ICE cotton down on China stockpile worries


March 29 Cotton futures traded lower on Tuesday on expectations China will soon begin offloading its huge reserves and in cautious trading ahead of the U.S. government’s planting intentions report on Thursday.

The plantings report will likely not be bullish and until it is seen how the Chinese auctions are received, “the air of uncertainty seems to be enjoyed more by the bears,” Ron Lee, general manager at McCleskey Cotton in Bronwood, Georgia, said in a note.

China’s government may begin selling from its reserves from mid-April, with a priority to offer good-quality cotton, including imported fibre.     * The front-month May contract on ICE Futures U.S.  settled down 0.42 cent, or 0.73 percent, at 57.38 cents per lb after trading between 57.22 and 57.94 cents.

* The dollar index was down 0.82 percent. The Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity CRB Index, which tracks 19 commodities, was down 0.64 percent.

* Total futures market volume rose by 433 to 14,702 lots.

Data showed total open interest gained 1,675 to 215,388 contracts in the previous session.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish)