Cocoa Futures Pare Gains

By Julie WernauFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

New York cocoa futures pared gains in late trade Thursday as the market eyed surplus supplies from one crop and estimated losses for the next crop.

Cocoa for March was up 0.5% to end at $2,140 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, its first gain in four sessions after rising as high as $2,152 a ton earlier.

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Cocoa traders have been looking ahead to expectations for 2017-18 following a record surplus in the last crop year at 371,000 tons, according to the International Cocoa Organization.

BMI Research is the latest to release a bullish estimate for the current season, with expectations that low prices in growing regions due to excess supply pushed farmers to reduce spending on fertilizer and pesticides, lowering yields. The firm expects a 14% reduction in cocoa production in 2018.

Commerzbank said shipments of cocoa for export in Ivory Coast have been sluggish, down 108,000 tons at 830,000 tons.

On the demand side, third-quarter European cocoa grindings, used as a proxy for demand, were 3% higher versus the same quarter last year. North American cocoa grindings rose 0.7% to their highest level in three years, and in Asia grindings were up 12.9%.

March raw sugar ended up 1.1% at 15.26 cents a pound, March arabica coffee ended flat at $1.3015 a pound, January frozen concentrated orange juice closed up 1.9% at $1.661 a pound and March cotton closed up 0.5% at 69.18 cents a pound.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 16, 2017 17:58 ET (22:58 GMT)