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U.S. cotton below 71 cents as spec, seasonal selling continues
September 26, 2012 / 8:47 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. cotton below 71 cents as spec, seasonal selling continues

* Cotton below 71 cents/lb for first time since Aug. 3
    * Specs exiting longs ahead of harvest, traders say

    NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Seasonal and speculative
selling in cotton accelerated on Wednesday, sending futures
contracts below 71 cents per pound for the first time since the
start of August.
    Falling for a fifth straight session, New York-traded cotton
for December delivery settled down 1.31 cent, or 1.8
percent, at 71.02 cents per lb on ICE Futures U.S., its lowest
level since Aug. 3. Prices briefly dipped as low as 70.98 cents.
    "The specs are getting out of their long position. They're
going short and rightly so," said Lou Barbera, cotton analyst at
ICAP Cotton in New York, referring to the less-than-upbeat
outlook for the market, with expectations of a record surplus
above 76 million bales for the season to end-July next year.
    Volumes were healthy with almost 20,000 lots of the December
contract changing hands on the day on hefty two-way action.
    Selling by commercial hedgers such as farmers has grown as
harvest in the northern hemisphere approaches, although mill
purchasing has capped some of the slide, traders said.
    Speculators cut their net long position in cotton for the
second straight week in the week to Sept. 18, the most recent
data showed, falling by 2,166 contracts to 17,763 contracts.
Specs have not had a net short position since the start of
August.
    The market tracked a weak broader market. The 19-commodity
Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index dropped 0.97 percent
while U.S. equities eased 0.6 percent.
    The latest pressure has erased the small gains prices had
notched up for the third quarter. The market was on track to end
the quarter down 0.4 percent, building on the 21-percent plunge
seen in the second quarter. Friday is the last day of trading
for the month and quarter.

 (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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