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Cocoa Futures Advance to 10-Month High on Supply Concerns

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa futures jumped to a 10-month high on speculation that dry weather may hurt crops in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Sugar fell.

While rains are forecast in northern parts of Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, and Ghana, the second-largest, southern areas of the two nations will stay dry in the next 15 days, according to MDA Information Systems Inc.

“More rain is needed in southern growing areas” in West Africa, Jack Scoville, a vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a report. “There is still talk about El Nino, and that it could harm crops next year in western Africa and Indonesia as it develops.”

Cocoa for December delivery rose 1.4 percent to close at $2,691 a metric ton at 12:05 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the ninth gain in 10 sessions. Earlier, the price reached $2,707, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 8.

“Trends are up” for prices amid strong demand and a lack of supply, Scoville said yesterday in a telephone interview.

In the week ended Aug. 28, hedge funds and other large speculators increased bullish bets to the highest since March 2011, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Aug. 31.

Raw-sugar futures for delivery in October dropped 0.7 percent to 18.87 cents a pound in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yi Tian in New York at ytian8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net

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