Cotton has been used in textile production for over 7000 years. Today, its uses have expanded to include products like fishnets and gunpowder. The early history of the cotton industry in the U.S. is marred by bloodshed and slavery. However, since the advent of mechanized harvesting, the U.S. has been able to maintain its position as the number one exporter of cotton without manual field labor. Cotton accounts for 35% of total fiber use around the globe. The U.S., along with India and China produce over 65% of cotton used by citizens of the world. Many developing countries find it hard to compete in the international market due to low product prices and a lack of fair trade, especially since their access to the same agricultural technology as affluent countries is limited.
|Cotton Futures Contract Specifications|
|Contract Size||50,000 pounds net weight|
|Price Quotation||Cents and hundredths of a cent per pound|
|Contract Months||March, May, July, October, December|
|Minimum Fluctuation||1/100 of a cent (one “point”) per pound equivalent to $5.00 per contract.|
|Settlement Procedure||Physical Delivery|
|Daily Price Limit||Futures contracts are subject to a daily price limit that can range from 3 to 7 cents per pound. Click to view Rules|
|Delivery Points||Galveston, TX; Houston, TX; New Orleans, LA;. Memphis, TN; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C
Effective with the Dec 2013 expiry, New Orleans is no longer a delivery point and Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX becomes a delivery point.)
|Basis Grade||Quality: Strict Low Middling Staple Length: 1 2/32nd inc|
|First Day Notice||Five business days before the first delivery day of the spot contract month, which is the first business day of that month.|
|Last Trading Day||Seventeen business days from end of spot month.|
|Last Notice Day||Twelve business days from end of spot month.|
The four major cotton-producing countries are: China, India, the U.S., and Pakistan. The United States is responsible for one third of cotton that is traded and is the world’s leading exporter in this cash crop. Annually, the U.S. cotton industry profits around $25 billion, while providing over 200,000 jobs. U.S. cotton production is concentrated in the Southern U.S. as well as California. Depending on the climate, the cotton planting season can start as early as March, while the harvest can go well into December. The most popular type of cotton grown in the U.S. is called American Upland which accounts for 97% of all U.S. cotton crop grown every year.
Cotton #2 futures contracts are traded on the NYBOT while cotton futures contracts are traded on the NYMEX; both contracts have the same delivery dates.
Last updated May 2013
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