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China’s high demand for cotton sparks rally

Marking the best rally of cotton in six months, Chinese buyers have, this year, committed to purchase almost five times more American cotton than at this time last year, the US government has said in a report. With the pledge, the price of the commodity is heading for its biggest monthly advance since July last year. Hedge funds are positioned for more gains, holding the second-most bullish wager ever.

American growers are expected to ship the most cotton since 2013, data from the USDA reveal. Sales growth is being driven by purchases in Indonesia and Vietnam as well. While rising demand has sparked two straight years of rallies, futures in New York are still trading about 65 per cent below a record set in 2011, leaving the fiber at affordable levels for consumers.

The net-long position in cotton rose 3.2 per cent to 87,341 futures and options in the week ended January 24, a data published by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission three days later show. That was just shy of an all-time high of 90,215 contracts set on January 10, according to the figures, which go back to 2006.

Cotton traded on ICE Futures U.S. in New York climbed 2.5 percent last week. Prices added 0.3 per cent to 75.06 cents a pound on Monday and are up 6.2 per cent this month. Futures touched 75.37 cents on January 5, the highest since August.

Consumption will probably outstrip production by 1.24 million metric tons this year, Cotlook, a Birkenhead, England-based research company, said last week. That can help to erode global stockpiles, which the USDA estimates at 90.6 million bales, each weighing 480 pounds (218 kilograms).

 
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