Sugar Drops on Brazil Dry Weather; Cocoa Advances

Sugar fell for the first time in three sessions as dry weather allowed the harvest to quicken in Brazil, the world’s top producer. Cocoa and cotton rose, while coffee and orange juice dropped.

Sugar production in Brazil’s Center South, the biggest producing region, rose 2 percent in the first half of this month as drier conditions sped up fieldwork, Unica, an industry group said July 25. The country’s main growing areas will get mostly dry weather in the next 10 days, Sao Paulo-based Somar Meteorologia said yesterday.

“Brazil’s weather has been tremendous the last two weeks,” boosting the outlook for output in the second half of July, Jeff Dobrydney, a vice president for Wilton, Connecticut-based Jenkins Sugar Group, said in a telephone interview.

Raw sugar for October delivery declined 0.7 percent to settle at 22.64 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The sweetener jumped 7.8 percent in July, the second straight advance, after heavy rains in June delayed harvesting and exports from Brazil.

Cocoa futures for September delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $2,376 a metric ton, the fifth straight gain and the longest rally since mid-April. The price rose 3.7 percent in July.

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa grower, has sold about 900,000 tons of beans through auctions where buyers purchase the crop before the actual harvest that will start Oct. 1, according to an industry official who declined to be identified because the information isn’t publicly available. The main crop, which will be put up for sale, may reach 1 million tons to 1.1 million tons, he said.

“The Ivorian crop is so well sold,” lending support to prices, Ken Lorenze, a vice president for Jenkins Sugar Group, said in an e-mail.

Cotton futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to 71.34 cents a pound on ICE.

Also in New York, arabica-coffee futures for September delivery fell 2.2 percent to $1.744 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for September delivery declined 2.1 percent to $1.099 a pound, extending its July slump to 9.7 percent.

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