Cocoa Futures Surge as Ivory Coast Election Dispute May Disrupt Exports

Cocoa surged the most since October 2009 as a disputed presidential election in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest grower, threatened to disrupt exports. Sugar and coffee also advanced.

At least six people were killed and 17 were wounded in a shooting at the party office of candidate Alassane Ouattara last night. Ivory Coast’s electoral commission named Ouattara the winner of the Nov. 28 election, a ruling that the Constitutional Court said was invalid after a deadline was missed to announce results.

“People are concerned about supplies because of all the turmoil,” said Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock, a broker in Chicago.

Cocoa for March delivery jumped $110, or 4 percent, to settle at $2,868 a metric ton as of 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the most since October 2009. The price still is down 13 percent this year.

In London, cocoa futures for March delivery gained 60 pounds, or 3.2 percent, to 1,923 pounds ($2,999) a ton on NYSE Liffe.

Ivory Coast has been divided between the north and the government-controlled south since an uprising in 2002. Supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo hold opposition leader Ouattara responsible for the revolt, while rebels blame the government for treating northerners as second-class citizens.

“Cocoa is definitely a buy following all the political tension,” OTCex Group said today in a report. “Things are not going to be solved in the coming days.”

Raw sugar for March delivery rose 0.08 cent, or 0.3 percent, to close at 28.45 cents a pound on in New York. In London, white sugar for March delivery gained $2.60, or 0.4 percent, to $727.90 a ton on NYSE Liffe.

Arabica coffee for March delivery advanced 0.15 cent, or 0.1 percent, to $2.037 a pound in New York. Robusta coffee for March delivery advanced for a third day, adding $32, or 1.8 percent, to $1,848 a ton on NYSE Liffe.

To contact the reporters on this story: Stephen Morris in London at smorris39@bloomberg.net; Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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