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Markets

ICE cocoa futures fall 2pc on smaller grind volumes; sugar also down

  • Arabica coffee futures were mixed, while raw sugar closed down in a wild session with prices moving in both directions.
  • December arabica coffee settled down 0.1 cent, or 0.1%, at $1.095 per lb.
16 Oct 2020

NEW YORK/LONDON: ICE cocoa futures closed 2% down on Thursday as grind data from Europe showed a near 5% reduction on volumes as the pandemic continues to curb demand in mature markets.

Arabica coffee futures were mixed, while raw sugar closed down in a wild session with prices moving in both directions.

COFFEE

December arabica coffee settled down 0.1 cent, or 0.1%, at $1.095 per lb.

Dealers noted forecast rains in Brazil should improve the outlook for crops in the world's top producer although recent dry condition remain a concern considering possible impact for next year crop.

"Increasing chances for showers, especially in the southern region, will be favourable to flowering this week. Stressed soils should be eased but more moisture is needed to reverse stress," weather service Maxar said in a daily update.

November robusta coffee settled up $14, or 1.1%, at $1,264 a tonne.

Coffee plants in Vietnam suffered no harm from the tropical storm sweeping through the country, traders said on Thursday.

COCOA

December New York cocoa settled down $48, or 2.0%, to $2,343 a tonne.

December London cocoa settled down 4 pounds, or 0.2%, to 1,632 pounds per tonne, hovering just above a seven-week low of 1,628 pounds set on Wednesday.

Dealers noted the European cocoa grind showed a year-on-year decline of 4.7% in the third quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic curbed demand.

The third quarter grind for North America is due to be issued later on Thursday. Traders expect a drop on volumes between 2% and 5%.

"I believe the (North America) data will be bearish, as the Asian data was, but I think it's priced in. We are also sitting on some support in the December contract so unless the data really surprises, I think prices will stay near this week's range," said Peter Moses, senior market strategist for RJO Futures in Chicago.

SUGAR

March raw sugar settled down 0.02 cents, or 0.1%, at 14.18 cents per lb in a session with large swings as the market seeks new direction after the recent rally.

Dealers noted uncertainty about India's export policy continued to constrain selling while the outlook on prices charts remained supportive despite this week's modest setback from Monday's peak.

December white sugar settled up $1.30, or 0.3%, at $388.20 a tonne.