Cocoa Gains on Ivory Coast Vote Dispute; Sugar, Coffee, Orange Juice Rise

Cocoa rose, capping the biggest weekly gain since mid-July, as a disputed presidential election in Ivory Coast threatened to disrupt exports from the world’s largest grower. Sugar, coffee and orange juice also advanced.

Ivory Coast’s Constitutional Court challenged the electoral commission’s authority to proclaim the results of the Nov. 28 vote after it missed a deadline to announce the outcome, according to court President Paul Yao N’Dre. The commission had named opposition leader Alassane Ouattara as the winner.

“Given that cocoa production is so highly concentrated in Ivory Coast, any political disruption, violence or unrest” will see prices rise as investors apply a “risk premium,” Kona Haque, an analyst at Macquarie Bank Ltd. in London, said today by telephone. “The market is primed for an uptick.”

Cocoa for March delivery added $67, or 2.3 percent, to settle at $2,935 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The most-active contract gained 5 percent this week, the biggest weekly increase since July 16. Still, prices are down 11 percent this year.

In London, cocoa futures for March delivery gained 36 pounds, or 1.9 percent, to 1,959 pounds ($3,082) a ton on NYSE Liffe. The contract rose to 1,962 pounds, the highest since Oct. 25

“Cocoa arrivals in ports in the season so far have been significantly lower year-on-year, despite the fact we’ve had a very good crop,” Haque said. “This suggests producers are holding back, either because they are not happy with the price or they’ve minimized activities because they’re fearful of the political situation and want to wait to see the outcome.”

The vote was intended to unite Ivory Coast, which has been divided between a rebel-held north and the government-controlled south since an uprising in 2002.

Sugar Rises

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 1.05 cents, or 3.7 percent, to 29.5 cents a pound in New York, rising for the third straight day. In London, refined-sugar futures for March delivery climbed $12.10, or 1.7 percent, to $740 a ton on NYSE Liffe.

As of Nov. 15, output in India, the world’s second-biggest producer, slumped 46 percent in the year that began Oct. 1 from a year earlier to 893,000 tons, according to the food ministry. A total of 138 mills have been crushing cane since the season began, compared with 254 mills a year earlier, data from the ministry showed.

“It seems as if India’s output may be revised downwards,” Ricardo Scaff, a trader at Rabobank International in New York. “The fundamentals are very bullish.”

Brazil is the largest sugar producer.

Robusta-coffee futures for March delivery advanced $16, or 0.9 percent, to $1,864 a ton on NYSE Liffe. In New York, arabica-coffee futures for March delivery rose 1.1 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.048 a pound.

Cameroon’s arabica exports dropped to zero in October, the Cocoa and Coffee Inter-professional Board said. Shipments from the central African nation were 126 tons a year earlier, it said today, adding that heavy rains may have delayed the new crop.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery rose 1.35 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $1.568 a pound in New York, gaining 3.6 percent this week, the first weekly gain since late October.

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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