Cotton Drops on Exchange Stockpile Build-Up; Coffee Slides

Cotton futures fell the most in more than a week on signs of rising stockpiles at exchange-monitored warehouses. Coffee also slid. Cocoa was unchanged, while orange juice and sugar advanced.

Certified cotton inventories at ICE Futures U.S. facilities yesterday reached the highest since May 2011, exchange data show. Trading volumes for futures in New York were more than double the average of the past 100 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The rise in certified stocks” is putting pressure on prices, Kona Haque, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said in an e-mail.

Cotton futures for May delivery slumped 1.1 percent to settle at 82.21 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Feb. 4.

Also in New York, arabica-coffee futures for May delivery declined 1.2 percent to $1.416 a pound.

Inventories of arabica coffee at warehouses monitored by ICE yesterday rose to the highest since March 2010, exchange figures show. Farmers in Brazil and Colombia, the top producers of the variety, are set to start this year’s harvest by April. The arabica premium over the cheaper robusta beans traded on London’s NYSE Liffe exchange fell 5.4 percent, the most since Feb. 7.

“With the new harvests just around the corner, that puts further pressure on them to sell old crop and market the new ones,” Judy Ganes-Chase, the president of J. Ganes Consulting, said in an e-mail from Kampala, Uganda. “Demand for robustas is keen. Why pay even a cent more if your margins are being helped and you aren’t losing demand?”

Cocoa futures for May delivery were unchanged at $2,170 a metric ton on ICE.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery climbed 1.4 percent to $1.297 a pound in New York, after reaching $1.2995, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 28.

Raw-sugar futures for delivery in May advanced 0.7 percent to 18.2 cents a pound on ICE.

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