Cotton Hits Longest Rally Since December on China-led Purchases

Cotton futures gained for the fourth straight session on signs of robust demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

Sales of upland cotton from the U.S. in the week ended Jan. 10 jumped 73 percent from a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report yesterday. Gross domestic product rose 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier in China, the world’s biggest cotton consumer and importer, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today.

“The latest U.S. export sales report once again surprised positively,” with buyers including 19 different markets, Peter Egli, director at Chicago-based Plexus Cotton Ltd., said in an e-mailed report.

Cotton for March delivery climbed 1.2 percent to 78.62 cents a pound by 12:05 p.m. on ICE Futures in New York, marking the longest rally since Dec. 3. Prices have declined 16 percent from a year earlier.

“There is a decent chance for the market to explode to the upside,” Egli said. With resistance at 78 cents taken out, “we would probably see a lot of new speculator buying enter the scene.”

Raw sugar for March delivery was unchanged at 18.42 cents a pound on ICE, the first gain in a week.

Arabica coffee for March delivery gained 1 percent to $1.5705 a pound in New York. It touched $1.579 a pound, the highest since Nov. 13, in earlier trade.

Orange juice for March delivery jumped 1.8 percent to $1.1435 a pound. Earlier it reached $1.166, the highest since Jan. 3.

Cocoa for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to $2,281 a metric ton in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Renick in Chicago at

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

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