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Cocoa Caps Longest Rally in Month on Crop Concern; Coffee Gains

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July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa futures rose for a fourth session, capping the longest rally in a month, as rain and black pod disease threaten crops in Ivory Coast, the world’s top exporter. Coffee prices also gained.

Weeks of heavy precipitation in the Ivory Coast’s southwest triggered a black pod outbreak that may curb output, cocoa farmers and officials said. Growers in the Soubre region, which accounts for about a quarter of the nation’s production, said they lack the means to prevent the spread of disease during the annual rainy season.

“There’s been a lot of rain in West Africa, and this is causing a lot of concern about the crop,” said Tom Mikulski, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock, a broker in Chicago.

Cocoa for September delivery climbed $30, or 1 percent, to close at $3,010 a metric ton at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The four-session rally was the longest since June 24.

Supplies often are limited before harvests begin in October in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the second-biggest grower, Laurent Pipitone, the chief statistician at the International Cocoa Organization, said this week. Global output trailed demand in three of the past four years, forcing processors to dig deeper into inventories, he said.

Cocoa futures for September delivery fell 9 pounds, or 0.4 percent, to close at 2,271 pounds ($3,539) a ton on the Liffe exchange in London at 4:50 p.m. local time.

Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery gained 3.65 cents, or 2.2 percent, to close at $1.674 a pound at 2 p.m. in New York.

Robusta-coffee futures for September delivery rose $22, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $1,721 a ton at 5:30 p.m. in London.

To contact the reporters on this story: M. Shankar in London at mshankar@bloomberg.net; Jennifer A. Johnson in Chicago at jjohnson133@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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