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Cotton Prices Rise to Nine-Week High as U.S. Exports Jump

Cotton futures rose to a nine-week high as exports surged from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Sugar and coffee advanced, while cocoa and orange juice fell.

In the four weeks that ended Dec. 13, U.S. export sales of upland cotton soared sixfold from a year earlier, Department of Agriculture data showed on Dec. 20. Cotlook Ltd., the publisher of a benchmark price index, raised its forecast for global consumption, citing increases in countries including India.

“Export sales are humming along, continuing at a good pace,” Gary Raines, an economist at FCStone Fibers and Textiles in Nashville, Tennessee, said in a telephone interview.

Cotton for March delivery climbed 0.9 percent to settle at 77.06 cents a pound at 2:25 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 77.07 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 22.

The fiber has dropped 16 percent this year as global inventories expanded. Yesterday, the market was closed for a holiday.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to 19.05 cents a pound on ICE.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery gained 0.9 percent to $1.483 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2,263 a metric ton. The price fell for the seventh straight session, the longest slump in a year.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery declined 1.2 percent to $1.318 a pound. The commodity slid for the fourth consecutive session, the longest slump in seven weeks.

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