Cotton Futures Jump as Buyers Vie for Supplies
(Bloomberg) -- Cotton prices rose a fourth day on persistent signs of tight supplies amid the firm demand that has kept prices for the fiber up all year. Sugar and coffee fell.
March futures jumped 3% to $1.1209 a pound in New York, breaching its 50-day moving average, a bullish technical sign. The contract is also commanding a rare, record-large premium over May, which means “demand for cotton nearby is perceived to be greater than in the future,” said Louis Rose, director of research for Rose Commodity Group in Tennessee. In other words, buyers want cotton now, and there isn’t enough of it.
Export sales from top shipper U.S. were “decent” last week, Rose said, adding that holiday trading is often volatile.
The commodity surged 43% in 2021 driven by initial projections for a second straight world deficit. Now, however, some forecasters are shifting to a surplus, because producers may ramp up output given the higher prices.
Global shipping bottlenecks and U.S. trucking headwinds are still keeping supplies from reaching destinations, and buyers are tapping domestic stockpiles instead. At depots monitored by ICE Futures U.S., inventory is near all time lows, slumping 99% this year, the most since at least 2022.
In other markets, arabica coffee and raw sugar fell a second day, trimming their annual rallies. Cocoa was little changed. ICE Futures Europe was closed in London for a holiday.
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