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Cotton Gains on Reports of Chinese Drought; Orange Juice Falls

Cotton rose for the fourth straight session on reports that China’s worst winter drought ever is delaying planting in Hubei province, the country’s fifth-largest producer. Orange juice declined.

Hubei had the least precipitation since autumn in more than 50 years, making it difficult to plant cotton, the local water department said on its website. About 2.7 million acres (1.1 million hectares) of crops, including corn and rice, have been affected, it said.

“The drought in China is a major issue, and the weather there is keeping the market firm,” said Thomas Mikulski, a senior strategist at Lind-Waldock, a broker in Chicago.

Cotton futures for July delivery rose 4.82 cents, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $1.5986 a pound at 2:38 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The fiber has surged 11 percent in four sessions.

Earlier, the price reached $1.608, the highest since April 27. Cotton has surged 94 percent in the past year on increased demand from China, the world’s biggest importer.

Orange-juice futures for July delivery declined 1.4 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $1.805 a pound on ICE. Yesterday, the commodity reached $1.8605, the highest since April 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Lutz in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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