* Cotton futures ease in light, range-bound trade
* December contract ends at 84.00 cents
* Finish was just below the 200-day moving average
* Fiber down 10 pct from August peak as speculators exit
NEW YORK, Sept 16 ICE cotton eased on Monday
under pressure from expectations of rain in Texas, the top
producing state in the United States, where dry conditions have
driven concern over supplies in the world's top exporter.
The most-active December cotton contract on ICE Futures U.S.
edged down 0.46 cent, or 0.5 percent, to finish at 84.00
cents per lb.
Trading volumes were below average and second-month prices
were down about 10 percent from a peak of 93.72 cents a
lb set last month as speculators piled into the cotton market.
The December contract settled just below its 200-day
moving average of 84.04 cents a lb.
Noncommercial dealers have cut their net long position in
cotton to the lowest level since January, U.S. weekly government
data showed on Friday.
Forecasts for rain in areas of Texas have reduced the
weather risk premium that has been built into the market because
of a U.S. crop expected both to be both late and small.
"There are some areas expected to see good rains. The market
is looking to see how that materializes," said Christopher
Narayanan, director and head of agricultural commodities
research at Societe Generale.
U.S. supplies are expected to be tight this year as farmers
have chosen to sow more lucrative grains and as unfavorable
weather damages crop yields.
Even so, global output is expected to climb as No. 2
producer India harvests a bumper crop, and world supplies are
forecast to reach a record of nearly 95 million bales by July
Hopes for global demand rest largely with China, where a
government stockpiling program launched in 2011 has driven
voracious demand for foreign cotton.
Now, more than 60 percent of global inventories are expected
to become part of China's stocks and are considered unavailable
to the global marketplace.
Societe Generale analysts expect to see a slowing of Chinese
cotton imports this year ahead of broader changes to the
country's cotton policy next year.
The second month ICE contract was on track for a
second straight quarterly loss, though prices are still up from
the end of 2012.
Cotton prices posted two down years after historically high
prices in 2011 drove demand toward lower-priced, synthetic
fibers, and global inventories grew.
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Peter Galloway)