Cotton Snaps Longest Rally in Two Years; Sugar, Cocoa Decline

Cotton fell for the first time in eight sessions after the government reported slowing exports from the U.S., the world’s top shipper. Sugar and cocoa also dropped, while orange juice and coffee gained.

In the week ended Jan. 17, exports of upland cotton dropped 37 percent to 213,700 running bales from a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Prices climbed 9.8 percent in the past seven sessions, the longest rally in almost two years, on expectations of higher demand from China, the biggest consumer.

“There isn’t an export number that could’ve been high enough to sustain that rally,” Sharon Johnson, a senior cotton specialist at Roswell, Georgia-based Knight Futures, said in a telephone interview. “The market was primed for a sizable setback.”

Cotton for March delivery dropped 2.9 percent to settle at 80.52 cents a pound at 2:40 p.m. on ICE Futures in New York, the biggest loss since Oct. 23.

A running bale weighs 500 pounds, or 22 kilograms.

Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for delivery in March slumped 0.6 percent to 18.38 cents a pound, the eighth loss in nine sessions.

Cocoa futures for March delivery fell 1 percent to $2,173 a metric ton on ICE, the fourth loss in five sessions. In the 12 months ended Sept. 30, global stockpiles climbed 138,000 tons to 1.838 million tons, the International Cocoa Organization said today.

“Supply is surpassing demand with growing inventories,” Hector Galvan, a senior commodities broker at Chicago, Illinois-based RJO Futures, said in an e-mail.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1.134 a pound in New York, while arabica-coffee futures for March delivery gained 1.2 percent to $1.483 a pound.

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