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Cotton futures and options are traded on ICE Futures US, formerly the New York Board of Trade. Cotton futures began trading in 1870 at New York's original futures exchange. The contract size is 50,000 pounds.

The benchmark ICE Cotton No. 2 contract ("ICE Cotton") calls for delivery of certain minimum standards basis grade and staple length, specifically, Cotton No. 2. The delivery points for ICE Cotton are Galveston, TX, Houston, TX, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, Memphis, TN and Greenville/Spartansburg, S.C.

The reportable position level for Cotton No. 2 is 100 or more contracts. The position limit is 300 in the spot contract and 5000 contracts in all months.

World Cotton, Launch November 2015[edit]

In 2015, the IntercontinentalExchange announced the launch of ICE World Cotton. This contract allows delivery of cotton from origins that collectively represent 73 percent of world cotton exports.[1]

ICE had planned to launch the new contract in the fourth quarter of 2014, but it was delayed because the U.S. Congress had not yet approved a bill to allow U.S. exchanges to handle foreign-grown cotton at delivery points around the world. Congress passed the bill on July 9, 2015. The contract is the first alternative for merchants, mills and growers to pricing on the ICE Cotton No. 2 contract, which accepts only cotton grown in the United States. The new contract will include cotton grown in the United States, Australia, Brazil, India, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mali, according to ICE. Delivery points will be in Australia and Malaysia.[2] [3] [4]

The world contract size is set at 55,000 pounds and is quoted in U.S. cents per pound. In addition to the U.S. delivery points, as specified in the No. 2 contract, ICE World Cotton adds delivery points in Australia, Malaysia and Taiwan. Deliverable origin points include the U.S., Australia, Brazil, India, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Mali.[5]

World cotton clears at ICE Clear U.S.