Cotton Futures Rises on Signs China Demand Will Pick Up

Cotton futures rose to a one-week high on signs that demand will increase in China, the world’s largest importer. Orange juice jumped the most in 14 weeks. Sugar and coffee gained, while cocoa slid.

China plans to buy cotton to build reserves after prices stay below a trigger price for five straight days, said in a statement, citing China’s National Development and Reform Commission. Last week, futures in New York touched a three-month low.

“The Chinese stockpile program is an attempt to lock in large supplies of cotton near the recent low prices,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options Inc. in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in an e-mail. “This may also stabilize prices over the near term.”

Cotton for December delivery gained 0.3 percent to settle at 83.5 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 84.33 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Aug. 30.

Orange-juice futures for November delivery jumped 3.2 percent to $1.374 a pound, the biggest gain since May 29, on weather concerns in Florida, the second-biggest citrus grower.

A tropical depression off the coast of Africa has strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm was about 85 miles south-southeast of Fogo, Cape Verde Islands, at 11 a.m. New York time. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November.

“Humberto is helping push prices higher because it may turn into a hurricane,” Smith said. “September is the peak month for hurricane activity, and it is only a matter of time before a hurricane forms in the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico.”

Brazil is the top orange grower.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery increased 1.3 percent to 17.01 cents a pound on ICE. Earlier, the price reached 17.04 cents, the highest since Aug. 16.

Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.1805 a pound. Cocoa futures for December delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2,554 a metric ton.