Cocoa Falls After North American Processing Data; Coffee Drops

Cocoa fell the most in almost two weeks in London as bean processing in North America rose less than some traders anticipated. Coffee slid.

Bean processing in North America advanced 4.4 percent in the three months to Dec. 31, the Washington-based National Confectioners Association said yesterday after the market closed. Traders were anticipating a figure closer to 7 percent, said Justin Grandison, director of cocoa brokerage at ABN Amro Clearing Bank N.V. A Bloomberg survey of eight analysts published on Jan. 10 forecast an increase of 4.1 percent.

“The NCA grind figure coming out below the anticipated level has had a softening effect on the opening of both London and New York,” Grandison, based in London, said by e-mail today. “The increase wasn’t bad in itself, as this was a fifth straight quarterly report showing a year-on-year rise.”

Cocoa for delivery in March fell 1 percent to 1,756 pounds ($2,887) a metric ton by 10:26 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. The price fell as much as 1.1 percent, the biggest decline since Jan. 6. In New York, cocoa for delivery in the same month slid 0.5 percent to $2,739 a ton on ICE Futures U.S. Futures trading volumes on ICE were 52 percent higher than the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“With London being due down on the opening as a result of New York’s weaker start, pockets of industry buying came into London,” ABN Amro’s Grandison said.

Cocoa Grind

Bean processing in North America amounted to 125,332 tons in the fourth quarter from 120,085 tons a week earlier, according to NCA figures. In Europe, grindings gained 6.2 percent in the same period, beating the 4.1-percent rise forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 12 traders, brokers and processors published on Jan. 10. Futures gained as much as 0.7 percent in London after the release of the European numbers.

In Malaysia, processing fell 9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the Malaysian Cocoa Board. The Cocoa Association of Asia plans to release combined figures for Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore next week. Global chocolate confectionery sales volume will rise 6.3 percent to $117 billion this year, estimates Euromonitor Internatinal Ltd., a consumer research company-based in London. In the Asia-Pacific region, sales will gain 8.9 percent to $14.4 billion.

White, or refined, sugar for delivery in March fell 0.4 percent to $416.70 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Raw sugar for March delivery dropped 0.1 percent to 15.44 cents a pound on ICE.

“We are neutral on sugar prices from current levels, as a fourth consecutive year of global production surplus pushes prices towards parity with Brazilian ethanol and below cost of production in many parts of the world,” Morgan Stanley said in a report e-mailed today, forecasting excess supplies for the 2013-14 season started Oct. 1 at 4.7 million tons.

Robusta coffee for March delivery slid 0.5 percent to $1,726 a ton in London. Arabica coffee for delivery in the same month fell 0.4 percent to $1.1785 a pound on ICE.

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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