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NEW YORK: Cotton jumped to a 1-1/2-year high on Wednesday as more progress on the Covid-19 vaccine front lifted hopes for a quick economic recovery and in turn, brightened demand prospects for the natural fibre. The cotton contract for March was up 0.88 cent, or 1.2%, at 72.86 cents per lb by 1:01 p.m. EST (1801 GMT).

The contract touched its highest level since May 2019 at 72.92 cents earlier in the session.

"The vaccine has been rolled out in Britain, eventually it is going get here in the US, which is supportive and we are also rallying a little bit in anticipation supply-demand report tomorrow," said Jack Scoville, vice president at Chicago-based Price Futures Group.

Britain on Tuesday started a mass vaccination drive, while Canada became the third country after the United Kingdom and Bahrain to give the green light to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Focus was now on the US Department of Agriculture's monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on Thursday and weekly export sales report.

"While many (including us) continue to think that US and world production are trending lower, the USDA disagrees," said Louis Rose, director of research and analytics at Tennessee-based Rose Commodity Group in a note.

Total futures market volume fell by 2,451 to 12,142 lots. Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of Dec. 7 totalled 100,390 480-lb bales, down from 100,647 in the previous session.