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Sugar Futures Rise on Concern Rain Delays Brazil Harvest

April 16, 2013

Sugar futures gained the most in more than five weeks in New York on speculation that harvest delays will limit supplies in Brazil, the world’s top producer. Cocoa and coffee advanced, while cotton and orange juice fell.

Rain delayed cane fieldwork as Brazilian mills in the Center South, the top growing region, prepared to begin crushing a record crop this month, according to Somar Meteorologia in Sao Paulo. As of April 9, speculators boosted net-short positions, or bets on a price drop, to 83,340 futures and options, the most-bearish on record, government data showed on April 12.

“There are references being made to a rainy first half of April in the Center South, which has slowed the start a bit,” James Cassidy, the head of sugar trading at Newedge USA LLC in New York, said in an e-mail. “Sugar is stabilizing primarily off of the record or near-record spec short position.”

Raw sugar for July delivery rallied 1.8 percent to settle at 17.87 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S., the biggest gain since March 7.

While current supplies of sugar from Brazil are “thin,” the “new crop will likely set a heavier tone unless meaningful disruption begins to show up in the forecasts,” Cassidy said.

Cocoa futures for July delivery climbed 2.2 percent to $2,316 a metric ton on ICE. Earlier, the price reached $2,318, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 21.

From Oct. 1 to April 14, bean arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer, slid 0.2 percent from a year earlier, KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said today.

The company said that from Oct. 1 to March 21, bean purchases by the industry regulator in Ghana, the second-biggest grower, dropped 16 percent.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery rose 0.8 percent to $1.3725 a pound on ICE.

Cotton futures for July delivery dropped 0.8 percent to 85.42 cents a pound in New York. Orange-juice futures for May delivery slid 0.6 percent to $1.4815 a pound.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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