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Cotton Drops on ‘Ideal’ Growing Conditions; Orange Juice Rises

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Cotton prices fell for the first time in three sessions amid favorable U.S. growing conditions and signs of a bigger increase in acreage than forecast. Orange-juice futures climbed.

Growers may have sown 10.8 million acres (4.4 million hectares) of cotton, up 18 percent from last year and the biggest gain since 1995, according to the average estimate of 12 analysts and traders in a Bloomberg survey. Conditions are “ideal,” Mike Stevens, an independent trader in Mandeville, Louisiana, said in an e-mail. He cited “beneficial rains” in West Texas, the main growing area in the largest-producing state.

“As June comes to a close, threats of hail losses lessen,” Stevens said. “Traders widely anticipate an increase in planted acres from March intentions.”

Cotton for December delivery fell 0.46 cent, or 0.6 percent, to 78.45 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price has gained 3.8 percent this year.

In March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast plantings on 10.505 million acres after surveying farmers. The agency will update its estimate on June 30.

Earlier, prices climbed as much as 0.5 percent. Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased their net-long positions, or bets that futures will climb, by 12 percent in the week ended June 22 from a week earlier, according to government data.

Orange-juice futures for September delivery rose 0.5 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $1.4295 a pound in New York. The commodity has gained 11 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in New York at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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