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Cocoa Reaches 25-Month High on Asia Demand; Orange Juice Drops

Cocoa reached the highest price in almost 25 months on signs of rising demand from bean processors in Asia and North America. Orange juice, coffee and sugar slid, while cotton advanced.

The Cocoa Association of Asia said today that grindings rose 12 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier. Figures scheduled for release today from the Washington-based National Confectioners Association may show North American processing gained 5.1 percent in the period, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“The exceptionally strong Asian grind numbers in concert with the expectation of seeing strong North American grind numbers are highly supportive” for prices, Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in an e-mail.

Cocoa for delivery in December rose 0.7 percent to settle at $2,767 a metric ton at 12:02 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after reaching $2,776, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 19, 2011. Prices have increased 28 percent since the end of June.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery tumbled 3.9 percent to $1.1935 a pound in New York, after touching $1.189, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 31.

In the four weeks ended Sept. 28, U.S. retail sales of orange juice fell 3.9 percent from a year earlier, the Florida Department of Citrus said Oct. 14, citing data from Nielsen Co.

“The Nielsen data released at the beginning of the week highlighted the poor demand,” Jack Scoville, a vice president for Price Futures Group in Chicago, wrote in a report.

Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery declined 1 percent to $1.147 a pound. Raw-sugar futures for March delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to 19 cents a pound in New York.

Cotton futures for December delivery advanced 0.8 percent to 83.82 cents a pound on ICE.

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