Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
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ICE cotton futures touched a contract high on Friday on concerns that hurricane Irma, now headed towards Florida, could hurt the natural fiber crops in Georgia and South Carolina. Cotton contracts for December settled up 0.32 cent, or 0.43 percent, at 74.59 cents per lb. It traded within a range of 74.04 and 75.75 cents a lb.

Though Irma is expected to become a tropical storm by the time it reaches Georgia the potential for crop damage is still very large, said Gabriel Crivorot, analyst at Societe Generale in New York. Hurricane Irma lashed Cuba and the Bahamas as it drove towards Florida on Friday after hitting the eastern Caribbean with its devastatingly high winds. It was predicted to slam southern Florida on Sunday.

"The impact of Irma is still unknown at this point, but with the hurricane threatening Georgia and the Carolinas, we have to brace ourselves for more losses and quality problems," Plexus Cotton said in a note. "Traders will likely remain on edge for another 4-5 weeks, until we know more about actual yields and the quality mix of the US crop," Plexus Cotton added.

Total futures market volume rose by 9,361 to 35,659 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 3,134 to 241,118 contracts in the previous session. Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of September 7 totalled 8,728 480-lb bales, down from 8,730 in the previous session. Earlier in the day, the US Department of Agriculture reported net upland sales of 116,100 running bales for the 2017/2018 marketing year in its weekly export sales report. The dollar index was down 0.38 percent. The Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity CRB Index, which tracks 19 commodities, was down 0.93 percent.

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