Cotton Rises as USDA Data Shows Tight Supply; Orange Juice Gains

Cotton extended a rally to a more than one-week high after the government reported tightening U.S. supplies and increased demand. Orange juice, sugar and coffee also advanced, while cocoa fell.

The U.S. cotton crop totaled 17.01 million bales, 1.4 percent smaller than the December estimate of 17.26 million, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Exports will be 12.2 million bales in the marketing year that began Aug. 1, up from 11.71 million in the previous 12 months, the USDA said. Unsold supplies at the end of the year will total 4.8 million bales, 11 percent lower than last month’s estimate of 5.4 million bales, the report said.

“The U.S. numbers are supportive definitely,” John Flanagan, the president of Flanagan Trading Corp. in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, said in a telephone interview. “They wound up reducing ending stocks and increased exports and reduced the crop.”

Cotton for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to close at 75.62 cents a pound at 2:31 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 76.44 cents, the highest since Jan. 2. Prices dropped as much as 1.1 percent after the USDA report was released, as traders weighed shrinking domestic stockpiles against a bigger world crop.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery climbed 0.4 percent to close at $1.128 a pound in New York.

The government said in a separate report today that the orange crop in Florida, the world’s second-biggest grower, will be 142 million boxes in the nine-month season ending in June, down from 146 million forecast a month ago. The average estimate of eight analysts and traders in a Bloomberg News survey was 145.16 million boxes. Florida produced 146.6 million in the previous season.

Also on ICE, raw-sugar futures for March delivery added 1.1 percent to 19.17 cents a pound. Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery advanced 2.5 percent to $1.5335 a pound. Cocoa futures for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to $2,256 a metric ton.

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