Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Cotton futures climbed to a five- month high as rain threatened to lower yields and crop quality in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter. Cocoa and orange juice gained, while sugar and coffee fell.
Parts of the Southeast, including Georgia, the second- largest U.S. grower, will have “very wet conditions” in the next 30 days that may hurt crops as some cotton bolls are starting to open, Joel Widenor, the director of agricultural services at Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said yesterday. Production in the U.S. may fall to a four-year low, the government said on Aug. 12.
“Any further deterioration of the U.S. crop could spark some panic among traders,” Peter Egli, the Chicago-based director of risk management at Plexus Cotton Ltd., said in a report.
Cotton for December delivery gained 1.7 percent to settle at 93.32 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 93.72 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since March 15. This week, the fiber jumped 4.9 percent, the most in two months.
In 2013, cotton has climbed 24 percent, the most among 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
Cocoa futures for December delivery rose 0.4 percent to $2,495 a metric ton.
The discount for the September contract against the December contract almost tripled this week to $50.
Orange-juice futures for November delivery rose 0.7 percent to $1.319 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.2855, the lowest since July 1. The commodity dropped for the fourth straight week, the longest slump in seven months.
Raw-sugar futures for October delivery fell 1.5 percent to 16.94 cents a pound.
Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery slid 0.8 percent to $1.2365 a pound.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola