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Coffee Advances on Supply Concern; Sugar Gains; Cocoa Declines

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Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Arabica coffee rose to the highest price in more than a week as exportable supplies tighten in Colombia, the world’s second-biggest producer. Sugar gained, while cocoa declined.

Colombia’s 2011 coffee harvest may slide after wet weather caused the worst outbreak this year of a plant-damaging fungus in a quarter century, robbing plants of nutrients, according to Jose Sierra, who represents Antioquia, the nation’s largest coffee-growing province. Coffee futures jumped 35 percent since June 1 as prospects for the crop dimmed.

“People are worried about the weather conditions,” said Rodrigo Costa, the vice president of institutional sales at Newedge USA LLC in New York. “Also, the short-term fundamentals are bullish.”

Arabica coffee for December delivery gained 2.5 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $1.8485 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching $1.8665, the highest level for a most-active contract since Aug. 23. Prices jumped 53 percent from a year earlier as global production lagged behind demand.

In London, robusta coffee for November delivery declined $6, or 0.4 percent, to $1,641 a metric ton.

Arabica coffee is grown mainly in Latin America and favored for specialty beverages such as those made by Starbucks Corp. The beans are milder than robusta, which is used in instant coffee and espresso and cultivated mostly in Asia and parts of Africa.

Sugar, Cocoa

Raw sugar for October delivery gained 0.32 cent, or 1.6 percent, to 20.81 cents a pound on ICE. Earlier, the most-active contract had declined as much as 1.1 percent.

Brazilian mills will produce 38.2 million tons of the sweetener this year, less than the 38.7 million estimated on April 29, as dry weather may curb output, the nation’s Agriculture Ministry said today.

On NYSE Liffe in London, white sugar for October delivery gained $11.30, or 2 percent, to $592.20 a ton.

Cocoa for December delivery fell $17, or 0.6 percent, to $2,735 a ton on ICE. In London, cocoa for September delivery rose 17 pounds, or 0.9 percent to 1,943 pounds ($2,990) a ton.

To contact the reporters on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net; Alistair Holloway in London at aholloway1@bloomberg.net.

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

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