Cocoa Futures End Lower on Crop Estimates

By Julie Wernau Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cocoa futures dropped for a third-straight session Monday as cocoa production estimates in West Africa have been coming in above expectations.

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Cocoa for March delivery fell 1.9% to end at $2,003 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, the lowest close since Sept. 28.

"The price decline today as well as the weak close last week is concerning for the bulls/longs in the market," said Peter Mooses, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

Mr. Mooses said the main pressure on the market is production ideas in West Africa, the world's largest growing region. Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's largest producers, are rumored to have 10% declines in their output compare to last season but expectations were for steeper production declines.

In other markets, arabica coffee for March lost 0.8% to end at $1.285 a pound. The price difference between low-grade and "old coffee" and fine coffee has recently been the tightest in 60 years, said Rodrigo Costa at Comexim. The situation, caused by exporters running to cover their needs and roasters seeking alternatives in front of another small robusta crop, made the market attractive for what he calls "coffee collectors" to release stocks of nonfresh beans.

The firm estimates that 2.635 million bags were in stocks at the end of June and that next year stockpiles will be down to 1.035 million bags.

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Raw sugar for March delivery rose 0.5% to end at 15.06 cents a pound, frozen concentrated orange juice for January was off 0.6% at $1.618 a pound and March cotton lost 1% to end at 72.58 cents a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 04, 2017 19:08 ET (00:08 GMT)