Cocoa Rises to 3-Week High as Improved Demand Seen; Cotton Gains

Cocoa rose to a three-week high on bets that an improving U.S. economy will boost demand amid shrinking supplies from Ghana, the world’s second-biggest grower. Cotton advanced to a 12-week high for a second day.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose to the highest since October as better-than-expected U.S. housing and labor reports bolstered growth prospects and equity markets. From Oct. 1 to Jan. 3, purchases of cocoa from farmers in Ghana totaled 485,000 metric tons, down 17 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“It’s equity prices pumping higher and good economic data that spills over into all the commodities markets,” John Caruso, a senior commodities broker at Chicago, Illinois-based RJO Futures, said in a telephone interview.

Cocoa for March delivery jumped 2 percent to settle at $2,300 a ton at 12:02 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching $2,310, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 24. Ivory Coast is the biggest producer.

Cotton futures for March delivery climbed 0.6 percent to close at 77.78 cents a pound on ICE, after touching 78.18 cents, the highest since Oct. 18.

In the week ended Jan. 10, exports sales of upland cotton from the U.S., the world’s top shipper, jumped 73 percent from a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Purchases were led by China, the biggest consumer and importer, followed by Turkey, Indonesia and Vietnam, the figures show.

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