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cocoa futures

October 8th, 2013

Cocoa futures reached a 23-month high as ample rains threaten to slow already shrinking supplies from West Africa, the world’s biggest growing region. Orange juice also advanced, while coffee, cotton and sugar slid.

In the year started Oct. 1, cocoa output will trail demand by 173,000 metric tons, followed by a shortage of 113,000 tons the next season, Macquarie Group Ltd. estimates. Growing areas in top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana may get as much as 150 percent of normal rain in October’s second half, slowing the harvest, World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas, predicts.

“If the heavy rain forecast for Ivory Coast and Ghana does come, it could interrupt deliveries to ports and thus world supplies, at least for a time,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report e-mailed today.

Cocoa futures for December delivery advanced 0.8 percent to $2,720 a ton at 10:28 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after reaching $2,731, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 8, 2011.

Orange-juice futures for November delivery increased 1.1 percent to $1.2915 a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for delivery in December slid 0.1 percent to $1.1435 a pound on ICE. Through yesterday, the price slumped 20 percent this year amid ample global supplies.

Green-coffee shipments from Brazil, the world’s top grower, rose 17 percent in September from a year earlier, exporters’ group Cecafe said yesterday after the close of trading.

“Traders remain bearish overall on coffee prices due to big supplies available and only light demand,” Jack Scoville, a vice president for Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a report.

Cotton futures for December delivery slipped 0.1 percent to 83.92 cents a pound. Raw-sugar futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to 18.51 cents a pound in New York.

- Isis Almeida in London and Marvin G. Perez in New York at Bloomberg.