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Cotton Gains as U.S. Crop Conditions Worsen; Sugar, Cocoa Rise

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Cotton futures advanced for a second day after crop conditions declined in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter. Sugar and cocoa gained, while orange juice fell. Coffee was little changed.

About 43 percent of the cotton crop was rated good-to-excellent as of Sept. 15, down from 45 percent a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Sept. 16. The USDA pared its outlook for the domestic harvest by 1.1 percent on Sept. 12 to 12.9 million bales on lower yields.

“The crop-conditions report is certainly supportive to higher prices,” John Flanagan, the president of Flanagan Trading Corp. in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, said by telephone today. Prices may decline when the harvest picks up in the middle of October, he said.

Cotton for December delivery advanced 1.3 percent to settle at 85.54 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices gained 0.5 percent yesterday.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to 17.48 cents a pound in New York. Cocoa futures for December delivery added 0.3 percent to $2,623 a metric ton.

Orange-juice futures for November delivery slipped 0.7 percent to $1.267 a pound, while arabica-coffee futures for December delivery slid less than 0.1 percent to $1.149 a pound on ICE.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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