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Cocoa Jumps to Three-Week High; Cotton, Sugar Rise; Coffee Drops

Cocoa futures rose to a three-week high on signs of declining supplies from Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer. Cotton, sugar and orange juice also advanced. Arabica coffee slid.

Since Oct. 1, cocoa arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast have dropped 4.8 percent through July 22 compared with a year earlier, the Economist Intelligence Unit said this week. Climate models suggest that an El Nino weather pattern, caused by a warming of the Pacific Ocean, will form this year, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. Global output fell by an average 2.4 percent in El Nino years, according to the London-based International Cocoa Organization.

“Tighter near-term supply out of Western Africa and speculation of an El Nino event” are driving prices higher, John Caruso, a senior broker at R.J. O’Brien in Chicago, said an e-mail.

Cocoa for September delivery climbed 0.6 percent to settle at $2,330 a metric ton at 11:59 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after reaching $2,352, the highest for a most-active contract since July 5. The price gained 4.5 percent this week, the most in a month.

Cotton futures for December delivery advanced 0.1 percent to 71.45 cents a pound in New York. The fiber has tumbled 22 percent this year.

Soaring prices for competing crops, including corn and soybeans, may prompt the world’s farmers to cut cotton acreage next year as they seek bigger profits, Joseph Nicosia, the chief executive officer at Allenberg Cotton Co., a merchant affiliated with Louis Dreyfus Holdings BV, said today during a presentation in New York.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery rose 0.1 percent to 22.52 cents a pound, paring this week’s drop to 5.9 percent.

Orange-juice futures for September delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1.1005 a pound on ICE.

Also in New York, arabica-coffee futures for September delivery lost 0.2 percent to $1.737 a pound. Prices slumped 7.1 percent this week, the most since early March.

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