Cocoa Falls in London on Speculation Ivory Coast’s Exports Will Continue

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Cocoa fell in London on speculation that shipments will continue from Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, even after the European Union froze assets belonging to the country’s ports.

Assets of 11 economic bodies and 85 individuals were frozen, Reuters reported Jan 15. They included the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, from which most of the cocoa exported by the West African nation is shipped.

“It will mean that much more cocoa will go to Ghana,” the second-biggest grower, said Gary Mead, an analyst at VM Group in London. Exports of the chocolate ingredient would “get out eventually,” he said.

Cocoa for March delivery slid 19 pounds, or 0.9 percent, to 1,987 pounds ($3,155) a metric ton at 10:15 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. ICE Futures U.S., where cocoa, raw sugar and arabica coffee trade in New York, is closed today for the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

Tensions have escalated in Ivory Coast as President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to step down in favor of Alassane Ouattara, who is recognized by the national electoral commission, the United Nations and the U.S. as the winner of an election in November. Ouattara on Jan. 14 called for the use of force to remove Gbagbo from power.

White, or refined, sugar for March delivery added $1.10, or 0.1 percent, to $774.10 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Sugar output in Maharashtra, India’s biggest producer, climbed 12 percent in the season that began Oct. 1. Mills produced 3.3 million tons until yesterday, compared with 2.94 million tons a year ago, data from the Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation Ltd. show.

Robusta coffee for March delivery rose $9, or 0.4 percent, to $2,133 a ton in London.

(Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-17/cocoa-falls-in-london-on-speculation-ivory-coast-s-exports-will-continue.html)

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