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Soft futures mixed; Cotton rallies more than 2% to hit 3-week high

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Investing.com - U.S. soft futures were mixed on Wednesday, with cotton prices rallying more than 2% to hit a three-week high as investors monitored weather conditions in key cotton-growing states in the U.S. Midwest.

On the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, cotton futures for March delivery traded at USD0.7931 a pound, up 2.25%. Cotton prices rallied to a session high of USD0.7945 a pound earlier, the strongest level since October 25.

The March contract ended down 0.19% on Tuesday to settle at USD0.7756 a pound.

Dry weather across most areas of the U.S. Midwest into midweek is expected to aid the cotton harvest. However, widespread rainfall is expected later in the week, an agricultural meteorologist said.

MDA Weather Services said Midwest weather will turn wet by Thursday.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 68% of the cotton harvest was completed as of last week, below the five-year average of 75% for this time of year.

Elsewhere, Arabica coffee for March delivery traded at USD1.0933 a pound, up 1%. The March Arabica contract held in a range between USD1.0825 a pound, the daily low and a session high of USD1.0938 a pound.

The March contract settled 0.82% lower on Tuesday to end at USD1.0855 a pound.

Coffee prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent months, as traders monitored improving crop prospects in Brazil and Colombia.

The front-month December contract slumped to USD1.0100 a pound on November 7, the lowest since October 19, 2006.

Meanwhile, sugar futures for March delivery traded at USD0.1765 a pound, down 0.2%. Prices of the sweetener traded in a range between USD0.1764 a pound, the daily low and a session high of USD0.1771 a pound.

The March contract declined 0.56% on Tuesday to settle at USD0.1765 a pound as investors continued to focus on massive global supplies of the sweetener.

Prices of the sweetener fell to a two-month low of USD0.1750 a pound on November 15 after the International Sugar Organization raised its forecast for a global surplus of 4.7 million tonnes in the 2013-14 crop year that began on October 1, up from a previous estimate of 4.5 million tonnes.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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