Cotton Falls To 5-Month Low

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ICE cotton futures hit a 5-month low on Thursday, March 12, in a broader markets sell-off after the United States imposed restrictions on travel from Europe that sparked demand fears.

Cotton contract for May fell 1.19 cent, or 1.9%, to 60.36 cents per lb. The contract earlier in the session fell as much as 3.6% to 59.35 cent per lb, its lowest since late September.

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“The overall concern is what are consumers going to do? If people pull down on consumption, lock their houses and do not shop that’s a lot more important than whether mills are buying or not,” said John Bondurant, a trader in Memphis, Tennessee. Concerns over the coronavirus outbreak overshadowed data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that showed net sales hit a fresh marketing year high.

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Net sales of 484,200 running bales were up 22% from the previous week and 62% from the prior 4-week average. President Donald Trump ordered travel from Europe to the United States to be restricted for 30 days, responding to mounting pressure to take action against a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak. US farmers and traders fear that the situation could get worse, with the market heading towards the mid-50s.

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