Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa posted the biggest gain in more than two weeks on signs that a global shortage of the chocolate ingredient will persist. Cotton reached a six-week high. Coffee and orange juice rose, while sugar fell.
Global cocoa harvests may trail consumption by as much as 200,000 metric tons in the next couple of years, Steve Haws, the president of Commodities Risk Analysis, said yesterday at a conference in New York. Stockpiles at facilities tracked by ICE Futures U.S. have fallen 10 percent this year to the lowest since June 2011.
“As long as the global deficit in cocoa is expected to continue, we should see cocoa prices continue to rise,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures and Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in an e-mail.
Cocoa for March delivery jumped 1.8 percent to settle at $2,803 a ton at 11:56 a.m. on ICE in New York, the biggest increase since Nov. 18. The commodity surged 25 percent in 2013.
Cotton futures for March delivery climbed 2 percent to 80.41 cents a pound on ICE, after reaching 80.52 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 24.
The U.S. jobless rate fell to a five-year low in November as employers added more workers than forecast, while the nation’s gross domestic product grew more than expected in the third quarter, separate reports showed. By Nov. 26, money managers and other large speculators boosted their net-long position, or bullish wagers, by 48 percent, according to government data. Inventories of the fiber at ICE warehouses have slipped to the lowest in six weeks.
“We’ve had good macroeconomic data, including the employment numbers today and yesterday’s strong GDP numbers,” Sharon Johnson, a senior market specialist specialist at KCG Futures in Roswell, Georgia, said in a telephone interview. “This is pointing to higher demand for apparel and cotton in particular. Nobody saw the decrease in stockpiles coming so fast and this speaks well of demand in the cash market. The funds will be encouraged to add more longs.”
Arabica-coffee futures for delivery in March rose 0.4 percent to $1.064 a pound.
Orange-juice futures for January delivery added less than 0.1 percent to $1.3805 a pound in New York.
Raw-sugar futures for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to 16.59 cents a pound. This week, the sweetener posted a decline of 3.3 percent, the seventh in a row, and the longest weekly slump since May 2012.
--With assistance from Luzi Ann Javier in New York. Editors: Thomas Galatola, Joe Richter