Cotton futures fell for the third time in four sessions on signs of slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Sugar also slid, while cocoa and orange juice advanced.
In the week ended Jan. 31, U.S. sales of upland cotton declined 29 percent from a week earlier, the government said today. Sales have dropped for three straight weeks. Through yesterday, futures climbed 8.8 percent this year, the biggest gain among the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
“The U.S. is not the most competitive price out there right now,” discouraging overseas buyers, Chris Kramedjian, a fiber and textile consultant at INTL FCStone LLC, said in a telephone interview from Nashville, Tennessee. “There’s not a lot of mill buying, and you can see that in the export sales.”
Cotton for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to settle at 81.4 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Trading volumes were about double the average of the past 100 days at market close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for delivery in March slumped 0.2 percent to 18.16 cents a pound, the fourth straight loss.
Cocoa futures gained 0.4 percent to $2,236 a metric ton on ICE, while orange-juice futures for March delivery added 0.9 percent to $1.211 a pound.