LONDON: London cocoa futures on ICE hit their highest in six months on Friday amid bets on a potential drop in production in the upcoming 2021/22 season, while raw sugar and arabica coffee prices fell.

COCOA

December London cocoa was up 0.6% to 1,807 pounds per tonne at 1209 GMT. Dealers said hedge buying was underpinning cocoa amid an expected decline in production in top producing region West Africa during the 2021/22 season that begins next month.

Fitch Solutions said in a note the demand pick-up in cocoa was slow relative to other agricultural commodities due to its reliance on a travel sector still constrained by coronavirus restrictions.

December New York cocoa rose 1.4% to $2,648 a tonne.

SUGAR

October raw sugar fell 0.5% to 19.80 cents per lb.

October white sugar was little changed at $488 a tonne.

Sugar is consolidating after hitting a 4-1/2 year high last month, dealers said, noting weak demand as indicated by spot month raws and whites futures trading at a wide discount to those further out.

They added, however, that the sweetener still had a bullish bias, with strong consensus the market will see a deficit in the upcoming 2021/22 season thanks to falling output in top producer Brazil following adverse weather.

Power was restored at the Chalmette Refinery in Louisiana that was shut last week due to Hurricane Ida, and production should restart over the weekend, said owner ASR Group.

COFFEE

December arabica coffee fell 0.4% to $1.9365 per lb.

November robusta coffee rose 0.4% to $2,065 a tonne, having set a four-year high of $2,092 on Wednesday. “Uncertainties regarding supply from (top arabica producer) Brazil are elevated at a time when exports out of (top robusta producer) Vietnam are constrained by an ongoing large COVID-19 wave and a container shortage,” said Fitch Solutions.

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