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Cocoa Rises to Three-Week High on Supply Concern; Coffee Falls

March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa futures climbed to a three-week high on signs of reduced deliveries by farmers in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer. Orange juice and cotton also gained, while coffee slid. Sugar was unchanged.

Purchases of cocoa beans by the Ivory Coast government fell 7.5 percent in the first three months of the season that began in October, according to a document sent to Bloomberg by an official in the ministries of finance and agriculture. Deliveries to ports from farms slid to 649,249 metric tons, compared with 702,127 tons a year earlier, the data show.

“This should allow prices to work higher as there will be less cocoa on the market,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in Chicago, said in an e-mail. Supplies in the Ivory Coast are getting tighter, and some beans have poor quality, Smith said.

Cocoa for May delivery rose 1.3 percent to settle at $2,158 a ton at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching $2,176, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 14. Prices are up 5.7 percent in the past four sessions, the longest rally since Dec. 3.

Also in New York, orange-juice futures for delivery in May rose 0.9 percent to $1.375 a pound, the fourth straight gain. Cotton futures for May delivery jumped 0.7 percent to 87.33 cents a pound, the ninth gain in 11 sessions.

Arabica-coffee futures for delivery in May slid 1 percent to $1.4235 a pound, the biggest decline in a week.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery closed unchanged at 18.82 cents a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Renick in Chicago at orenick1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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