Cotton rose, capping the biggest annual gain since 1973, as inventories plunged, adverse weather damaged global crops and demand surged in China, the world’s biggest user. Orange juice declined.
Stockpiles monitored by ICE Futures U.S. tumbled 72 percent in 2010, the biggest annual decline since at least 2003, when the data begins. Flooding in Australia and Pakistan and hail in Texas, the biggest U.S. producing state, damaged crops. China’s imports will jump 56 percent this year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
“Mother Nature has not been very kind,” said Keith Brown, the president of Keith Brown & Co., a brokerage in Moultrie, Georgia. “Prices will remain strong as the supply situation is not going to improve in the immediate future.”
Cotton futures for March delivery jumped 1.97 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $1.4481 at 2:36 p.m. on ICE in New York. Earlier, the price rose by 4 cents, the exchange limit.
Heavy rain and flooding that’s swept across the Australian state of Queensland may cost billions of dollars after crops, including cotton, were destroyed and output from coal mines was disrupted, Premier Anna Bligh said yesterday.
Prices soared 92 percent in 2010, touching a record $1.5912 on Dec. 21. The fiber is the best-performer among the 19 commodities tracked by the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index. The gauge rose 17 percent this year.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery fell 2.45 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $1.6355 a pound. Prices rose 27 percent in 2010, gaining for the second straight year, partly as adverse weather threatened crops in the U.S. and Brazil, the biggest grower.
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