Cocoa Declines on Signs of Ebbing Asian Demand; Sugar Advances

Cocoa dropped for the first time in three sessions on signs of weaker demand after bean processing declined last quarter in Malaysia, the largest grinder in Asia. Sugar, cotton and coffee gained, while orange-juice fell.

Cocoa grind fell 3.1 percent to 71,150 metric tons from a year earlier, the Malaysian Cocoa Board said today. Processing fell for a third straight quarter.

“Lower Malaysian grinding is contributing to the negative” sentiment, John Caruso, a senior commodities broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, wrote in an e-mail today.

Cocoa for December delivery slid 1.2 percent to settle at $2,713 a ton at 12:14 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after rallying 5.2 percent last week.

Cocoa’s 14-day relative strength index was at 70.2 on Oct. 11. A level above 70 is seen by some traders and analysts as a sign a security is overbought and poised for a decline.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery added 0.6 percent to 19.05 cents a pound on ICE. Earlier, prices reached 19.11 cents, the highest since March 15.

The main growing region in Brazil, the largest producer, will get more than 50 millimeters (2 inches) of moisture this week, with rains on Oct. 17 heavy enough to halt the harvest, Celso Oliveira, a Somar meteorologist, said today in a telephone interview from Sao Paulo.

“Near-term action may continue to be influenced by rain forecasts in Brazil,” James Cassidy, the head of the sugar-trading desk at Newedge Group in New York, wrote in an e-mail today.

Cotton futures for December delivery gained 0.3 percent to 83.61 cents a pound in New York, while arabica-coffee futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1.17 a pound. Orange-juice futures for November delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1.259 a pound.

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