May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Cotton gained the most in seven weeks after a government report showed improved demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Sugar and orange juice also increased, while cocoa slid.
In the week to April 25, export sales of upland cotton rose 32 percent from a week earlier, the third straight advance and the longest run since mid-November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. China, the world’s biggest user, led the purchases, followed by Vietnam and Mexico, the figures show. Through yesterday, futures slumped 11 percent since March 15, when prices rose to an 11-month high.
"Export sales were exceptionally strong for this late in the season," Judy Ganes-Chase, the president of J. Ganes Consulting LLC, said in an e-mail from Panama City, Panama. "The dip in price made securing foreign cotton attractive for Chinese mills."
Cotton for July delivery climbed 2.2 percent to settle at 85.68 cents a pound at 2:49 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain since March 14.
This week, rain and below-normal temperatures will delay plantings in the U.S. southeast and in West Texas, the top- cotton growing region, threatening already expected reduced acreage this year, according to MDA Information Systems Inc. Most commodities and equities advanced after U.S. jobless claims data beat expectations.
"The cold and wet conditions are adding fuel" to the rally in cotton, Keith Brown, the president of Keith Brown & Co. in Moultrie, Georgia, said in an e-mail.
Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for July delivery climbed 1.6 percent to 17.6 cents a pound.
Orange-juice futures for July delivery rose 2.9 percent to $1.431 a pound on ICE, the largest increase since April 15.
Cocoa futures for July delivery slid less than 0.1 percent to $2,414 a metric ton, after reaching $2,427, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 17.
--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Millie Munshi
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