June 17 2017

(Reuters) - ICE cotton futures on Friday fell to their lowest in about six months as speculators liquidated after the natural fiber broke below a psychological level amid options expiry. Cotton contracts for December settled down 0.11 cent, or 0.16 percent, at 69.36 cents per lb. It traded within a range of 68.58 and 69.95 cents a lb. Prices fell to their lowest since Dec. 20 at 68.58 cents per lb. 

"Once the price fell below 70 cents, a psychological level, speculators liquidated and then at the end of the day we saw bargain hunters coming in and there was some short covering," said Keith Brown, principal at cotton broker Keith Brown and Co in Moultrie, Georgia. "As the price has been declining, open interest also has been declining, which shows that speculators are liquidating," Brown said. 

Traders also noted that merchants had been rolling their short positions into December from July, but with the market now being considered technically oversold, prices could find some support around the current levels. The markets will be looking closely at the acreage numbers on June 30, with the latest government data pointing to robust new crop yields, traders said. 

Meanwhile, speculators cut their bullish stance in cotton in the week to June 13, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. Total futures market volume fell by 21,193 to 38,967 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 934 to 232,242 contracts in the previous session. Certified cotton stocks deliverable as of June 14 totaled 476,100 480-lb bales, up from 472,144 in the previous session. --- Reuters (Source: