May 16, 2018 (Source:

May 15 (Reuters) - ICE cotton futures were largely unchanged after touching their lowest in three weeks on Tuesday, as good crop plantation numbers were offset by dry weather concerns in Texas, the major cotton producing region in the United States.

* The most active ICE cotton contract for July expiry settled up 0.06 cent, or 0.07 percent, at 83.76 cents per lb.

* The contract traded within a range of 83.36, its lowest since April 25, and 84.39 cents a lb.

* The United States Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop progress report released on Monday showed the 2018 U.S. crop was 36 percent planted, ahead of the rolling five-year average. "Cotton planting in the U.S. is ahead of last year and the 5-year average, however, the dry weather in West Texas is persisting, so that is not as good for farmers as it might seem," said Gabriel Crivorot, an analyst at Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) in New York.

* Market participants are keeping a close watch on rain forecasts in Texas.

* "At this time, weather is amenable to planting across most of The Belt eastward of the West Texas area. With respect to the latter, drought stricken West Texas remains in the grip of hot and dry conditions, but showers are popping up across the region," Louis Rose, director of research and analytics at Tennessee-based Rose Commodity said in a note.

* ICE cotton contract for December expiry CTZ8 rose 0.3 percent to 80.11 cents.

* Total futures market volume rose by 1,500 to 24,815 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 506 to 283,001 contracts in the previous session.

* Certificated cotton stocks CERT-COT-STX deliverable as of May 14 totaled 78,173 480-lb bales, up from 74,506 in the previous session. (Source: