Cocoa Drops on Signs Supply May Rise; Sugar Gains; Coffee Falls

Cocoa fell for the first time in a week on signs that global supplies will increase. Sugar gained, while coffee declined.

Laurent Pipitone, a statistician at the International Cocoa Organization, said yesterday that worldwide output will climb 6 percent to 8 percent in the season that began Oct. 1. The price has dropped 13 percent in the past year.

“Production will see a big gain, so the only thing going for cocoa is the tension in Ivory Coast,” the world’s largest grower and exporter, said Sterling Smith, an analyst at Country Hedging Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Also, we hear the consumption numbers in Europe are not that great.”

Cocoa for March delivery dropped $7, or 0.2 percent, to settle at $2,952 a metric ton at 11:59 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The commodity gained 4.6 percent in the previous four sessions.

In London, cocoa futures for March delivery fell 16 pounds, or 0.8 percent, to close at 1,964 pounds ($3,119) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.

Tensions have escalated in Ivory Coast as incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to step down in favor of Alassane Ouattara. The national electoral commission, the United Nations and the U.S. recognize Ouattara as the winner of an election in November. Senegal this week renewed calls for military intervention to end the stalemate.

Cocoa Shipments

Ivory Coast sent 685,000 tons of cocoa to ports from Oct. 1 to Jan. 9, Pipitone’s organization said. That compares with 702,000 tons a year earlier, and this year’s figure “quite likely” is understated, he said.

“Because of the unstable political situation, reporting of data has not been so reliable,” Pipitone said.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery gained 0.04 cent, or 0.1 percent, to 32.06 cents a pound in New York.

In London, refined-sugar futures for March delivery climbed $6.40, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $787.40 a ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slipped 3.1 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $2.375 a pound in New York. Yesterday, the price reached $2.445, the highest level since June 1997.

In London, robusta-coffee futures for March delivery dropped $30, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $2,137 a ton in London.

To contact the reporters on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@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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