Both NY futures and the A Index rose and fell over the past month, with current values nearly equal to those from one month ago. Other benchmark prices were generally stable.
• After gaining several cents/lb in the second half of February, NY futures turned lower, with the May contract falling from 65 cents/lb in late February to 62 cents/lb in the most recent trading.
• The A Index reached values as high as 72 cents/lb in late February but has since dropped below 70 cents/lb.
• The CC Index was unchanged over the past month, with prices holding to levels near 98 cents/lb in international terms and between 13,435 and 13,475 RMB/ton in domestic terms.
• Indian spot prices for the Shankar-6 variety held to values near 63 cents/lb in international terms and near 30,700 INR/candy.
• Pakistani spot prices held to values between 58 and 60 cents/lb in international terms and between 4,850 and 5,050 PKR/maund in local terms over the past month.
SUPPLY, DEMAND & TRADE
The latest USDA report included only minor revisions to global estimates for 2014/15 production and mill-use. The figure for World production was lowered only 130,000 bales (from 119.4 million to 119.2 million) and the figure for world consumption was lowered 290,000 bales (from 111.3 million to 111.0 million). The forecast for global ending stocks increased 223,000 bales (from 109.8 million to 110.1 million). At the country-level, notable revisions to harvest projections were for Tajikistan (-100,000 bales, to 350,000) and Pakistan (+100,000 bales, to 10.5 million). Country-level revisions to mill-use figures included those for China (-500,000 bales, to 35.0 million), Bangladesh (+100,000 bales, to 4.5 million), Indonesia (+100,000 bales, to 3.3 million), and Vietnam (+100,000 bales, to 3.7 million). This month’s reduction to the Chinese consumption estimate was the fifth consecutive decrease. The current forecast of 35.0 million bales indicates that only a small increase in Chinese consumption (+500,000 bales versus 2013/14) is expected to accompany the nearly 50 cents/lb drop in Chinese cash prices that has occurred over the past twelve months. In terms of trade, the largest revisions included those for the Brazilian export forecast (+350,000 bales, to 3.8 million) as well as import estimates for Vietnam (+150,000 bales, to 4.0 million), Bangladesh (+100,000, to 4.6 million), and Indonesia (+100,000, to 3.4 million).