July 13, 2017 / 12:05 PM / in 2 months

SOFTS-Cocoa gains on short-covering, white sugar prices also rise

LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE rose on Thursday, lifted by short-covering on a positive technical view and an uptick in chocolate demand, while white sugar gained ahead of expiry this week.

COCOA

* September New York cocoa was up $41, or 2.25 percent, at $1,862 a tonne by 1104 GMT, with dealers saying positive technical signals had inspired some short-covering.

* “We were somewhat oversold, so we were always vulnerable to a little bit of short covering,” one dealer said. “And you’re seeing the demand side of things looking a little bit more robust, which is probably supportive.”

* Global demand figures, released as part of Barry Callebaut earnings on Thursday, showed appetite for chocolate may finally be picking up.

* September London cocoa rose 28 pounds, or 1.93 percent, to 1,482 pounds a tonne, ahead of a contract expiry on Friday.

* The front-month July contract briefly flipped to a premium to October, with dealers closely monitoring the spread for further indications of physical demand.

* Ghana is seeking Swiss support to process more of its own cocoa beans in the face of price volatility, President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Wednesday.

SUGAR

* August white sugar climbed $9.40, or 2.31 percent, to $415.80 a tonne ahead of a contract expiry on Friday.

* The front-month premium over the October contract also strengthened, with dealers pointing to expectations of tighter deliverable supplies in the summer months, especially from Central America.

* October raw sugar rose 0.13 cents, or 0.96 percent, to 13.62 cents per lb, extending gains from the previous session when the Brazilian real helped lift prices.

* “The Brazilian real’s gains are a helping hand,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Tobin Gorey said. He noted mills still have the “production dial set up to maximum sugar” as it remains more appealing than ethanol.

* Egypt expects to produce 2.6 million tonnes of beet and cane sugar during this year’s harvest and aims to import less than last year’s amount of 800,000 tonnes, an agriculture ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

COFFEE

* September robusta coffee was up $26, or 1.24 percent, at $2,123 per tonne.

* September arabica coffee rose 1.10 cent, or 0.86 percent, to $1.2870 per lb.

* In Vietnam, grade 2 robusta was offered at a $10 discount to the September futures contract, narrowing slightly from a $20 discount last week, but few deals were struck as good beans were scarce. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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