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Markets

Raw sugar slips as Omicron, inflation fears unnerve global markets

  • March arabica coffee fell 0.4% to $2.3585 per lb
  • March London cocoa edged up 0.1% to 1,718 pounds per tonne
  • March raw sugar had fallen 1.3% to 19.15 cents per lb
17 Dec, 2021

LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE hit a near two week low on Friday as fears over global inflation and the fast spreading Omicron coronavirus variant unnerved global markets.

Sugar

March raw sugar had fallen 1.3% to 19.15 cents per lb by 1245 GMT, having hit its lowest since Dec. 6 at 19.12.

Dealers said sugar is stuck in an 18.50-20.50 range, with concerns over dry weather in top producer Brazil and slowing exports from India underpinning prices, but with Omicron fears capping gains.

Brazil's center-south 2021/22 sugar production is expected to reach 32 million tonnes, down from about 38.5 million tonnes in the previous cycle, as adverse weather conditions hit the current sugarcane crop, industry group Unica said.

March white sugar fell 1% to $499.60 a tonne.

Coffee and sugar prices rise as commodities climb

Cocoa

March London cocoa edged up 0.1% to 1,718 pounds per tonne, having hit a 1-1/2 month high on Thursday.

A week-long strike by dockers in Ivory Coast's two main ports of Abidjan and San Pedro could hurt cocoa bean exports from the world's top cocoa producing nation after workers blocked access to the ports on Friday.

Dealers said concerns about weak chocolate consumption amid renewed COVID-19 movement restrictions were capping cocoa's gains.

March New York cocoa was flat at $2,547 a tonne.

Coffee

March arabica coffee fell 0.4% to $2.3585 per lb. The market climbed last week to a 10-year peak of $2.5235.

Dealers noted top producer Brazil has seen soaking rain across the vast coffee growing areas this month. Further rains are forecast for the remainder of the month.

Brazil's coffee crop reached 47.7 million 60-kg bags this year, down 24.4% from the record output seen in 2020, government agency Conab said on Thursday.

March robusta coffee rose 0.9% to $2,320 a tonne.

The weather has been becoming drier in top robusta producer Vietnam, allowing the harvest to proceed, but an upcoming storm, if it hits the key growing region, could disrupt bean drying and hurt quality.

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