Cocoa climbed to the highest level since 2011 in London as chocolate makers stepped up purchases just as arrivals from the main crop in leading producer Ivory Coast are starting to tail off. Sugar advanced.
Bean deliveries to Ivory Coast ports were estimated 16% higher from the start of the season on 1 October through 9 February compared with a year earlier, according to KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. That’s less than the 36% advance as of 5 January.
“Ivory Coast is gathering its main crop and the smaller of two annual harvests, known as the mid-crop, starts in about April. While a good mid-crop is possible, more rain is needed,” Jack Scoville, a vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a report on Tuesday. “There’s some industry buying in the market,” Jerome Jourquin, head of agricultural derivatives at broker Aurel BGC in Paris, said by e-mail on Wednesday.
Cocoa for delivery in March advanced 0.8% to £1,875 ($3,097) a metric tonne by 12:38 pm on NYSE Liffe in London. The price touched £1,879 a tonne, the highest for a most-active contract since 8 September 2011. In New York, cocoa for delivery in May rose 1.3% to $2,966 a tonne, after touching $2,969, the highest since 7 September, 2011.
Bean deliveries to Ivorian ports were estimated at 1.066 million tonnes as of 9 February, KnowledgeCharts data showed. “Rain in Ivory Coast and some lighter showers in Ghana this week may have disrupted the harvest,” MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in a report e-mailed on Tuesday. The weather in cocoa growing areas of West Africa will be mostly dry, with rain forecast for 15 February, according to MDA.
Candy sales for Valentine’s Day celebrated on 14 February will rise to a record $1.057 billion in the US according to projections from the National Confectioners Association in Washington. “Chocolate makes up about 75% of the total,” said Susan Whiteside, an NCA spokeswoman. Spending on gifts for the occasion will rise 2.2% to $133.91 per person on average this year, with about half of the romantics buying candy, the National Retail Federation in Washington forecasts.
Robusta coffee for delivery in May slid 0.3% to $1,804 a tonne NYSE Liffe. Arabica coffee for delivery in the same month fell 0.5% to $1.388 a pound on ICE. Arabica futures trading volumes were more than six times higher than the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Cold fronts will reach coffee growing areas in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, starting 15 February,” Somar Meteorologia said in a report e-mailed on Wednesday. Rainfall will cover Parana, Sao Paulo and southern parts of Minas Gerais until 20 February. That may help ease dryness in the region that sent coffee prices 8.4% higher last week.
White, or refined, sugar for delivery in May gained 0.6% to $436.50 a tonne in London. Raw sugar for delivery in the same month rose 0.4% to 15.80 cents a pound in New York.