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NEW YORK/LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Friday, with investors encouraged by gains in wider financial markets to snap up bargains after prices hit their lowest in 3-1/2 weeks during the previous session.

Cocoa prices hit two-week highs while coffee fell.

SUGAR

March raw sugar settled up 0.24 cent, or 1.3%, at 18.23 cents per lb, having hit the lowest level since Jan. 10 on Thursday at 17.77 cents.

Dealers said sugar will struggle to claw its way above 19 cents because of good crop prospects in key producers India and Thailand, as well as expectations that even top producer Brazil’s crop is set to recover from adverse weather last year.

“Whether the bottom was reached yesterday remains to be seen but there appeared little desire to drive prices lower in the short term. Nevertheless, the market remains weak with the funds looking elsewhere for opportunities,” said a sugar broker.

March white sugar rose $6.00, or 1.2%, at $498.50 a tonne.

COCOA

May New York cocoa closed up $34, or 1.3%, to $2,724 a tonne after touching its highest since Jan. 20 at $2,732.

Cocoa is gaining ground thanks to growing concerns over hot, dry weather in top producer Ivory Coast and good signals on the demand side.

Cocoa arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast reached 1,330 millions tonnes between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, down 0.5% from the same period last year, official data showed.

Cocoa processing in Brazil, the world’s fifth largest chocolate consumer, has recovered from the pandemic and the industry projects a grinding increase of up to 5% in 2022.

March London cocoa rose 14 pounds, or 0.8%, to 1,768 pounds per tonne.

COFFEE

March arabica coffee fell 2.05 cents, or 0.8%, at $2.4185 per lb????.

Dealers said good rains in top producer Brazil have improved prospects for the current crop, which was heavily damaged by adverse weather last year.

However, arabica remains underpinned by the slow pace of exports from Brazil and declines in ICE certified stocks.

ICE stocks fell again on Friday by more than 23,000 bags to 1.11 million bags, heading towards the lowest level in 20 years.

May robusta coffee fell $7, or 0.3%, at $2,213 a tonne.

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