Cotton settled flat as CAI maintains estimate for 2023-24 season.

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January 05, 2024 Cotton candy settled marginally lower by -0.04% at 56160, with the Cotton Association of India (CAI) maintaining its pressing estimate for the 2023-24 season at 294.10 lakh bales of 170 kg each. CAI President Atul S Ganatra stated that the total supply till the end of November was estimated at 92.05 lakh bales, including market arrivals of 60.15 lakh bales, imports of 3 lakh bales, and opening stocks of 28.90 lakh bales.

Reports indicate a decline in the infestation of pink bollworm in the cotton crop, reducing from 30.62% during 2017-18 to 10.80% in 2022-23. Pink bollworm infestation is observed in cotton-growing areas across the country. Global cotton lint production is expected to grow 3.25% YoY to 25.4 million metric tons in the 2023-2024 season, while consumption is forecasted to marginally decline to 23.4 million metric tons. The U.S. cotton balance sheet for 2023/24 shows slightly lower consumption but higher production and ending stocks. Production is 273,000 bales higher at 13.1 million bales, with lower production in Texas offset elsewhere. Domestic mill use is 100,000 bales lower, reflecting recent consumption, and exports are unchanged. Ending stocks are 400,000 bales higher at 3.2 million bales, representing 22.5% of use. In Rajkot, a major spot market, the price ended at 26,475.6 Rupees, gaining 0.06 per cent.

From a technical perspective, the market is under long liquidation, with open interest remaining unchanged at 209. Cottoncandy's support is at 56,040, and a breach of this level could lead to a test of 55,930. On the upside, resistance is expected at 56,320, and a move above could see prices testing 56,490. Traders are closely monitoring global production, consumption trends, and pest-related issues to gauge the cotton market's direction.

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