* Return of US data reinforces worries over excess supplies
* Growing harvest pressure weighs on fiber
* Break below key technical level helps drive week's selling
NEW YORK, Oct 25 Cotton futures eased on Friday
and slid to their biggest weekly loss in two months as Northern
Hemisphere harvests gathered pace and the return of key U.S.
government data reinforced concerns over slowing demand and
The most-active December cotton contract on ICE Futures U.S.
closed down 0.13 cent, or 0.2 percent, at 79.08 cents a
lb, reversing the day's earlier gains.
The contract touched a nine-month low on Thursday and posted
its biggest down week since late August, as the return of U.S.
government data reinforced worries over excess supplies.
Technical pressure added to the losses. A fall past a key
trend line near 81.70 cents a lb drove waves of selling earlier
in the week.
Favorable weather has improved the outlook for supplies in
the United States, the world's top exporter, and a bumper crop
in No. 2 producer India.
"The harvest pressure is coming on, the crops are looking
OK, and China may be slowing on the import front," said Peter
Egli, director of risk management for Plexus Cotton Ltd, a
British-based medium-sized merchant.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday
released its first weekly export sales data since the end of a
partial government shutdown earlier this month when the agency
Though the data was weeks old, it showed total sales had
fallen during the week ending Oct. 3 and reinforced worry over
waning demand in the face of high prices, particularly in the
world's top consumer China.
A U.S. government crop progress report released at the start
of the week showed that the crop was in better shape than at the
same time last year, easing worries of tight U.S. supplies.
Exchange stocks rose to over 110,000 bales on Thursday, with
another nearly 48,000 awaiting review by the USDA, the most
recent ICE data showed.
The first release of the weekly Commitment of Traders (COT)
report showed that speculators boosted their long position in
cotton futures and options in same week that cotton prices
touched six-week highs as a weather-risk premium build ahead of
Tropical Storm Karen.
Since then, prices have tumbled 9 percent, and traders said
they expect investors have steeply dialed back their bullish
Two more delayed COT reports are due to be released during
the week of Oct. 28, followed by another two in the week of Nov.
4, before reverting to the normal schedule from Nov. 8.
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Marguerita Choy)