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LONDON: Raw sugar prices on ICE steadied on Friday as traders priced in surging supplies in top producers India and Thailand, and temporarily parked worries over lofty oil prices.

Rising energy prices usually boost sugar as they tend to prompt cane mills in top producer Brazil to divert output away from sugar towards ethanol, a cane-based biofuel.

May raw sugar rose 0.3% to 18.74 cents per lb at 1333 GMT. Dealers noted India looks on course to produce a record 34 million tonnes of sugar this season, which would wipe out the expected global sugar deficit. The Thai harvest meanwhile is 28.5% higher than this time last year.

The two factors point to lower sugar prices, they said, but countered that the uncertainty created by the Russia-Ukraine conflict could keep sugar prices within the range seen over the past three sessions.

Oil prices were set for a second straight weekly loss, but found a floor above $100 a barrel on Friday after volatile trading this week with no easy replacement for Russian barrels in sight.

Imports of sugar into China, a top buyer, fell 5.3% in February to 410,000 tonnes, data showed. May white sugar rose 0.9% to $530.70 a tonne.

May London cocoa rose 0.4% to 1,730 pounds per tonne. May New York cocoa rose 0.9% to $2,559 a tonne. New York March cocoa may retest a support at $2,483 per tonne, as the drop from $2,710 looks incomplete, according to Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao.

May arabica coffee rose 0.5% to $2.1720 per lb, having lost 0.6% in the previous session. Consultancy Safras & Mercado projected Brazil’s new coffee crop for 2022/23 at 61.1 million 60-kg bags, near the high end of estimates’ range so far.

May robusta coffee rose 1.1% to $2,163 a tonne, having hit its highest since late February earlier at $2,166.

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