Cotton drops as global surplus to expand; orange juice gains

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Cotton futures fell for the first time in four days on renewed concern that worldwide consumption will trail output. Orange juice jumped the most in eight weeks.

Global production will top demand in the season ending July 31 by 4.5 million metric tons, compared with a March forecast for a surplus of 4.02 million, Cotlook Ltd., a research company based in Birkenhead, U.K., said yesterday. The forecast on consumption was cut 2.1 percent.

“The continued drop in demand is discouraging,” Sharon Johnson, a senior analyst at Penson Futures in Atlanta, said in an e-mail.

Cotton futures for July delivery slid 0.1% to 90.6 cents a pound at 10:32 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price rose 4% in the previous three days.

Before today, the commodity tumbled 47 percent in the past 12 months as demand dwindled in China, the world’s biggest consumer. The U.S. is the top exporter.

“Inquiry has gone flat as a pancake domestically and overseas,” Jordan Lea, the president of Greenville, South Carolina-based Eastern Trading Co., said in an e-mail. “It can come back just as fast, but right now, demand is non-existent.”

Orange-juice futures for July delivery climbed 2.3% to $1.508 a pound. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Feb. 23.

Bloomberg News

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