Cotton Futures Rise on India Crop Concerns; Sugar Gains

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Cotton futures rose to a three-week high as below-average rain spurred supply concerns in India, the world’s second-biggest producer. Sugar also advanced, while coffee, cocoa and orange juice fell.

The India Meteorological Department said yesterday that the nation’s monsoon since June was 22 percent lower than the 50-year average. Soaring U.S. corn, soybean and wheat prices may spur farmers to shift away from cotton, which is down 20 percent this year, said Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

“Any kind of weather that disrupts the crop is going to have an impact after the way prices have fallen,” Smith said in a telephone interview. “It adds to the uncertainty in the near term” over supplies, he said.

Cotton for December delivery gained 0.9 percent to settle at 73.3 cents a pound at 2:34 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched 73.4 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since June 20.

The monsoon accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall. China is the largest cotton consumer and grower, and the U.S. is the top exporter.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery rose 0.2 percent to 22.77 cents a pound in New York.

Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery dropped 1.2 percent to $1.8395 a pound.

Cocoa futures for September delivery fell 0.9 percent to $2,197 a metric ton.

Orange-juice futures for September delivery slipped 3.8 percent to $1.1795 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.1665, the lowest since July 2.

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