count, managed-money speculators were still net long despite the 
severity of the big price spill off the February high. Incredibly, that group 
has been net-long cotton for well over a full year.

   As a reminder, USDA will publish its crop progress data on Monday at 4 p.m. 
CDT, followed by weekly export sales on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. CDT. Then 
next Friday is the last day for traders, who wish to avoid the spot notice 
period, to exit that futures contract.

   Last week on the April crop report, USDA raised its export forecast. That 
action put the current 2020-2021 sales pace in line with normal levels. Thus, 
cumulative sales for the 2020-2021 season stand at 14.97 million bales, 
compared to 15.287 million last year. The five-year average is 12.779 million. 
Current sales represent 95.0% of USDA's forecast for the marketing year versus 
a five-year average of 96.3%.

   At the end of Friday's session, May cotton finished down 1.31 cents on the 
day, up 2.83 cents for the week and 5.01 cents higher on the year.  

   Today, May cotton closed at 83.71 cents, down 1.31 cents; July settled at 
85.03 cents, down 1.23 cents; and December ended at 82.53 cents, off .55 cent. 
Friday's estimated volume was 27,913 contracts.

   Keith Brown can be reached at or by calling 
(229) 890-7780.

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