Violent hailstorms swept central Texas Friday, damaging crops and properties and raising the prices of afflicted agricultural commodities.
Cotton futures saw some of the biggest gains, with ICE No. 2 cotton futures surging 3.499 percent to $1.1431 per pound. The four-cent gain saw the contract hitting its exchange-imposed trading limit.
"There was at least moderate damage to any crops along that path that haven’t been harvested," Dale Mohler, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg News. "You could have severe losses for individual farmers."
Analysts and traders in the region speculated that the impact of the hail would be on the quality, not the quantity of the cotton harvest. The hailstorms and heavy rain battered the prime cotton-growing areas of the state, with possibly devastating effects.
"This is like a punch in the gut, a bad dream for the West Texas producer," Mike Stevens, an independent trader, told the service.
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