Sugar Falls a 2nd Day as Surplus Weighs; Coffee Declines

Cotton gained the most in four weeks on signs that demand will remain firm for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, as inventories shrink. Cocoa also rose. Sugar, coffee and orange juice slid.

On Jan. 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its estimate for domestic production in the year ending July 31 by 1.4 percent. The agency also increased its projection for the country’s shipments, while reducing the outlook for stockpiles at the end of the season.

Strong demand for U.S. fiber “will continue over the next two months,” O.A. Cleveland, an agricultural economics professor at Mississippi State University, said in an e-mail. “There is less and less cotton to sell,”

Cotton for March delivery jumped 0.9 percent to settle at 76.21 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest increase since Dec. 17.

Also in New York, cocoa futures for March delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $2,270 a metric ton, the second straight advance.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery retreated 1.5 percent to 18.62 cents a pound in New York. Earlier, the sweetener touched 18.58 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 9.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $1.103 a pound on ICE.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slid 0.5 percent to $1.525 a pound in New York, after reaching $1.565, the highest since Nov. 29.

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