Cotton futures powered to their highest level in 15 years on Monday, barreling past the psychological $1 a pound mark for only the second time since 1960, analysts said.
ICE Futures U.S. benchmark December cotton contract soared to a session high at $1.0198 per lb at 7:22 a.m. EDT (1122 GMT), and was trading at $1.0145 at 7:35 a.m.
The only other time cotton had traded over $1 was in 1995. Futures have gained nearly 40 percent in value since the rally began in July.
"This just proves that the global shortfall is real," said Lou Barbera, an analyst for commodity futures brokerage VIP Commodities in the U.S. when asked what hitting $1 meant for the cotton market.
"The only one (target left is) $1.17," he said, referring to the 1995 top.
Cotton futures quickly hurdled over $1 when trading opened at 2100 EDT on Sunday night in New York (0100 GMT) and just built from there.
Analysts said demand will come primarily from Asia.
No. 1 cotton consumer China will be importing up to 12.75 million (480-lb) bales of cotton in 2010/11, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department and many in the trade expect that number to balloon because cotton stocks in the Asian giant are smaller than the USDA estimate of just over 16 million bales.
Another source of potentially large demand is Pakistan, where devastating floods have struck the country's agricultural crops.
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