Arabica Coffee Falls as Stockpiles at 3-Year High; Cocoa Gains

Arabica coffee fell to a three-week low as stockpiles climbed to the highest since 2010 before the start of the harvest in top grower Brazil. Cocoa advanced.

Inventories in warehouses monitored by the ICE Futures U.S. exchange in New York were at 2.4 million bags as of yesterday, the highest since March 4, 2010, exchange data on Bloomberg showed. Brazil will harvest 47 million to 48 million bags of coffee this year, a record for a year in which trees enter the lower-yielding half of their cycle, said growers cooperative Cooparaiso in Sao Sebasitiao do Paraiso in Minas Gerais, the nation’s largest arabica-producing state. Futures fell 3.4 percent so far this week after rising 0.5 percent last week.

“So here we are, about 10 cents a pound off the highs of last week,” Thiago Cazarini, a broker at Cazarini Trading Co. in Varginha in Minas Gerais, said in a report e-mailed yesterday. “It just doesn’t look good again. Will it test $1.35 a pound, $1.30 a pound? Probably yes.”

Arabica coffee for delivery in May declined 0.3 percent to $1.392 a pound by 7:32 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price touched $1.391, the lowest since Feb. 20. Robusta coffee for delivery in May rose 0.2 percent to $2,168 a metric ton on NYSE Liffe in London.

Arabica coffee futures, which fell 37 percent last year, will extend their slump, according to a Bloomberg survey. The beans favored for specialty beverages will slip to $1.257 a pound by June 30, the average estimate of 14 brokers and analysts showed. The beans were the worst-performing commodity of 2012 in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials.

“The commercial end of the market continues to be uninspired,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Global Markets Inc., wrote in a report e-mailed yesterday.

Cocoa for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $2,140 a ton in New York. Cocoa for May delivery added 0.2 percent to 1,444 pounds ($2,188) a ton in London.

Raw sugar for May delivery was up 0.1 percent at 18.86 cents a pound on ICE. Refined, or white, sugar for May delivery was up 0.4 percent to $539.10 a ton on NYSE Liffe.

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