Cocoa Falls Most in Two Weeks on Signs West Africa Supplies Gain

Cocoa prices dropped the most in more than two weeks on signs that supplies are increasing in West Africa, the world’s biggest producing region.

The port of San Pedro in Ivory Coast, the top grower, said exports jumped 21 percent in December from a year earlier. In the 12 months that started Oct. 1, an indication of output in Ghana, the second-largest producer, surged 22 percent through Jan. 2, according to KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“We’ve seen very good deliveries,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The beans are moving now, and supply is good.”

Cocoa for March delivery fell 1.9 percent to close at $2,700 a metric ton at 12:14 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Jan. 2.

North American bean processing increased 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter, the National Confectioners Association in Washington said yesterday. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected a 4.1 percent gain.

“The number for North America was as expected, so that is not really giving us any bullish inputs,” Smith said in an e-mail.

Stockpiles at warehouses monitored by ICE have climbed 14 percent in the past month.

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