Cotton Rises on Surplus Outlook; Cocoa Extends Slump

Cotton rose for the eighth time in nine sessions after Cotlook Ltd. cut its forecast for a global surplus by 2.4 percent. Sugar, orange juice and coffee gained, while cocoa extended a slump to a seven-month low.

Cotlook said on Jan. 25 that world cotton supplies will outpace demand by 3.53 million metric tons in the year that started Aug. 1, down from a December forecast of 3.62 million. The Birkenhead, U.K.-based analyst cited higher demand in South Asia and Turkey. Hedge funds are the most bullish in 23 months, U.S. government data show.

“My guess is the speculators will get even longer,” Sharon Johnson, a senior cotton specialist at Roswell, Georgia-based Knight Futures, said in an e-mail. “I expect prices to move higher over the next several weeks.”

Cotton for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to settle at 81.05 cents a pound at 2:35 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. This month, the price has climbed 7.9 percent, heading for the biggest gain since August, on signs of higher demand in China, the world’s biggest consumer.

Hedge funds raised their net-long positions by 67 percent to 41,605 futures and options contracts in the week ended Jan. 22, the highest since Feb. 1, 2011, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery jumped 1.9 percent to 18.73 cents a pound in New York.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $1.49 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $1.1405 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery slid 0.6 percent to $2,161 a ton. Earlier, the price touched $2,157, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 27.

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