LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE were lower on Friday, weakened by losses in crude oil and many other commodity markets, while coffee and cocoa prices also fell.
* March raw sugar was down 0.07 cent, or 0.6 percent, at 12.36 cents per lb by 1439 GMT, drifting back towards a 2-1/2 month low of 12.26 cents set on Tuesday.
* Dealers said weakness in energy prices remained a bearish influence with Brent crude oil falling to the lowest level since September 2017 on Friday. * Lower energy prices diminish the competitiveness of ethanol in top grower Brazil, bolstering concerns that mills may switch more production from the biofuel back to sugar.
* A decline in global equity markets linked to concerns about economic growth also contributed to weakness in commodity markets.
* Dealers said the prospect of exports from India in coming months continued to keep a lid on prices.
* “The global sugar market is set to tighten, returning to deficit in 2019/20, driven by falling crop prospects in a number of regions," ING said in a report on Friday.
“However, before then the market will have to deal with the threat of a significant amount of Indian sugar making its way on the world market."
* March white sugar slipped $1.30, or 0.4 percent, to $338.10 a tonne.
* March arabica coffee fell 1.85 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $1.0065 cent per lb. The contract dipped to a three-month low of 98.60 cents on Wednesday.
* Dealers said the harvesting of a huge crop in top producer Brazil this year had ensured the market remained well supplied.
* “Brazil has shipped 16.67 million bags in July-Nov which is a record for the first five months of the crop year. Were it not for logistical challenges at the ports, the total would have been higher still," Marex Spectron said in a report.
“Bean size and cup quality of the Brazil crop is excellent. This will compete with lower grade Centrals and leave excess supply to flow to the board later in the crop year."
* March robusta coffee was down $22, or 1.4 percent, at $1,502 a tonne.
* March London cocoa was down 18 pounds, or 1.1 percent, at 1,667 pounds a tonne.
* March New York cocoa fell $49, or 2.2 percent, to $2,222 a tonne.