A combination of short-covering and frenzy mill buying fuelled cotton futures to a highest daily gain since March as the benchmark December cotton contract on ICE Futures US closed up US cents 1.35 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to US cents 64.72 per pound on 13 August.
Futures had tumbled after the US Agriculture Department lifted its forecast for US production to the high end of industry expectations. This comes at a time when prices had tumbled to as low as US cents 62.02, the lowest in nearly five years, on expectation of a bumper crop due to favourable weather earlier in the growing season.
Early in the day, mill buying buoyed prices which prompted investors to cover short positions as volumes jumped. Traders and farmers cautioned that rains over the last week in Texas were sporadic and dry weather could stress crops in the top-producing state.
Meanwhile, non-commercial dealers changed their bearish stance in cotton futures and options to the highest level since 2007, the most recent US government data showed.
Supporting the rally, US farmers ceased selling as prices have sunk nearer to US government support levels. The day's jump pulled prices from technically oversold territory. The December contract's 14-day relative strength index jumped to 39.3 from 28.7 previously.
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