ICE Cotton futures ease on uncertainty over Chinese demand
ICE cotton futures inched lower on Wednesday as heightened tensions between the U.S. and China dampened the outlook for demand and soured investor sentiment.
Cotton contracts for July fell 0.18 cent, or 0.3%, to 60.19 cents per lb by 01:06 p.m. ET (1706 GMT)
"The past two days it went up quite a bit on weather and short covering, but now that the investors have bought enough there is not much activity in the market and the trade war uncertainty is also seeping in," said Jordan Lea, senior trader at DECA Global
"People are nervous about China canceling. Demand is lousy but the crop is OK."
In the latest development in the rift between the United States and China, Washington barred Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the U.S. starting on June 16.
Souring sentiment were concerns that Beijing could stall state purchases of U.S. cotton.
The United States is the biggest exporter of cotton, while China is its largest consumer.
"Cotton might fall below the 55 cents but it will take a while," Lea said, "The longs are not going anywhere so it is the shorts."
Limiting cotton's downside, however, was a spell of dry weather in top cotton producing state Texas that has led to gains of about 5% from Friday's close.
"West Texas is a concern that needs to be watched. Last month was very dry and rain is needed soon, not just for dryland acres, but for irrigated as well," said Peter Egli, director of risk management at British merchant Plexus Cotton.
Total futures market volume fell by 23,825 to 16,702 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 2,459 to 185,922 contracts in the previous session.