Cotton Falls on Canceled Export Sales; Orange Juice Rises

Cotton futures slid to the lowest since late December amid signs of slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., while expected rainfall boosted the outlook for crops in Texas. Orange juice advanced.

In the week ended April 5, order cancellations for upland cotton resulted in a net reduction in export sales of 39,863 bales, the second consecutive drop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said April 12. The economy in China, the world’s biggest user of the fiber, grew 8.1 percent last quarter, less than the 8.4 percent anticipated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg, the government said last week.

“The export sales were horrible last week,” Scott Joss, the president of ClearTrade Commodities Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “A lot of commodities are also showing weakness.”

Cotton for July delivery tumbled 2.8 percent to settle at 87.25 cents a pound at 3:15 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched 86.55 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Dec. 21. A bale weighs 480 pounds, or 218 kilograms.

Showers and thunderstorms from the Tennessee Valley to southern Texas today and tomorrow will total 0.25 inch (0.6 centimeter) to 1 inch, according to AccuWeather. The forecast for rains in Texas, the top producing state, hurt prices, Mike Stevens, an independent trader in Mandeville, Louisiana, said in an e-mail.

Multiple closings below 87 cents may signal more declines toward 84 cents, Joss said. After that, the commodity may slide to the 76 cents to 77 cents, he said.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials dropped as much as 1.3 percent.

Orange-juice futures for July delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1.4625 a pound on ICE.

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