LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE hit a five-month low on Thursday, pressured by improving supply prospects in growing regions while risk-off sentiment prevailed in wider financial markets.
Coffee and cocoa also fell.
March raw sugar dipped 0.1% to 18.33 cents per lb at 1350 GMT, having hit its lowest since early August at 18.23 cents.
Dealers noted that both the Thai and Indian harvests are going well and there have been ample rains in recent weeks across Brazil’s sugar-growing areas.
They added expectations are growing that the market might be balanced rather than in deficit this season and funds should continue to sell if wider markets remain under pressure.
March white sugar was up 0.1% at $488.80 a tonne.
March robusta coffee fell 0.4% to $2,310 a tonne, extending its retreat from a 10-year high of $2,384 set in late December.
Dealers said that robusta was under pressure from top robusta producer Vietnam’s harvest, which is progressing well.
Coffee prices in Vietnam fell this week as supply chain disruptions and high shipping costs hurt demand while output was steady as the main harvest continues.
March arabica coffee fell 1.1% to $2.2925 per lb??. Arabica rose nearly 4% on Tuesday and hit 10-year highs in December.
Attention is fixed on the 2022 crop in top producer Brazil, with forecasts due after industry crop visits. The arabica crop, development of which was hurt by drought and frosts last year, will start to be harvested in April.
March New York cocoa fell 0.9% to $2,435 a tonne, having hit a 1-1/2 week low on Wednesday.
March London cocoa fell 0.5% to 1,668 pounds per tonne after hitting a 2-1/2 week low on Wednesday.
Dealers said cocoa was under pressure after reports the government and striking dock workers in No. 2 cocoa producer Ghana are due to enter negotiations.