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Cocoa Declines on Forecast for Rain in West Africa; Coffee Slips

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa tumbled the most in a week on forecasts that Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s biggest producers, will get the most rain since June this weekend. Orange juice, coffee and sugar also dropped while cotton gained.

Ivory Coast and Ghana may get as much as 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain, stabilizing the crop after dryness caused some pods to fall off trees, David Streit, an agricultural meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group Inc., in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a telephone interview yesterday. Through yesterday, cocoa prices rose 7.9 percent in August amid concern that drier-than-normal weather would hamper West African crops.

“Cocoa is under pressure because the rainfall forecast should stop the crop from incurring further losses,” Phillip Streible, a senior commodities broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates LLC, said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

Cocoa for delivery in December lost 1.7 percent to settle at $2,436 a metric ton at 12:14 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline since Aug. 21. Prices ended the month up 6 percent.

Orange-juice futures for November delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $1.3735 a pound in New York, taking this month’s loss for a most-active contract to 4.6 percent.

Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery fell 1.1 percent to $1.163 a pound on ICE, the biggest decline since Aug. 21. Raw-sugar futures for October delivery slid 0.2 percent to 16.34 cents a pound, the fourth straight drop.

Cotton futures for December delivery gained 0.3 percent to 83.49 cents a pound, after touching a 12-week low of 82.43 cents.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Pashley in London at apashley@bloomberg.net; Luzi Ann Javier in New York at ljavier@bloomberg.net

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

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