Cocoa Drops as Ivory Coast Rains Ease Crop Concerns; Sugar Falls

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa futures fell for the first time in four sessions on speculation that scattered showers may help boost crops in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer. Sugar, cotton, orange juice and arabica coffee also slid.

As much as 20 millimeters (0.8 inch) of rain was forecast for some of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions yesterday, and climate-prediction models signal showers will increase next week and cover a wider area, Drew Lerner, the president of World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. Unusual dryness in July and early August raised concern that yields may decline, boosting prices 6.2 percent last month.

“Steady rains could tip the market back lower,” Joe Mallaney, managing director for soft commodities at Newedge USA LLC, said in an e-mail.

Cocoa for delivery in December lost 1.1 percent to settle at $2,453 a metric ton at 12:04 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after rising 1.3 percent in the previous three sessions.

Prices also fell as equities declined after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria will be held accountable for using chemical weapons.

“Cocoa is down like the rest of the softs due to the selloff in outside markets,” Hector Galvan, a senior commodities broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, wrote in an e-mail. “It is the market fears taking the prices lower.”

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery declined 0.9 percent to 16.46 cents a pound in New York. Cotton futures for December delivery slipped 0.9 percent to 84.15 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for November delivery fell 1.1 percent to $1.3555 a pound on ICE, while arabica-coffee futures for December delivery slid 0.8 percent to $1.1675 a pound.

To contact the reporters on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in New York at ljavier@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