Cotton prices rose for the first time in four days on signs of strong demand for U.S. supplies. Orange juice declined, erasing earlier gains.
U.S. exporters sold 469,384 running bales of upland cotton in the week ended Aug. 12, almost doubling analysts’ estimates, said John Flanagan, the president of Flanagan Trading Corp. The fiber rallied 43 percent in the past year as textile makers in Asia increased purchases to rebuild low inventories. The U.S. is the world’s largest cotton shipper.
“The demand is real, the shortage is real,” Flanagan said today in a telephone interview from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. The market is “getting a boost” from export sales that were “far above expectations,” he said.
Cotton for December delivery gained 0.87 cent, or 1 percent, to settle at 84.14 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The fiber dropped 1.1 percent in previous three, after reaching a 15-week high of 85.71 cents on Aug. 13.
Cotton may reach 87 cents by the end of the month, Flanagan said. Any drop of 2 cents to 3 cents will be “short-lived,” he said.
A running bale weighs 500 pounds, or 227 kilograms.
Orange-juice futures for November delivery declined 1.05 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $1.3635 a pound in New York. Earlier, prices rose as much as 0.8 percent. The commodity has climbed 38 percent in the past year.