Cocoa prices ended 2018 with strong gains, leading generally firmer agricultural markets, but the year marked falls for most major commodities as increasing global economic uncertainty hit metals and oil. Worries about slackening growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy, and trade talks between Washington and Beijing will be the main focus in the new year, analysts said, while oil markets fear a growing oversupply. “We had a dramatic decline in the crude oil market as global supplies are rising, not just the United States but also Saudi Arabia and Russia,” said Phin Ziebell, senior economist at National Australia Bank, who covers agriculture, oil and gas markets. “[However] agriculture markets, cocoa and wheat, in particular have had a strong performance, which has been driven by fundamentals,” he said. London cocoa prices climbed almost 30% in 2018, recovering from six-year lows, as dry weather in top producer Ivory Coast boosted speculative fund inflows, though supply i...

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