LONDON: London cocoa futures on ICE consolidated near record highs on Friday following disappointing data on demand in North America, while robusta coffee hit 3-1/2-week peaks as dealers await beans from Vietnam’s harvest.

COCOA

March London cocoa rose 0.9% to 3,202 pounds a metric ton at 1409 GMT, after setting a record high of 3,205 pounds on Thursday. Plants in North America processed 17.9% less cocoa in the third quarter versus a year ago, industry data showed. Brokers and analysts were expecting a fall of 8-14%.

Dealers expect the data could cause the market rally to pause, but not for long because industry cover is tight and a third successive supply deficit is widely expected this season.

Also, cocoa demand in Europe, Ivory Coast and Brazil has held up well in the face of high prices, while the fall in Asian third-quarter demand was not as severe as expected. December New York cocoa rose 0.7% to $3,673 a ton.

COFFEE

January robusta coffee rose 3.4% to $2,4845 a ton, having hit a 3-1/2-week high of $2,485. Premiums for 5% black and broken-grade 2 robusta in top robusta producer Vietnam remained high this week at $200-$400 a ton as supply from the new season will not be available until next month, traders said.

December arabica coffee rose 0.9% to $1.6530 per lb. Colombia, the world’s top washed arabica supplier, will close this year with production of 11.6-12.0 million 60-kg (130-pound) bags, ending three years of output falls, the national coffee federation said.

Exporters are reporting delays in coffee shipments from top producer Brazil due to the tight availability of trucks and containers. Meanwhile, ports are strained because record volumes of soy, corn and sugar need to be moved.

SUGAR

March raw sugar fell 1.1% to 27.01 cents per lb. December white sugar fell 1.1% to $730.00 a ton.

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