LONDON: London cocoa futures on ICE rose to a 2-1/2 month high on Friday, buoyed by signs that demand is continuing to pick up after dipping in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
March London cocoa rose 1.5% to 1,759 pounds a tonne by 1410 GMT after peaking at 1,760 pounds - the highest level for the front month since Oct. 25.
Asia’s fourth quarter cocoa grind, a key indicator of demand, rose 6.33% year-on-year to 231,309 tonnes, data from the Cocoa Association of Asia showed on Friday.
The fourth quarter European grind is due to be released on Jan. 19 and the North American grind on Jan. 20.
March New York cocoa was up 1.5% at $2,648 a tonne.
March robusta coffee fell 1% to $2,215 a tonne.
Dealers said that a pick-up in shipments from top robusta producer Vietnam had helped ease concerns about short-term supply tightness while exchange stocks have begun to creep up.
Valid ICE robusta stocks stood at 97,290 tonnes at Jan. 12, up marginally from 97,120 tonnes a week earlier.
March arabica coffee was down 0.2% to $2.3655 per lb.
March raw sugar rose 0.3% to 18.14 cents per lb. The front month has slowly regained some ground after falling to a 5-1/2-month low of 17.60 cents on Monday.
Dealers noted the upside appeared limited, however, with improving production outlooks for Thailand and India likely to temper any bullish sentiment related to China. Analyst Green Pool on Friday cut its forecast for China’s sugar production in 2021/22 to less than 10 million tonnes and added that an elevated risk of frost because of the La Nina weather event made for further downside potential. March white sugar edged up by 0.02% to $497.40 a tonne.