By Keith Brown DTN Cotton Contributing Analyst
November 5, 2018
December cotton hardly moved on Monday, once its 111-point daily range was established, and finished mixed. Its muted trade revolved around the outcome of the midterm elections. Yet, estimated volume was near 30,000 contracts. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed noncommercial traders were net long 53,500 contracts, a decline of 2,700 for the week.

In fact, other watched trading categories, including the feared Index Funds, showed net declines in the various speculative positions. These reductions may be marking the seasonal time when speculators tend to square positions as they approach the year-end holidays.

To that end, the market is showing certain technical signs and a change in direction may be in the offing. One element that is highly watched is moving averages, which are curling up to hook bullish. Additionally, the market is not that far from hurdling its October high of 8014. Such a move would give the charts an even friendlier technical look.

Monday afternoon USDA will present its latest crop condition/harvest progress numbers. For several weeks this report continues to show a suffering crop, which ought to set the stage for a friendly crop report this Thursday. Previously, USDA pegged the 2018 crop at 19.76 million bales. However, between this year’s hurricanes and droughts, many traders believe the size and scope of the crop is well below that level.

December cotton settled at 7887, up 8 points; March was 8034, plus 3; and Red December settled at 7826, down 5 points. (Source: