Cotton Advances For a Second Day on Speculation China May Increase Buying

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Cotton futures in New York advanced for a second day on speculation that China, the world’s biggest consumer, may increase purchases from the U.S.

The March-delivery contract added as much as 3.86 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $1.4930 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York by 4:12 p.m. Tokyo time. The contract yesterday jumped by the exchange limit of 4 cents.

“There’s market expectation that China may make big deals to purchase cotton and soybeans from the U.S. during Chinese leader Hu Jintao’s visit,” said Han Sung Min, a broker at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. The market was also supported by tight global supplies, he said.

Hu arrived in Washington Jan. 18 for his first state visit to the U.S. Before he leaves, Hu will be guest of honor at a formal White House dinner, tour a Chinese factory near Chicago and meet with business leaders from companies including Boeing Co. and General Electric Co.

Cotton prices jumped 92 percent last year, the biggest gain since 1973, and reached a record $1.5912 on Dec. 21 on speculation that global supplies will fail to keep pace with rising demand from China. Imports more than doubled to 462,000 metric tons in December from a year earlier, the China Cotton Association, citing customs data, said Jan. 17.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Jan. 12 lowered its global-production estimate for the year that began on Aug. 1. Output will be 115.46 million bales, or 0.1 percent less than expected last month. The USDA raised its consumption forecast by 0.3 percent to 116.58 million bales.

A bale weighs 480 pounds, or 218 kilograms.

La Nina

A La Nina event that is one of the strongest on record continues to influence the Pacific basin climate and is likely to persist into the southern hemisphere autumn, the Melbourne- based Bureau of Meteorology said in an update today.

Flooding in Australia, the fourth-largest exporter, may cause crop losses of as much as 400,000 bales, the National Australia Bank Ltd. said last week.

For the year started Aug. 1, the U.S. is forecast to be the largest exporter, followed by India and Uzbekistan, government data show. September cotton on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange rose 1.7 percent to 29,685 yuan ($4,508) a ton.

(Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-19/cotton-advances-for-a-second-day-on-speculation-china-may-increase-buying.html)

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