Cotton Futures Head for Longest Slump in a Year

Cotton Futures Head for Longest Slump in a Year

Cotton prices fell, heading for the longest slump in a year, as U.S. government reports spurred economic concerns. Orange-juice futures extended a rally to the highest in 13 months.

The U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the first quarter, and more people filed claims for unemployment-insurance payments last week, separate reports showed today. The price slide started on May 20, partly on speculation that demand will ease in China, the world’s biggest user, amid estimates for slower economic expansion.

“Since cotton is a little more sensitive to what’s going on economically, that might explain why it’s down,” Sharon Johnson, a senior cotton specialist at Knight Futures in Roswell, Georgia, said in a telephone interview.

Cotton for July delivery dropped 1 percent to 79.92 cents a pound at 1:33 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price fell for the eighth straight session, the longest slide since mid-May 2012. Earlier, the commodity touched 79.87 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 23. The fiber headed for the biggest monthly drop in a year.

Orange-juice futures for July delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1.54 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.5575, the highest since April 9, 2012.

Yesterday, the commodity jumped 3.2 percent, the most in three weeks, on concern that crops in Florida may be threatened during the Atlantic hurricane season that starts June 1.

Brazil is the biggest orange grower, followed by Florida.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jen Skerritt in Winnipeg at jskerritt1

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth