NEW YORK/LONDON: Coffee and sugar prices settled lower on Wednesday, dragged down by losses elsewhere in commodity markets linked to an escalation in a trade conflict between the United States and China.
September arabica coffee settled down 2.75 cents, or 2.4 percent, at $1.1205 per lb, but remained well above last week's 4-1/2-year low of $1.0690 per lb.
"It's had a good recovery (from last week's low). But it's really up to the funds and what they want to do. And with the trade wars going on, commodity markets are down generally," one European dealer said.
September robusta coffee settled down $33, or 1.9 percent, at $1,672 per tonne.
Dealers said the robusta market was weighed down by early hedging by Vietnamese producers, which was being met with thin buying interest.
"The increase in availability of robusta supply is also pressuring prices," said Judy Ganes of J Ganes Consulting.
Dealers said speculators, who hold a large net short position in the market, were still driving activity.
"Really, any rally is going to be fueled by fund short-covering at this stage," the dealer said. "Industry has bought quite a lot on the way down so they're not going to be too excited about buying it at these levels."
October raw sugar settled down 0.12 cent, or 1.1 percent, at 11.29 cents per lb.
Losses were briefly trimmed following a report issued by Brazil cane industry group Unica before the market resumed its slide and set a fresh session low.
Mills in Brazil's center-south region crushed 45.306 million tonnes of cane in the second half of June, cane industry group Unica said on Wednesday.
The proportion of cane used to produce ethanol rather than sugar was slightly higher than expected at 62.3 percent, dealers said. A survey of analysts issued by S&P Global Platts had forecast ethanol's share of the crush would be 60.8 percent.
October white sugar settled down 80 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $331.30 per tonne.
September New York cocoa settled down $21, or 0.8 percent, at $2,480 per tonne.
The market was awaiting second-quarter grind data for Europe on July 16 and North America on July 19, dealers said. A year-on-year rise of about 3 percent is anticipated in Europe while the North America grind may be flat.
September London cocoa settled down 8 pounds, or 0.4 percent, at 1,808 pounds per tonne.