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Cocoa Falls as Harvesting Advances in West Africa; Cotton Slides

Cocoa futures fell on speculation that global supplies will climb as the harvest accelerates in West Africa, the world’s top producing region. Cotton, sugar and orange juice also slid.

Wet weather forecast for Ivory Coast and Ghana, the biggest cocoa growers, won’t disrupt harvest progress and will boost the mid-crop gathered later this season, David Streit, an agricultural meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group, said in a telephone interview today. Prices jumped 20 percent this year as dry weather in West Africa threatened production.

“Harvest pressure typically exerts its downward effects on the cocoa market until about 70 percent” of crops are collected, Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in an e-mail.

Cocoa for December delivery slid 1.1 percent to settle at $2,684 a metric ton at 1:24 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices fell 0.3 percent last week, a second straight drop.

Cotton futures for December delivery declined 0.5 percent to 78.65 cents a pound in New York. Prices fell for a seventh straight session, the longest slide since late May.

On Oct. 25, stockpiles at warehouses monitored by ICE expanded for a 13th day to the highest since July 30. About 21 percent of the crop in the U.S., the largest shipper, was collected as of Oct. 20, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA will update its data on harvest progress today.

“The cotton market is under harvest pressure,” Keith Brown, the president Keith Brown & Co. in Moultrie, Georgia, said in a telephone interview. “Many people are also expecting the USDA to boost its estimate for world stockpiles to a new record” in a Nov. 8 report on supply and demand, he said.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery lost 0.6 percent to 18.91 cents a pound on ICE. Orange-juice futures for January delivery tumbled 1.5 percent to $1.196 a pound.

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