Cotton Drops on ‘Big’ Surplus; Orange Juice Falls; Coffee Gains

Cotton futures fell the most in two weeks on speculation that producers are making sales to lock in prices before the U.S harvest boosts supplies. Orange juice and sugar slid, while coffee and cocoa rose.

Yesterday, Cotlook Ltd., the publisher of a benchmark cotton index, boosted its estimate for the global fiber surplus in the year that started Aug. 1 by 55 percent, citing a slump in demand by China, the world’s biggest consumer. Earlier this week, futures reached the highest in almost three months.

“Producers are trying to take advantage of the relative high prices,” John Flanagan, the president of Flanagan Trading Corp. in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, said in a telephone interview. “The surplus is going to be a big one.”

Cotton for December delivery dropped 2.1 percent to settle at 75.21 cents a pound at 2:32 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline since Aug. 10. This week, the most-active contract rose 2.6 percent.

Orange-juice futures for November delivery slid 0.9 percent to $1.1795 a pound. This week, the price rose 9 percent, the most in seven months, on concern that Tropical Storm Isaac may harm crops in Florida, the world’s second-largest orange grower.

“The most-likely track will spare the Florida orange crop, but I can’t say that with absolute certainty yet,” Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in an e-mail.

Brazil is the top orange grower.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to 19.58 cents a pound. This week, the price declined 3 percent, the fifth straight slump.

Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $1.629 a pound. This week, the price dropped 0.2 percent, the third straight decline.

Cocoa futures for December delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $2,397 a metric ton. The price fell 1.8 percent this week.

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