(Reuters) - ICE cotton futures settled little changed on Wednesday, ahead of a weekly exports sales report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
* The most active cotton contract on ICE Futures U.S., the third-month December contract, settled up 0.03 cent, or 0.03 percent, at 92.93 cents per lb. It traded within a range of 91.92 and 93.69 cents a lb.
* The USDA's weekly export sales report is due on Thursday.
* "The market is waiting for sales (report) to come tomorrow," said Rogers Varner, president of Varner Brokerage in Cleveland, Mississippi.
* Market participants are keeping a close watch on rain in Texas, the major cotton-growing region in the United States.
* Texas is turning cautiously optimistic even if time is running out as separate tropical systems in both the Pacific and in the Caribbean give West Texas and South Texas respectively, chances for meaningful precipitation early next week, Ron Lee, general manager at McCleskey Cotton in Bronwood, Georgia, said in a note on Wednesday.
* Meanwhile, India's cotton exporters have signed contracts to ship 500,000 bales (85,000 tonnes) of their new season harvest to China as the world's biggest consumer of the fibre looks to raise its imports in the next crop year, industry officials told Reuters.
* "The (U.S.) market hopes for significant new demand from China, but must wait until Friday when the Trump administration will announce its next moves against the Chinese," Jack Scoville, vice president with Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a note.
* "Cotton would be a loser in a trade war with China as China once again looks ready to become a major world buyer."
* Total futures market volume rose by 12,412 to 65,774 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 1,947 to 309,608 contracts in the previous session.
* Certificated cotton stocks CERT-COT-STX deliverable as of Jun 12 totaled 79,472 480-lb bales, up from 78,421 in the previous session.-Reuters (Source: af.reuters.com)