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ICE cotton falls on profit-taking after prices hit 4-year highs

ICE cotton futures fell nearly 1 percent as traders locked in profits after prices hit four year highs on fears of unavailability of quality U.S. cotton for delivery.
* The most active ICE cotton contract for July expiry CTc2 CTN8 settled down 0.91 cent, or 1.05 percent, at 85.99 cents per lb.
* The contract traded within a range of 85.91 and 88.08 cents a lb, its highest since May 2014. * “It was just a small correction after the sharp rise … The most recent news are still bullish,” said Gabriel Crivorot, an analyst at Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) in New York.
* Analysts and traders said there was a shortage of high quality cotton amid high demand. * “There are ideas that the U.S. is now running short of high quality cotton to deliver to the exchange and to overseas buyers,” said Jack Scoville, vice president with Price Futures Group in Chicago in a note.
* “Demand remains strong in export markets as the weekly export sales report showed moderate to strong volumes last week.” * The weekly export sales report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the week ending April 26, showed exports of 432,600 running bales, up 3 percent from the previous week. As per USDA’s classing report for the week-ending May 3, of the nearly 37,000 running bales classed, only 35 percent were deliverable against ICE contracts. * Market participants are keeping a close watch on rain in Texas, the major cotton growing region in the United States. * ICE cotton contract for December expiry CTZ8 fell 0.3 percent to 80.33 cents. * “The government forecast is for the drought conditions to persist over the next month, that does not mean there will not be enough rain to alleviate circumstances, but the outlook is not good for farmers in the region,” Crivorot said. * Total futures market volume rose by 5,055 to 38,417 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 5,773 to 281,665 contracts in the previous session. * Certificated cotton stocks CERT-COT-STX deliverable as of May 4 totaled 73,202 480-lb bales, down from 75,638 in the previous session.