Cocoa Rebounds in London Before Futures Delivery; Robusta Gains

Cocoa rebounded in London before the delivery of the December futures contract tomorrow amid speculation bean arrivals at ports in top producer Ivory Coast will start to slow next year. Robusta coffee advanced.

Bean deliveries to Ivorian ports were 42 percent higher from Oct. 1 through Dec. 8, estimates KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While arrivals are ahead of last season, they may start to slow early next year, according to Edward George, head of soft-commodities research at Lome, Togo-based lender Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI), which finances the cocoa trade in West Africa.

“Last season started really poorly and everyone was really worried, but then it picked up,” George said by phone today. “I think we’ve got the absolute opposite here. We’ve got very high arrivals because it’s a good start of the season, you’ve got lots of traders trying to buy up desperately because they are really worried that there will be a slowdown in January.”

Cocoa for March delivery rallied 1 percent to 1,752 pounds ($2,874) a ton by 11:46 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. The December futures, which expire today, were at 1,732 pounds a ton. In New York, cocoa for March delivery gained 1.2 percent to $2,789 a ton on ICE Futures U.S., with futures trading volumes were 33 percent higher than the average for the past 100 days at this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The beans use to make chocolate gained 22 percent this year as supplies are set to fall short of demand for a second year. The deficit amounted to 160,000 tons in 2012-13 and another shortage is expected for the 2013-14 season, according to the International Cocoa Organization in London.

Futures for delivery in December were trading at a discount of 24 pounds a ton to the March contract. That compares with 12 pounds a ton yesterday and 21 pounds a ton at the end of last week, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The open interest in the December futures was 9,909 contracts as of Dec. 10, according to the data.

Cocoa arrivals at Ivorian ports amounted to 611,000 tons from the start of the season on Oct. 1 through Dec. 8, KnowledgeCharts data showed. That compares with 431,000 tons in the same period a year earlier. Ivory Coast will produce 1.37 million tons of cocoa this year, estimates Ecobank. That’s below a government forecast of 1.4 million tons.

Robusta coffee for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to $1,760 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Arabica coffee for delivery in March gained 0.6 percent to $1.104 a pound on ICE.

Refined, or white, sugar for March delivery was 0.1 percent lower at $448.50 a ton in London. Raw sugar for March delivery was unchanged at 16.51 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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