Cotton rises to one-week high on China crop outlook

China's harvest may shrink by 12%

Cotton rose to the highest in more than a week as signs of a smaller crop in China, the world’s top grower and importer, signaled higher demand for U.S. exports. Cocoa, coffee and orange juice gained, while sugar fell.

A survey by China National Cotton Reserves Corp. showed the nation’s harvest may drop 12 percent to 6.68 million metric tons this season. That’s less than the 7.08 million tons estimated by U.S. Department of Agriculture on Nov. 8. In the week ended Nov. 7, U.S. export sales climbed 56 percent from a week earlier, government data show.

In China, “the smaller crop will lead to higher imports,” Sharon Johnson, a senior cotton specialist at KCG Futures in Atlanta, said in an e-mail. “There is also talk of the auction being delayed for a few weeks,” she said, referring to sales from state stockpiles.

Cotton for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to settle at 78.14 cents a pound at 2:34 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched 79.45 cents, the highest since Nov. 7. The commodity has gained 4 percent this year.

China bought 38 percent of the fiber sold by U.S. shippers in the week through Nov. 7, the USDA said. Total sales of the upland variety this season reached 5.3 million bales, compared with a full-year forecast of 9.37 million. A bale weighs 480 pounds (218 kilograms).

Cocoa futures for March delivery gained 0.5 percent to $2,810 a metric ton. The price rose for the seventh straight session, the longest rally since August 2012.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $1.102 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery rose 1.1 percent to $1.3785 a pound.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery slipped 0.3 percent to 17.60 cents a pound on ICE.

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