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Cocoa Futures Slide on Ivory Coast Refund Plans; Sugar Rallies

June 14 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa fell, capping the biggest weekly slide since January, after Ivory Coast announced a plan to help spur bean sales. Coffee also slid. Sugar reached a one-month high, while cotton and orange juice rose.

Ivory Coast will refund exporters and processors buying undersized beans from June 17 to July 31, industry regulator Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao said today. The move comes after farmers said they weren’t able to sell supplies because dry weather left beans too small to meet minimum requirements. Growers are now harvesting the smaller of the two annual crops that runs from April to September. The nation is the world’s top producer.

“This will allow more exportable beans to be sold,” Joe Mallaney, the managing director of soft commodities for Newedge USA LLC in New York, said in an e-mail. “Look for exporters to become more active on the auction system.”

Cocoa for delivery in September declined 2.5 percent to settle at $2,253 a metric ton at 12:02 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices fell 4.9 percent this week.

Arabica-coffee futures for delivery in September slid 1.3 percent to $1.238 a pound. Prices fell for a fifth straight week, the longest rout since November.

Raw-sugar futures for delivery in October jumped 3.4 percent to 17.09 cents a pound, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Nov. 19.

In the first half of May, millers in Brazil’s Center South used 58 percent of all cane crushed to make ethanol, up from 52 percent a year earlier, data from industry group Unica show. The nation is the world’s biggest cane grower. Sugar prices have dropped 12 percent this year, outpacing a 9.5 percent decline for ethanol futures traded in Brazil.

Brazilian “mills can make a little more money producing ethanol right now,” Jack Scoville, a vice president for Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in an telephone interview.

Cotton futures for December delivery advanced 0.3 percent to 89.44 cents a pound. Orange-juice futures for July delivery increased 0.9 percent to $1.47 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: 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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