Cotton futures rose to a one-week high on signs of global demand and limited supplies as the worst floods in Pakistan’s history have wiped out crops. Orange-juice prices were little changed.
The Kissan Board of Pakistan, a trade group, said floods in the world’s fourth-largest cotton producer ruined 30 percent of the crop. Damage to transportation infrastructure will make it “very hard” to get cotton to mills, said John Flanagan, the president of Flanagan Trading Corp. in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.
“You’ve got just tremendous demand from around the world, especially from Asia,” Flanagan said.
Cotton for December delivery rose 1.35 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 84.9 cents a pound at 10:26 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 85.26 cents, the highest level for a most-active contract since Aug. 13.
The U.S., the world’s largest exporter, will ship 15 million bales to foreign buyers in the year that began Aug. 1, according to the Department of Agriculture. That’s up 25 percent from 12 million bales in the previous year. A bale weighs 480 pounds (218 kilograms). Before today, the fiber rallied 42 percent in the past year as textile makers have boosted purchases to rebuild depleted inventories.
In the week ended Aug. 17, hedge-fund managers and other large speculators, increased their net-long positions, or bets prices will rise, by 23 percent to the highest level since January.
Orange-juice futures for November delivery fell 0.9 cent, or 0.7 percent, to $1.36 a pound in New York. Before today, prices rose 6.1 percent this year.