Cotton Ends Higher in Push Toward Bottom

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Cotton prices ended higher Wednesday, as some technical traders pushing toward a bottom closed out short bets on the back of a bearish supply and demand report from the U.S. government.

Cotton for March delivery ended up 0.4% at 58.88 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange after trading lower most of the day and narrowly avoiding its lowest close in more than a year.

“At this point, we would suggest that these levels are in the sights of some technical traders,” he said.

In its monthly estimate for world agricultural supply and demand, the USDA said it expects continued sluggish demand from China and Pakistan based on recently slowing imports of cotton. Global stocks are now forecast at just over 104 million bales, an increase of more than 1 million bales over last month’s estimate.

“The export reports tell the tale. There’s not much U.S. cotton moving so far,” said Chris Kramedjian, risk management consultant for INTL FCStone in Nashville.

In other markets, arabica coffee for March ended flat at $1.1475 a pound. Cocoa for May closed down 0.2% at $2,854 a ton. March raw sugar futures fell 0.1% to end at 13.38 cents a pound and frozen concentrated orange juice for March dropped 0.5% to close at $1.3495 a pound

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