Cocoa Futures Drop to Seven-Month Low on Ample Supplies

Cocoa futures fell to the lowest in seven months, entering a bear market, on signs of abundant supplies from Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer. Coffee, orange juice and sugar also dropped, while cotton rose.

Cocoa exports from the western Ivorian port of San Pedro climbed 54 percent in January from a year earlier, harbor data showed. On Feb. 13, inventory at warehouses monitored by the ICE Futures U.S. jumped 4.6 percent, the most in a year, the latest figures showed. Prices are down 20 percent from a 10-month high reached in September, marking the start of a bear market.

“Bulls have been discouraged by the ample supply in Ivory coast,” Hector Galvan, a senior commodities broker at Chicago-based RJO Futures said in an e-mail. “There are still ideas that more cocoa needs to be sold.”

Cocoa futures for delivery in May declined 0.6 percent to settle at $2,144 a metric ton at 2:30 p.m. on ICE in New York. Earlier, the price touched $2,135, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 26.

West African crop prospects are supporting prices while capped by uncertain global demand, especially as eurozone growth remains a concern, Societe Generale’s analysts, led by Hong Kong-based Jeremy Friesen, said in an e-mailed report.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1.402 a pound. Trading volume at this time was double the average in the past 100 days.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery slipped 0.9 percent to $1.298 a pound, the first loss in a week.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery declined 0.2 percent to 17.74 cents a pound, after touching 17.67 cents, the lowest since August 2010. Also in New York, domestic sugar touched 20.33 cents a pound, the lowest since April 2009.

Cotton futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to 83.19 cents a pound, the highest closing price since May.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.