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Raw sugar prices hit highest in nearly 3-1/2 years

  • March raw sugar was up 3% at 15.97 cents per lb.
  • March arabica coffee fell 1.5% to $1.2825 per lb.
  • March New York cocoa rose 1.4% to $2,572 a tonne.
Published January 4, 2021
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LONDON: ICE raw sugar futures hit their highest in nearly 3-1/2 years on Monday, the first trading day of the year as funds bet the roll out of coronavirus vaccines would ultimately lift the global economy.

SUGAR

March raw sugar was up 3% at 15.97 cents per lb at 1326 GMT, having hit a high of 15.92 cents.

The contract gained 15.4% last year, with the International Sugar Organization forecasting a global deficit of 3.5 million tonnes in the 2020/21 season..

Dealers said investors were starting the year with a lot of money earmarked for commodities such as sugar, adding that while there would be producer selling, it will likely be limited.

Sugar supplies are tightening at the moment as top producer Brazil is between harvests, Indian export flows can not make up for the delay seen earlier in the season, and production in Thailand remains disappointing.

Indian sugar mills produced 11 million tonnes of sugar in the first three months of the 2020/21 marketing year that began on Oct. 1, up 42% from a year earlier, a leading trade body said.

March white sugar was up 2.9% at $432.90 a tonne, having hit its highest in nearly a year. The contract gained 17.2% last year.

Ukrainian sugar refineries have produced 1 million tonnes of white sugar in the 2020/2021 season which began on Sept. 1.

COFFEE

March arabica coffee fell 1.5% to $1.2825 per lb, having hit a near four-month high earlier.

The front month lost 1.1% last year due to a huge crop in top producer Brazil, though the prospect of a smaller crop this year is helping underpin prices.

March robusta coffee fell 0.6% at $1,378 a tonne. The contract ended the year little changed.

Indonesia's Lampung province on Sumatra island exported 15,300 tonnes of robusta coffee beans in December, down 11% from a year earlier.

COCOA

March New York cocoa rose 1.4% to $2,572 a tonne. The contract posted a gain of 2.5% last year, boosted partly by a decline in certified exchange stocks.

Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast reached 1.124 million tonnes between Oct. 1 and Jan. 3, exporters estimated, down 4.9% from the same period last season.

March London cocoa rose 1.4% to 1,700 pounds per tonne. The contract posted a loss of 4.5% last year.

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