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Cocoa Rises on Signs of Limited Supply; Sugar Advances

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa futures rose the most in more than a week on speculation that supplies will be limited until the start of the next harvest in West Africa. Sugar and coffee climbed, while orange juice and cotton fell.

From Oct. 1 to March 17, deliveries of cocoa to ports in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer, fell 1.8 percent to 1.011 million metric tons from a year earlier, Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said today. From Oct. 1 to Feb. 28, purchases by the industry regulator in Ghana, the second-biggest grower, dropped 17 percent, the U.S. company said on March 13. On March 7, futures touched a nine-month low.

“The market is trying to mount a seasonal rally now that the main harvest is over” in West Africa, Jack Scoville, a vice president at Chicago-based Price Futures Group Inc., said in a report. “Current low prices should create new demand.”

Cocoa for May delivery jumped 2.5 percent to settle at $2,152 a ton at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since March 8.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery gained 0.2 percent to 18.35 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.336 a pound. Earlier, the commodity touched $1.324, the lowest since May 2010. The price fell in the previous seven sessions, the longest slump in a month.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery tumbled 3.2 percent to $1.3515 a pound, the biggest drop since March 1.

Cotton futures for May delivery declined 2.2 percent to 89.1 cents a pound.

To contact the reporters on this story: Oliver Renick in Chicago at orenick1@bloomberg.net; Marvin G. Perez in New York at mperez71@bloomberg.net

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

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