On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that farmers sold 185,200 bales of cotton in the week ended February 16 – a 75 percent jump from the previous week. The report also noted 22,000 bales of optional origin sales to China, while exported cotton totaled 326,200 bales. The number exceeds the average amount needed to meet current cotton projections.
According to the news source, China is not only the number one producer of the fiber, but is also the world's largest consumer. Cotton traders first started focusing on increasing Chinese demand after the country began stockpiling cotton in September to protect the interests of its farmers.
According to Bloomberg, cotton futures were up 0.38 percent, or 0.34 cents, to 90.49 cents per pound at 11:14 a.m.
However, the gains were capped as concern mounted over the recent rally in oil prices, indicating a potential drag on the global economic recovery.