Sugar Rebounds as Brazil Rains Disrupt Harvest; Cotton Slides

Sugar posted the biggest gain this month after rains halted cane harvesting in Brazil, the world’s top grower. Cotton, coffee, cocoa and orange juice declined.

Heavy precipitation stopped crop collection in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s leading producing state, Celso Oliveira, a meteorologist with Somar Meteorologia, said today in a telephone interview. Dry periods will be short and infrequent in the country’s cane-growing areas over the next 60 to 75 days, slowing harvesting and exports, he said.

“It will take more time to get large machines back in the field” after the rains, Michael McDougall, the head of the Brazil desk at brokerage Newedge USA LLC in New York, wrote in a report today. The country’s growing areas “rely mainly on mechanical harvesting.”

Raw sugar for March delivery climbed 1.7 percent to settle at 19.01 cents a pound at 2:32 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the largest increase since Sept. 30. Prices have rallied 19 percent from a three-year low reached July 16.

Trading was 28 percent below the average for the past 100 days at this time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

India may have sold 100,000 metric tons of sugar for about 19.7 cents a pound, James Cassidy, the head of the sugar trading desk at Newedge, said yesterday.

Investors thought “that demand would not be chasing the market higher, and now we are seeing the trade grab what they can,” McDougall said.

Cotton futures for December delivery declined 0.7 percent to 83.16 cents a pound on ICE, the biggest slide since Oct. 7.

Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery slipped 0.5 percent to $1.1585 a pound, the second straight drop.

Cocoa futures for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to $2,747 a ton in New York, while orange-juice futures for January delivery lost 0.3 percent to $1.242 a pound.

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