Specs bet on higher cotton prices, cut sugar longs-CFTC

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April 6 (Reuters) – Speculators increased their bullish bets on cotton futures and options on ICE Futures U.S. for a second week amid expectations of a supply squeeze, while they cut their longs in sugar.  Money managers, including hedge funds and other speculative investors, turned more bullish on coffee and raised their net short in cocoa in the week to April 3, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

After switching to a net long position in the previous week, they added further length in cotton with an additional net 7,179 contracts to 10,445 contracts.        Fears have mounted about a possible supply squeeze due to an export ban in India. Farmers are also expected to plant less cotton this season in favor of higher-priced crops such as corn and soybeans.     This was the biggest weekly jump since January, but even so some speculators are betting on falling prices, with an almost as large increase (6,229) in shorts.

Speculators continued to flip flop on sugar, cutting their net long position after two weeks of increases on expectations of a lower-than-expected crop out of Brazil would send prices even higher.   The net long fell by 17,576 contracts to 65,380 with over 3,000 shorts added.            Money managers raised their net short in cocoa by 5,933 contracts to 24,824, their most bearish stance since mid-February. In contrast, they trimmed their short position in coffee for a second week, cutting it by 1,454 to 17,554 contracts.

Selected categories from the CFTC weekly Commitment of Traders report:

SUPPLEMENTAL     Non-Comm           Indexes              Comm
                    Net     Chg       Net     Chg       Net     Chg
 Cocoa             -24,824  -5,932    31,681  -2,340    -5,843   9,886
 Sugar              65,380 -17,576   247,470   4,361  -342,653  15,520
 Coffee            -17,554   1,454    37,826    -195   -19,392  -1,503
 Cotton             10,445   7,179    68,902   1,512   -83,599  -8,243
 =====================================================================

 FUTURES + OPTS    Managed             Swaps          Producer
                    Net     Chg       Net     Chg       Net     Chg
 Cocoa              -9,632  -6,143     3,344   -2289     7,427   9,908
 Sugar             118,339 -16,814   100,300    5015  -269,454  14,669
 Coffee             -8,309   1,655    22,265    -275   -14,288  -1,425
 Cotton              7,296   8,244    48,669    1880   -78,307  -9,647
                  Other         NonReport              Open
                    Net     Chg       Net     Chg  Interest     Chg
 Cocoa                -126     137    -1,013  -1,613   192,144   5,935
 Sugar              21,010    -568    29,803  -2,305   881,548 -12,735
 Coffee              1,212    -198      -879     244   229,551   5,527
 Cotton             18,092     -26     4,252    -449   256,493   2,453
 =====================================================================

 FUTURES ONLY      Managed             Swaps          Producer
                    Net     Chg       Net     Chg       Net     Chg
 Cocoa             -10,925  -6,119     3,424  -2,326     6,362   9,597
 Sugar             125,859 -16,860   103,916   4,115  -254,775  14,354
 Coffee             -8,408   2,273    23,409    -403   -23,263  -1,767
 Cotton              4,927   8,824    47,596   2,046   -68,784  -9,045
                  Other         NonReport              Open
                    Net     Chg       Net     Chg  Interest     Chg
 Cocoa               2,343     711       659    1285   171,898   3,492
 Sugar              -6,356   1,054    34,019    1663   735,961   8,078
 Coffee              9,490    -241    -1,228     197   157,812    -655
 Cotton             11,820  -1,458     4,441    -367   191,444   2,229
 =====================================================================
              SUPPLEMENTAL    FUTURES + OPTS      FUTURES ONLY
 Cocoa                                                           
 Sugar                                                           
 Coffee                                                          
 Cotton
 (Reporting by Josephine Mason in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

ource: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/06/cftc-softs-idUKL2E8F63OU20120406

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