Cocoa Slides on Ample Supply; Coffee Drops; Cotton Rises

Cocoa futures fell to a two-week low on signs of ample supplies in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer. Coffee and sugar also declined, while cotton and orange juice advanced.

Since the start of the season on Oct. 1, cocoa-bean deliveries to Ivorian ports increased 8.7 percent to 896,000 metric tons as of Jan. 20, compared with 824,000 over the same period a year earlier, according to KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis. Prices have tumbled 18 percent since reaching a 10-month high on Sept. 6.

“It is a bearish number,” Joe Mallaney, a senior director of soft commodities at Newedge Group in New York, said in a telephone interview. The delivery tally shows Ivory Coast “is not short of cocoa,” he said. “There are no supply worries at this time of year.”

Cocoa futures for March delivery slumped 3.2 percent to settle at $2,213 a ton at 12:01 p.m. on ICE Futures in New York, after touching $2,207, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 8.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery dropped 4.9 percent to $1.486 a pound on ICE, the biggest drop since July 24. Trading was 89 percent higher than the average in the past 100 days. Prices are down 34 percent in the past year.

Coffee exports from Latin America rose 5.6 percent in December from a year earlier, industry group Anacafe said Jan. 18. Exports from Colombia, the second-biggest grower of arabica beans after Brazil, may climb 18 percent this year, an exporters group said last week. Brazilian farmers sold 60 percent of the 2012-2013 crop as of Dec. 31, down from 76 percent a year earlier, according to consulting firm Safras & Mercado.

‘No Buyers’

“There’s a lot of coffee around and no new buyers in this market,” Joe Scaduto, the president of JPS Commodities LLC, a broker in New York, said in a telephone interview. Prices may drop to $1.10, he said.

Also in New York, cotton futures for delivery in March jumped 1.8 percent to 79.93 cents a pound, a fifth straight gain and the longest rally since June. Cotton trading was 72 percent higher than the 100-day moving average.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery gained 0.6 percent to $1.152 a pound, after reaching $1.178, the highest since Jan. 2.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to 18.12 cents a pound, after touching 18.08 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since August 2010. Trading in sugar was 73 percent higher than the 100-day moving average.

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