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Sugar Gains on Asia, Mideast Demand; Cocoa Gains; Coffee Drops

Sugar futures rose the most in a week on signs of higher demand in Asia and the Middle East. Cocoa climbed, while coffee, cotton and orange juice dropped.

Global sugar shipments to India, the world’s largest consumer, will total 400,000 metric tons in the fourth quarter, according to Kingsman SA. Iran and the United Arab Emirates have been importing more than forecast, the Lausanne, Switzerland-based research company said.

“Demand until the end of the year has been understated by the analysts,” Thomas Kujawa, the co-head of soft commodities at Sucden Financial Ltd., a futures and options broker in London, said in a report.

Raw sugar for March delivery rose 0.8 percent to settle at 19.56 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest increase for a most-active contract since Oct. 19. The price has dropped 16 percent this year.

Brazil, the top producer, will get rain later this week, disrupting the cane harvest, with more precipitation projected for next week, Sao Paulo-based analyst Somar Meteorologia said yesterday.

Cocoa futures for December delivery advanced 1.7 percent to $2,390 a ton in New York.

Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery slid 2.8 percent to $1.572 a pound. The price rose yesterday on speculation that inventory in warehouses in the New York area would be damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re hearing that those who bought yesterday fearing damages in New York warehouses are selling back,” Jayme Neto, the export manager at Terra Forte Exportacao e Importacao de Cafe Ltda., said in an e-mail from Sao Joao da Boa Vista, Brazil.

Cotton futures for December delivery dropped 2.3 percent to 70.92 cents.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1.0745 a pound.

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