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Cotton Rises to Eight-Week High on China; Sugar, Coffee Climb

Cotton futures rose to the highest in almost eight weeks in New York amid an improving demand outlook in China, the world’s largest consumer. Sugar, coffee and orange juice also advanced, while cocoa fell.

China’s manufacturing is expanding at a faster pace this month, a preliminary reading for a purchasing managers’ index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed Dec. 14. The country plans to increase urbanization, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday after the annual central economic work conference. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for global cotton demand.

“Good economic data from China helped demand ideas,” Jack Scoville, a vice president for Price Futures Group in Chicago, said today in a report. “Some leftover bullish sentiment from the USDA report” also supported prices, he said.

Cotton for March delivery increased 1 percent to settle at 75.85 cents a pound at 2:31 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S., after reaching 76.25 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 23. The fiber has lost 17 percent this year as global inventories expanded.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery climbed 2.1 percent to 19.41 cents a pound on ICE. Earlier, the price reached 19.45 cents, the highest since Dec. 6.

The sweetener has dropped 17 percent this year amid forecasts for record output in Brazil, the top producer. Most cane-growing areas in the South American country will get rain through the end of the month, which may delay harvesting, Sao Paulo-based weather analyst Somar Meteorologia said today.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery jumped 2 percent to $1.4595 a pound on ICE, the largest increase since Nov. 28.

Also in New York, orange-juice futures for March delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1.385 a pound, the sixth consecutive advance and the longest rally since the period ended Sept. 7.

Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2,425 a metric ton.

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