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LONDON: Sugar, coffee and cocoa futures on ICE were lower on Monday, weakened by concerns that a new coronavirus variant could stall a recent rebound in demand.

SUGAR

March raw sugar fell 0.7% to 19.21 cents per lb by 1524 GMT with prices far below a 4-1/2 year high of 20.69 cents set earlier this month.

Dealers said there remained significant concerns that the new Omicron coronavirus variant could lead to a global economic slowdown and curb demand for sugar.

Funds have also been scaling back long positions, a trend expected to be confirmed by Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data due for release later on Monday.

March white sugar fell 0.7% to $498.10 a tonne.

COFFEE

March arabica coffee fell 3.5% to $2.3445 per lb. The market had climbed to a 10-year high of $2.4820 last week.

Dealers said a pullback in prices was to be expected after the market’s recent strong advance.

Prices remain underpinned, however, by tightening supplies following delays to shipments from Brazil driven partly by a shortage of container shipping capacity.

January robusta coffee fell 2% to $2,262 a tonne.

Vietnam’s coffee exports in the first 11 months of this year are expected to show a 4.4% drop from a year earlier to 1.36 million tonnes, government data released on Monday showed.

COCOA

March London cocoa fell 0.4% to 1,651 pounds a tonne, drifting down towards a four-month low of 1,650 pounds set on Friday.

Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast had reached 667,000 tonnes by Nov. 28 since the start of the season on Oct. 1, exporters estimated on Monday, down 9.9% from 740,000 tonnes over the same period last season.

March New York cocoa was down 0.4% at $2,386 a tonne.

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