Cocoa Gains to 3-Week High on Crop Delay Concern; Sugar Advances

Cocoa rose to a three-week high in London on speculation the next harvest in West Africa, the world’s main growing region, will be delayed. Sugar gained.

It’s dry in eastern Ivory Coast, the largest producer, and more rain is needed in second-ranking Ghana, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The season in West African nations usually begins in October.

“Some dryness has developed across east central portions of Ivory Coast, which may stress development of the main cocoa crop,” Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at MDA, said in a report e-mailed yesterday. “Some dryness is also a concern across west central portions of Ghana.”

Cocoa for September delivery advanced 1.3 percent to 1,518 pounds ($2,296) a metric ton by 12:08 p.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Prices, which rallied 1.6 percent yesterday, reached 1,521 pounds a ton, the highest for the September contract since June 13. Trading is closed on ICE Futures U.S. in New York because of Independence Day.

Ivory Coast’s central-western Daloa region, which produces about 300,000 tons a year, was dry from June 21-30, data from the National Meteorological Service showed. The region usually gets 42 millimeters (1.7 inches) of rainfall at this time of the year, long-term averages show. The town of Bondoukou in the eastern part of the country got 10.8 millimeters, below the long-term average of 39 millimeters, according to the data.

Less Rain

In Ghana, the western region, which accounts for 55 percent of the country’s output, got less rain than last year. Rain in the towns of Sefwi Bekwai, Bogoso and Echi were 102.9 millimeters in June 11-20, data from the Ghana Meteorological Agency showed. Last year, rainfall amounted to 343.6 millimeters.

Barry Callebaut AG (BARN), the biggest maker of bulk chocolate, said sales volume grew by 8.2 percent in the first nine months through May, citing demand from emerging markets.

“It seems that prices recently benefited from solid demand figures as shown by Barry Callebaut’s earnings,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “Technicals are also favorable.”

Robusta coffee for September delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,816 a ton in London. White sugar for October delivery gained 0.7 percent to $479.80 a ton on NYSE Liffe.

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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