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NEW YORK/LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE gained more than 2% on Friday, hitting their best level since mid-December, with oil prices continuing to surge on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rising energy prices can prompt cane mills in top producer Brazil to divert output from sugar to ethanol.

SUGAR

May raw sugar settled up 0.42 cent, or 2.2%, at 19.35 cents per lb after hitting the highest since Dec. 16 earlier in the session at 19.48 cents/lb. The contract gained 6.4% in the week.

Dealers said funds are buying sugar with the expectation that more Brazilian sugarcane will be diverted to ethanol as the Russia-Ukraine crisis continues to boost energy prices.

Brazilian oil company Petrobras, however, remained quiet about any fuel price increase.

Capping gains in sugar, a leading Indian trade body said that thanks to beneficial weather, India could export a record 7.5 million tonnes of sugar in the 2021/22 season, nearly 25% more than the previous estimate.

May white sugar rose $10.10, or 1.9%, to $532.30 a tonne.

COFFEE

May arabica coffee settled up 1.35 cent, or 0.6%, at $2.2425 per lb after dipping to a 3-1/2-month low of $2.2045. The contract lost 4.8% in the week.

Coffee is under pressure from fears that any global economic downturn linked to the Ukraine crisis could curb demand. There are also worries that sales to major buyer Russia could slow as sanctions bite.

Dealers also noted that some speculators, which hold a large long position in coffee, liquidated contracts to move to assets with higher potential for gains. May robusta coffee rose $25, or 1.2%, to $2,038 a tonne.

COCOA

May New York cocoa rose ??$58, or 2.3%, to $2,620 a tonne. The contract gained 1.3% in the week. Ghana’s cocoa arrivals since the season start on Oct. 1 to Feb. 10 stood at 430,000 tonnes, down 41.3% from the same period in the previous season, official figures show.

Top cocoa producer Ivory Coast will launch a pilot project in April to trace cocoa beans from farm to market, aiming to tackle issues such as deforestation and child labour. May London cocoa gained 42 pounds, or 2.5%, to 1,743 pounds per tonne.

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