June 5, 2012 / 6:22 PM / 5 years ago

SOFTS-Cocoa hits 2-week high

 * Cocoa surges partly on talk of disease in Nigeria
 * Macro factors to keep softs on defensive
 * British holiday thins soft commodities business

 (Adds closing prices of sugar, coffee and cocoa.)	
 By Rene Pastor	
 NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures ended at a 2-week
high on Tuesday amid talk that a crop disease may have struck a
leading producer of the commodity, while raw sugar rose and
arabica coffee futures declined as business remained subdued by
a holiday in Britain.	
 London financial markets are closed as the UK celebrates
Queen Elizabeth's 60th year on the throne. The markets there
reopen on Wednesday.	
 Investors will continue to suffer from jangled nerves due to
the euro zone debt crisis and the prospect of weak growth in the
world's economic drivers -- the United States and China.	
 "The global macro situation will keep investors a little
skittish," said Sterling Smith, vice president of commodity
research at Citibank's Institutional Client Group in Chicago. 	
 July cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. rose $69, or 3.3
percent, to close at $2,163 per tonne, the highest spot
settlement since May 22, Thomson Reuters data showed.    	
 Smith said the market could have received a boost from talk
that No. 4 producer Nigeria may be suffering from cocoa canker.
The disease destroys the pods where cocoa beans form and can
seriously reduce production in affected countries.	
 "This was enough to get cocoa turned around. That could
tighten supplies a little bit," Smith said.     	
 Traders said cocoa also ran into a short-covering spurt that
hoisted spot July above $2,100.	
 Raw sugar rose and arabica coffee declined in largely quiet
 The July raw sugar contract on ICE gained 0.16 cent
to close at 19.06 cents per lb. 	
 Demand from Muslim countries booking orders before the holy
fasting month of Ramadan next month buoyed the sweetener,
traders said.	
 "Ramadan demand should keep us above 19 cents," one said.	
 Arabica coffee declined late but held above the two-year low
of $1.5465 per lb hit during the previous session.	
 The July arabica coffee contract on ICE dropped 2.25
cents, or by 1.4 percent, to end at $1.562 per lb.	
 (Editing by Dale Hudson and Carol Bishopric)	

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