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Sugar Rises as La Nina Hurts Crops; Cocoa Drops; Coffee Advances

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Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar rose the most in a week amid concern that adverse weather will curb production in India and Brazil, the world’s biggest producers. Cocoa fell and coffee gained.

The sugar-cane harvest in Brazil’s Center South will fall short of the 570.2 million metric tons estimated by industry group Unica on Aug. 27 because of a lack of rainfall, Antonio de Padua, the association’s technical director, said today. A La Nina event has brought wet weather to Southeast Asia and dry conditions to South America.

“La Nina is still impacting sugar production in Asia and Brazil with excessive rain in India and other countries, and dry weather in Brazil,” Michael McDougall, a senior vice president at Newedge USA in New York, wrote in a report today.

Raw sugar for March delivery rose 0.82 cent, or 3 percent, to settle at 28.37 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. That’s the biggest gain since Nov. 23.

La Nina is a global-weather pattern caused by cooling equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean.

In London, refined-sugar futures for March delivery rose $15.30, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $725.30 a ton on NYSE Liffe.

Cocoa futures for March delivery lost $49, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $2,758 a ton in New York. In London, March-delivery cocoa futures fell 2.2 percent to settle at 1,863 pounds ($2,907) a ton.

Prices may ease in the next few months following a mostly peaceful election in Ivory Coast, the worlds’ biggest cocoa grower, Rabobank said in an e-mailed report.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery added 2.35 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $2.0355 a pound in New York.

Robusta-coffee future for March delivery gained $7, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $1,816 a ton in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net

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

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