Coffee, Sugar Rise Most in Week as ECB Rate Cut May Spur Growth

Coffee rose the most in more than a week as signs that Europe is taking more aggressive steps to stem its debt crisis eased concern that slower economic growth would erode demand. Sugar also climbed.

Equities and commodities rallied after the European Central Bank unexpectedly cut interest rates and the region’s leaders increased pressure on Greece to accept a bailout. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials headed for a second straight gain, led by zinc, cattle and soybeans. Coffee prices have tumbled 21 percent since the end of August.

“A lot of the bad news has already been factored into prices after the declines we’ve seen recently, and so it takes only a little bit of good news to get people buying again,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “You’re going to see a lot more fund money coming in.”

Arabica coffee for December delivery rose 1.3 percent to settle at $2.268 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain since Oct. 24.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery advanced 0.9 percent to 25.65 cents a pound in New York, the largest increase since Oct. 27. Prices are down 8.2 percent since mid-October.

Sugar shipments to China, the world’s top consumer after India, may be higher than analysts forecast, according to Newedge Group, the biggest U.S. sugar-futures broker. While most analysts estimate imports for the 2011-2012 marketing year at about 2.5 million metric tons, a rate of import growth similar to the past two years would boost the figure to 2.97 million, Michael McDougall, a senior vice president at New York-based Newedge, said in a report.

In London futures trading, coffee fell and sugar advanced on NYSE Liffe.

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