Robusta Coffee at 17-Month Low as Bearish Bets Gain; Cocoa Falls

Robusta coffee fell to the lowest level in more than 17 months in London, with speculators boosting bearish bets just as rainfall is set to ease in Indonesia’s main growing area. Cocoa retreated.

Money managers more than tripled bets on falling prices of robusta coffee traded in London in the week ended June 4, according to NYSE Liffe, the derivatives arm of NYSE Euronext. Southern Sumatra, Indonesia’s main coffee-growing region, will get drier weather this week, favoring harvesting, MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in a report e-mailed yesterday. Rains had been delaying deliveries from farms.

“As the markets head into new multi-year lows, the specs and funds just seem to have less excuse not to sell,” brokerage ABN Amro Markets U.K. Ltd., said by e-mail today. “Roasters, having priced and extended cover above, are now picking away at attractive levels but clearly without the ability to support prices. The pain is clearly to the downside with origin stops having been elected today.”

Robusta coffee for July delivery retreated 1.4 percent to $1,773 a metric ton by 11:06 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Earlier, the price fell to $1,738 a ton, the lowest since Jan. 9, 2012. Arabica coffee for July delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1.293 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Money managers boosted their net-short positions, or wagers on a lower market, to 7,096 futures and options in the week ended June 4, the Commitments of Traders report published on the exchange’s website on June 10 showed. That compares with 2,029 contracts a week earlier and it’s the biggest net-short position since Jan. 17, 2012, exchange data on Bloomberg showed.

White, or refined, sugar for delivery in August added 0.4 percent to $478.30 a ton in London. Raw sugar for delivery in July was 0.2 percent lower at 16.63 cents a pound in New York.

Cocoa for delivery in July was down 0.6 percent at 1,542 pounds ($2,416) a ton on NSYE Liffe. Cocoa for September delivery rose was little changed at $2,366 a ton on ICE.

“Physical movement continues to be good as does the weather, leaving the market vulnerable to setbacks,” Sterling Smith, a futures Specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a report e-mailed today.

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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