Cotton slips to register third weekly fall
ICE cotton futures fell on Friday, recording its third consecutive week of declines, as markets grappled with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Cotton contract for May settled down 1.45 cent, or 2.8%, at 51.33 cents per lb. It traded within a range of 51.15 and 53.32 cents a lb.
The contract was down 3.4% for the week.
“Cotton prices continue to fall in response to continued instability in financial markets, and demand destruction from the COVID-19 virus," said Barry Bean, a cotton buyer based in Gideon, Missouri.
“News of spot market shutdowns in India, port closures, and long term economic damage have simply added fuel to the fire."
The novel coronavirus, which has killed at least killed 24,887 people and infected 551,823 globally, caused a halt in most economic activities worldwide.
India, Asia's third-largest economy, has imposed a nationwide lockdown since Wednesday to fight the coronavirus and contain its spread.
The US House of Representatives on Friday approved a $2.2 trillion aid package – the largest in American history – to help people and businesses cope with the economic downturn inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Once it (stimulus package) is passed, it takes time to work… With prices under pressure, cotton acres will fall, the question is how much?" said Sid Love, commodity trading adviser at Kansas-based Sid Love Consulting. Elsewhere, stocks across the globe fell on Friday after a historic three-day run-up, with markets expecting the volatility to continue as the virus has literally put a full stop on world economic activities. Total futures market volume rose by 5,230 to 28,372 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 573 to 192,616 contracts in the previous session.