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Cotton May Rise 32% to $1.25 a Pound by January, Analyst Says

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Cotton prices will likely jump another 32 percent to $1.25 a pound by January because of tightening global supply, said agricultural economist O.A. Cleveland.

“We have an extremely bullish situation,” Cleveland, a professor emeritus in agricultural economics at Mississippi State University, said today on a conference call organized by Ag Market Network.

Cotton prices have rallied 52 percent in the past year as demand surged from textile makers and excessive rain damaged crops in China, the world’s largest buyer of the fiber. Futures for December delivery rose 1.75 cents, or 1.9 percent, to 94.46 cents a pound at 11:42 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 94.5 cents, the highest price since 1995.

India, the world’s second-largest grower, is limiting exports to 5.5 million bales in the season that starts Oct. 1 and will impose “prohibitive” duties on shipments above that amount. Textile Secretary Rita Menon said today that the registration of export contracts will begin Oct. 1, two weeks later than planned.

“We’re pretty much on a one-way street,” Mike Stevens, an independent trader in Mandeville, Louisiana, said today during the Ag Market Network conference call. “There’s no sign of a top.”

Cotton futures at $1.25 would be the highest ever based on exchange data that goes back as far as 1959.

Prices also are being bolstered by weather-damaged crops in China and the appeal of commodities for investors compared with other assets, Stevens and Cleveland said.

The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index advanced as much as 1 percent to 1,384.495, the highest level since January. Coffee, sugar, gold and cotton were the biggest gainers.

To contact the reporters on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net.

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

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