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Markets

Raw sugar hits 1-1/2 month low; coffee, cocoa also weaken

  • May raw sugar fell 1.1% to 15.70 cents per lb.
  • May arabica coffee fell 0.5% to $1.2950 per lb, having slid 2.7% on Thursday.
Published March 19, 2021

LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE hit their lowest since late January on Friday, as concerns the COVID-19 pandemic is not under control made funds wary. Coffee and cocoa also fell.

SUGAR

May raw sugar fell 1.1% to 15.70 cents per lb at 1226 GMT, its weakest since late January.

Dealers said the upsurge in coronavirus cases in Europe has given the funds pause for thought, and they might reassess their exposure to commodities in the short term.

The premium for May sugar over July has narrowed to its weakest since last October, indicating improved nearby supply.

Potentially bearish for sugar should it gain popularity, chocolate sweetened with cocoa fruit pulp and no added sugar is about to hit supermarket shelves with food giant Nestle ready to launch its "Incoa" bar.

May white sugar fell 0.8% to $452.40 a tonne.

COFFEE

May arabica coffee fell 0.5% to $1.2950 per lb, having slid 2.7% on Thursday.

The Brazilian real weakened versus the dollar, giving back some of its gains from earlier this week after the country's central bank delivered its first interest rate hike in nearly six years.

A weaker real encourages Brazilian exporters to sell dollar-priced coffee by raising their returns in local currency terms.

May robusta coffee fell 0.4% to $1,381 a tonne.

"The high Brazilian Robusta crop that is anticipated is one reason why Robusta in recent months has performed somewhat more weakly than Arabica coffee, where the crop is predicted to slump by up to 30%," said Commerzbank.

COCOA

May London cocoa fell 1.7% to 1,694 pounds per tonne as funds cut their commodity exposure.

Dealers said cocoa should come under pressure going forward given top producer Ivory Coast is behind with its forward sales by some 700,000-800,000 tonnes.

May New York cocoa slid 2% to $2,500 a tonne.

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