Bloomberg News

Sugar Caps Longest Rally in 15 Months; Coffee, Cocoa Advance

February 26, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar rose, capping the longest rally in 15 months, on signs of tight supplies as demand remains robust. Coffee and cocoa also climbed.

Sugar output in Mexico, the world’s sixth-largest producer, may miss a government forecast as adverse weather threatens crops, Newedge Group said yesterday in an e-mailed report. Brazil’s Center South, the top growing region, produced 6.8 percent less this year, Unica, an industry association, has said.

“There is talk of a near-term shortage due to the slow pace of the Mexican harvest,” Jack Scoville, a vice president for Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in an e-mailed report. There’s also concern that Brazil’s crop may not recover, “due to poor weather,” he said.

Raw sugar for May delivery gained 1.4 percent to settle at 25.22 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices have advanced for seven straight sessions, the longest rally since November 2010. The commodity, which climbed 6.1 percent this week, earlier touched 25.27 cents, the highest since Nov. 14.

The last trading day for the March contract is Feb. 29. The sweetener may fall “after March goes off the board,” Jeff Bauml, a senior vice president at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in New York, said in an e-mail.

The Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback against six major currencies, fell to a 11-week low, enhancing the appeal of commodities as alternative assets. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials touched a nine-month high.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to $2.036 a pound in New York.

Cocoa futures for May delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $2,357 a metric ton on ICE.

In London futures trading, refined sugar and robusta coffee gained on NYSE Liffe. Cocoa fell.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Patrick McKiernan

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at Ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.


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