Bloomberg News

Cocoa Rises on Ivory Coast Crop Concerns; Sugar, Coffee Advance

June 26, 2012

Cocoa climbed the most in two weeks on speculation that wet weather will increase the risk of crop disease in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer. Sugar and coffee also advanced.

Most areas of Ivory Coast will get at least 75 millimeters (3 inches) of rain through July 3, and some northern regions may have as much as 150 millimeters, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The heavy rains are making people nervous about supplies,” because too much precipitation may lead to poor bean quality or black pod, a fungal disease, Sterling Smith, a commodity analyst at Citigroup Inc.’s institutional client group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cocoa for September delivery jumped 2.2 percent to settle at $2,149 a metric ton at 12:17 p.m., the biggest gain for a most-active contract since June 12.

An outbreak of the leaf-eating canker worm in west Nigeria, the fourth-biggest producer, is also supporting prices, Smith said. Ghana is the second-biggest grower, followed by Indonesia.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery rose 1.5 percent to 20.23 cents a pound in New York, the biggest gain in a week.

Output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, tumbled 32 percent in the first half of this month after rain hindered harvesting, Unica, an industry group, said today.

Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery jumped 4.4 percent to $1.6575 a pound on ICE. Earlier, the price reached $1.6635, the highest since May 30. The commodity has dropped 27 percent in 2012. Brazil is the top producer.

“There is concern the rains will affect up to 15 percent of the coffee quality in parts of Minas Gerais, Parana, Sao Paulo and the Cerrado region,” Luiz Eduardo de Paula, the president of H. Commcor, a broker in Sao Paulo, said in a telephone interview. “This market had been oversold.”

In London futures trading, cocoa, refined sugar and robusta coffee advanced on NYSE Liffe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marvin G. Perez in New York at mperez71@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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