Cotton Prices Jump; Sugar Ends at Highest Since 2013

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Cotton futures jumped Friday, boosted by a weaker dollar and rains in Texas, the largest growing region in the U.S.

Cotton for July delivery ended up 1.7% at 63.92 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.

 Expected U.S. cotton plantings are already behind, with 59% of cotton in the ground as of the week ended May 29 versus the five-year average for this time of year at 69% of cotton planted.

A boost in soybean prices has traders looking forward to next week’s monthly update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on World Agricultural Supply and Demand to see if some farmers may have switched cotton acres for soybeans at the last minute.

Also helping cotton prices, China’s cotton auctions this week began to show increasing amounts of domestic cotton over higher quality imported cotton. That has some merchants expecting the country will soon increase cotton imports in order to supplement its domestic cotton stocks.

Friday’s delayed USDA report on sales of U.S. cotton abroad showed a 3% decrease over last week at 124,900 bales for the 2015/2016 season, higher than some traders expected.

In other markets, raw sugar for July continued its upward march, rising 3.7% to end at 18.72 cents a pound, the highest end for the most active contract since Oct. 28, 2013. Bullish speculators found fuel in wet weather in Brazil, the world’s largest growing region, which has caused curtailed harvesting and delayed the loading of sweeteners at ports.

Cocoa for July dropped 0.9% to end at $3,031 a ton, arabica coffee for July rose 3.3% to close at $1.271 a pound and frozen concentrated orange juice futures were up 1.7% to end at $1.585 a pound.

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