LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE edged up on Friday, boosted by light speculative buying and upbeat broader markets, while robusta coffee prices set a new two-month low as worries about plentiful supplies persisted.
* March raw sugar was up 0.08 cent, or 0.6 percent, at 12.72 cents per lb by 1159 GMT, after rising to a session high of 12.77 cents per lb.
* Dealers said prices were boosted by follow-through speculative buying, after a late-session wave of short-covering on Thursday wiped out some of the market’s earlier losses.
* Broader markets also lent some support, as the US dollar softened and oil prices edged higher after Russia indicated a larger output cut.
* However, sugar prices remained technically vulnerable after failing to close above the 10-day moving average, dealers said.
* Traded volumes remained thin as market participants were also still awaiting fresh fundamental signs on global output.
* “Focus continues to swing from worrying about surplus sugar to the coming better-balanced supply-demand outlook,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agri strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Whether that can translate into substantially higher prices is another question.”
* March white sugar rose $1.30, or 0.4 percent, to $342.90 a tonne.
* March robusta coffee was down $1, or 0.06 percent, at $1,562 a tonne after earlier touching $1,556 a tonne, its lowest since early October.
* The focus remained on top grower Vietnam, which is in the midst of harvesting a massive crop.
* March arabica coffee rose 0.45 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $1.0640 per lb, consolidating after touching its lowest in more than two months on Thursday.
* Both arabica and robusta have been under pressure from speculative selling in recent sessions, partly inspired by expectation of ample supplies going forward.
* “All the signs point to a very high Brazilian coffee crop next year, too,” Commerzbank said in an update, noting Brazil could see record output for a low-yield year in the two-year crop cycle.
* March New York cocoa was up $11, or 0.5 percent, at $2,139 a tonne, pulling away from an eight-week low of $2,095 set earlier this week.
* March London cocoa rose 4 pounds, or 0.3 percent, to 1,574 pounds a tonne.
* The global cocoa market will see a supply surplus of 71,900 tonnes in the current 2018/19 year, on the back of last year’s smaller surplus, Connecticut-based brokerage JSG Commodities said on Thursday.