Cotton Futures Drop as Traders Await Fiber Sales Report

By Julie Wernau Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cotton futures slumped Wednesday, unable to sustain gains that followed a report showing crop conditions slipping in the U.S.

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The weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture report, released Tuesday, showed that 55% of cotton is in good or excellent condition, down from 60% last week but still higher than 52% a year ago for this time of year.

Cotton for December delivery lost 0.6% to settle at 68.40 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange as traders look ahead to Thursday's report on demand for cotton overseas.

Rose Commodity Group said that its technical trading analysis suggests the overall risk of prices making a sustained move more to the downside is somewhat greater than that to the upside.

While weather forecasts are calling for hot and dry weather that is causing stress to parts of Texas, which are the largest U.S. growing regions, irrigated areas are managing through the heat, say Price Futures Group and the U.S. delta and southeast growing regions have seen good growing conditions.

"Mother Nature holds the key to forthcoming price activity," said O.A. Cleveland, consulting economist at Cotton Experts.

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In other markets, raw sugar for October was up 2.4% to close at 14.23 cents a pound, cocoa for September lost 0.7% to settle at $1,912 a ton, arabica coffee for September was up 3.2% to end at $1.3480 a pound and September frozen concentrated orange juice added 1.1% to settle at $1.3405 a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 15:38 ET (19:38 GMT)