Cotton Rises to 10-Month High as U.S. Exports Climb

Cotton rose to a 10-month high as exports climbed in the U.S., the world’s top shipper. Sugar gained, while orange juice, cocoa and coffee slid.

Exports of upland cotton from Aug. 1 to March 7 rose 21 percent to 6.77 million bales from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed today. The nation’s acreage may slump 27 percent in 2013, an industry group has forecast. Futures this year jumped 21 percent, the most among 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

“Speculators are looking at the export sales, and they saw there is no change in the scenario of strong demand, which is the underlying story,” Christopher McGowan, a trader at Newedge Group in New York, said in a telephone interview.

Cotton for May delivery jumped 2.5 percent to settle at 90.86 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 91.17 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since April 30.

U.S. equities climbed as U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average extended the longest rally since 1996.

“There’s some euphoria in the equity market that is spilling into industrial commodities,” John Flanagan, the president of Flanagan Trading Corp. in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, said in a telephone interview. “The general feeling is that if the economy is better, cotton demand will be better.”

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery advanced 0.2 percent to 18.84 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $1.3695 a pound.

Cocoa futures for May delivery fell 0.8 percent to $2,130 a metric ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery declined 0.7 percent to $1.3965 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.393, the lowest in three weeks.

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