March 28th, 2013

Cocoa futures climbed for a third day in London and New York, and the gains may be capped as Ghana still has to sell more beans. Robusta coffee fell for a fifth day.

Cocoa has climbed the past three days on buying by speculators because the market is “still considered tight,” Kona Haque, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London. Cocoa demand may be equal to or slightly above production this season, she said.

“Every time the market tries to rally we get into Ghana selling,” Haque said by phone today. “Speculators are pushing the market higher.”

Cocoa futures for May delivery climbed 0.6 percent in New York to $2,162 a metric ton by 7:41 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. Prices are down 3.3 percent in New York this year and up 1.7 percent in London. Beans trade in pounds in London and dollars in New York.

Ghana, the second-largest producer, has capped rallies when New York prices climbed to about $2,160 a ton, Haque said.

There is no correlation between prices and Easter, Eric Sivry, head of agriculture options brokerage at Marex Spectron Group in London, said on Bloomberg TV’s The Pulse today. Most of the chocolate eaten over the weekend was produced a few months ago, he said.

“Cocoa prices are being driven essentially by the macro picture at the moment,” he said. “Demand in western economies is pretty stable and it’s better in emerging economies.”

Raw sugar dropped 0.3 percent in New York and arabica coffee gained 0.4 percent. Robusta coffee declined 0.7 percent to $2,040 a ton. White, or refined, sugar fell 0.7 percent to $505 a ton in London.

- Claudia Carpenter in London at Bloomberg.