Cocoa Futures Slump to 14-Month Low on Supply Outlook

Cocoa futures fell to a 14-month low on speculation that supplies will increase in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer. Cotton, coffee and sugar gained, while orange juice dropped.

AccuWeather Inc., based in State College, Pennsylvania, said in a report that Ivory Coast will get 0.5 inch of rain a day on average through March 8, bolstering cocoa crops. Money managers and other large speculators cut bets on a rally by 14 percent to 12,571 futures and options as of Feb. 26, the lowest since July, the latest government data showed on March 1.

“Fundamentally speaking, rain in the Ivory Coast forecast is looked upon as bearish,” John Caruso, a senior commodity broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in an e-mail. “Commercial traders are unwinding long bets.”

Cocoa for May delivery dropped 0.8 percent to close at $2,042 a metric ton at 11:58 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S., the lowest settlement since Jan. 6, 2012. The commodity has dropped 8.7 percent this year, while inventory monitored by the exchange climbed 16 percent.

Cotton futures for May delivery advanced 0.3 percent to 87.24 cents a pound in New York, the highest settlement since May 4. The price has jumped 16 percent this year.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.4125 a pound.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery gained 0.1 percent to 18.2 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1.2275 a pound.

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