Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cotton Market: Louis Dreyfus Says China is Manipulating the Market

Following up on "Chinese Hoarding May Explain Cotton Market Mysteries".
Among the world's traders Dreyfus is the top dog in cotton. China is the top end user.
China has more money than Dreyfus has cotton.
Game and set to China, we'll have to see about the match.
From Reuters:
China's cotton stockpiling distorts prices -Louis Dreyfus

* Hoarding distorting prices, says Louis Dreyfus chief
* Prices should be around 50 cents based on real fundamentals
* Switch to synthetics a major headwind

The cotton chief of global trader Louis Dreyfus Commodities took aim at the largest buyer of raw cotton on Tuesday, blaming China's aggressive stockpiling program for hampering the fragile industry's recovery and distorting global prices.

Joe Nicosia, head of the world's biggest cotton merchant, told hundreds of U.S. growers at the Cotton Beltwide conference that enduser demand would not rebound unless prices fell to make it competitive with polyester. That will only happen when Beijing stops soaking up the world's surplus fiber.
"The longer China holds on to its policy, the worse and more dire the situation will become," said Nicosia, executive vice president and global head of cotton at the commodity trader.

His comments reflected widespread concern among U.S. merchants, farmers and mills about the impact of Beijing's hoarding, which effectively keeps half the world's inventory off the market, as the industry struggles to repair damage from the wild prices of the past four years.

After a two-year buying spree as part of a government-backed program to support its farmers by paying premium prices for home grown fiber, Beijing's strategic reserve will have accumulated an estimated 40 million bales of cotton by the end of March....MORE
Meanwhile, the lawsuit alleging manipulation of the cotton market by Dreyfus, filed by Glencore's former head of cotton trading, moves forward:
NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The traders who sued Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV for allegedly manipulating cotton prices last year are trying to avoid the blame for their own bad bets, the company said in a court filing Tuesday.

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Louis Dreyfus said the plaintiffs, who include former senior Glencore trader Mark Allen, failed to provide any evidence that the company illegally inflated prices by monopolizing cotton futures. Instead, it said, the traders were speculators who sold cotton futures short at the wrong time.

"Despite their level of sophistication and full appreciation of the risk that they could lose money, plaintiffs now seek to shift the burden of their bad investment decisions onto Louis Dreyfus," the commodity trading giant said in the filing, which asked Judge Andrew Carter to throw out the case....MORE