Cocoa Swings as Ivory Coast Crop Spared Damage; Coffee Up

Cocoa swung between gains and declines in London as traders weighed a forecast for a slide in exports from Indonesia, the third-largest grower, with the prospect for stable output in top producer Ivory Coast.

Bean exports from Indonesia will decline for the fourth straight year to the lowest in more than a decade on increased demand from local grinders, a growers’ group said. Exports may tumble as much as 26 percent to 100,000 metric tons this year, according to Dakhri Sanusi, secretary-general of the Indonesian Cocoa Association.

Ivory Coast will harvest 1.42 million tons in 2012-13, according to the mean in a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts, brokers and traders. That’s 6.8 percent more than the 1.33 million tons that brokerage Marex Spectron Group estimated on Nov. 15, and 3.8 percent lower than last year, data from the London-based International Cocoa Organization showed. The Harmattan winds from the Sahara desert are withdrawing, with “little consequences for cocoa,” the National Meteorological Service’s Antoine Kouassi Koffi said.

Ivory Coast’s “continued good weather conditions and lack of bullish news is leading to investor selling as the mid-crop prospects are good,” Keith Flury, a senior commodities analyst at Rabobank International in London, said by e-mail today. “Everyone is very focused on Ivory Coast, but the Indonesian news is slightly supportive to the market.”

Cocoa for March delivery gained 0.3 percent to 1,447 pounds ($2,293) a ton by 11:25 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London, rebounding from yesterday’s 2.7 percent decline. The price gained as much as 0.7 percent and lost as much as 0.4 percent earlier today. Cocoa for March delivery gained 0.5 percent to $2,224 a ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Ivorian Rains

Ivory Coast’s 2012-13 cocoa crop will still be smaller than the 1.476 million tons produced last year, the Bloomberg survey and ICCO data showed.

Rainfall from May to September last year was “significantly” below average, effecting the development of the main crop, which runs from October to March, according to Joe D’Aleo, chief agriculture meteorologist at Weatherbell Analytics LLC. Above-average precipitation in the February-to- April period will be favorable to the mid-crop, the smaller of two annual harvests that usually starts in April, he said.

Robusta coffee for March delivery was up 0.3 percent to $1,943 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Arabica coffee for March delivery was 0.6 percent higher at $1.495 a pound on ICE Futures. It fell as much as 5.2 percent yesterday.

“Yesterday was a crazy day, with origins selling, and merchants as well,” Edward de Wismes, an agricultural futures broker at Aurel BGC in Paris, said by e-mail today, commenting on arabica coffee. “As there are no buyers at this moment the market can continue to sell, so I would adopt a bearish to neutral view on that.”

White, or refined, sugar for March delivery fell 0.4 percent to $481.40 a ton in London. Raw sugar for March delivery was down 0.2 percent at 18.08 cents a pound in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at Ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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