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Finally cotton futures move

After a long time there has been some real movement in cotton futures.

After trading sideways, with a slightly upward bias, for more than a week, New York’s December contract found more definite direction, downwards, in the last session, closing 1.4 per cent lower.

Last session’s price fall was certainly a jolt for the market. This might be the market returning to normality, which could mean harvest pressure on prices.

The market will seasonally feel the weight of US supply as a still-large crop comes to market.

One hope for bulls is that at least the downside could be minimal. December cotton futures seemed to find support just below 67 cents a pound.

But it is by no means certain that this floor will hold again, given the large net long, of more than 70,000 contracts, that hedge funds have built in cotton futures and options – which looks precarious if an upswing in values is not forthcoming.

Speculators who added longs above the 72-cents-a-pound level may start to get concerned as the market drops away and doesn’t look to be returning to those levels without a catastrophic event happening.

China has seemed focused on getting a shot of its huge state inventories, built up thanks to a now-scrapped guaranteed pricing scheme.