“U.S. export sales rose 26 percent in the week ended Feb. 3 from a week
earlier, the Department of Agriculture said today. Global output will be
115.25 million bales in the year ending July 31, down 0.2 percent from a
January forecast, with demand at 116.55 million, the USDA said
yesterday. Prices have more than doubled in the past 12 months. ..

“The future prices are being pushed up by physical demand,” said Andy
Ryan, a senior risk-management consultant at FCStone Fibers and Textiles
in Nashville, Tennessee. “We could see usage being rationed because of
scarcity and not because of prices, as China is consuming whatever they
are able to buy.” ..

Cotton for March delivery jumped 3.9 percent, gaining the exchange limit
of 7 cents, to settle at a record of $1.8758 a pound on ICE Futures
U.S. at 3:16 p.m. in New York. The fiber also rose 7 cents yesterday
before closing up 5.29 cents. The commodity has surged 12 percent this
week. ..

Output this year in Central Asia will be 7.02 million bales, down 2.1
percent from last month’s projection, the USDA said yesterday. A bale
weighs 480 pounds, or 218 kilograms. ..

“Yesterday’s USDA report was confirming current tight supply amid a
steady increase in demand from China,” said Baek Youn Min, a broker for
agricultural products at Korea Exchange Bank Futures com. in Seoul.