Cotton Futures Climb to Highest Since May; Cocoa, Sugar Advance

Cotton futures climbed to the highest in almost 10 months as output is set to decrease in the U.S., the world’s top exporter, just as global demand gains. Cocoa and sugar also rose, while coffee and orange juice slid.

American farmers may sow 9.4 million acres of cotton in 2013, as they switch to more profitable crops, Macquarie Group Ltd. said today in a e-mailed report. That compares with 12.3 million a year earlier, government data show. On March 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture may boost its estimate for global demand as mills in India, Pakistan and Turkey increase use, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“The Macquarie estimate is another signal along the story that producing countries are decreasing plantings,” Chris McGowan, a trader with Newedge Group in New York, said in a telephone interview.

Cotton for delivery in May jumped 0.8 percent to 86.98 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 87.45 cents, the highest since May 8.

While the projected drop for plantings “adds to the speculative bullish sentiment, to get above 90 cents we will probably need another catalyst,” McGowan said.

Also in New York, cocoa futures for delivery in May rose 0.1 percent to $2,059 a metric ton, while raw-sugar futures for May delivery gained 0.6 percent to 18.19 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery dropped 3.8 percent to $1.4115 a pound on ICE, the biggest fall since Jan. 22.

Growers in Brazil, the largest producer, will harvest a record crop for a lower-yielding half of a two-year cycle, according to growers cooperative Cooparaiso.

“Production ideas are still big,” Jack Scoville, a vice president at Chicago-based Price Futures Group Inc. said in an e-mailed report today.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery slid 0.4 percent to $1.235 a pound on ICE.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.