September 4, 2017 / 12:13 PM / in 22 days

SOFTS-Robusta coffee slips on fund selling, white sugar steadies

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Robusta coffee futures on ICE slipped on Monday to their weakest in nearly three weeks, pressured by speculative selling in light volume, while sugar steadied after a sharp fall in the previous session.

New York soft commodities markets were shut due to a U.S. holiday and will reopen on Tuesday.

COFFEE

* November robusta coffee fell $21, or 1.02 percent, to $2,038 a tonne by 1158 GMT, the weakest for the second position since August 17.

* Dealers pointed to continued selling by funds after a negative close in the previous session, although they said the fundamental picture remained constructive.

* “The funds have decided to sell but we see the downside as limited,” said one dealer. “Exports from Vietnam have now started to slow and it’s going to be very tight up until the arrival of the next crop, which isn’t really before December shipment.”

* Participants were also closely monitoring the September expiry, with dealers noting the holders of the coffee seemed reluctant to deliver against the contract even though it is currently at a premium to the November position.

* “There is still quite sizeable open interest with no (large-scale) deliverers,” the dealer said.

* Coffee exports from Honduras rose nearly 94 percent in August compared with the same period last year, driven by a strong recovery in local output.

SUGAR

* October white sugar rose $2.40 or 0.7 percent, to $373.80 a tonne.

* Prices tumbled 4 percent on Friday, as technical weakness inspired a selling spree by momentum investors.

* Dealers said the bearish momentum had likely been over-done, although focus remains on a looming global surplus and an expected jump in EU output when it scraps its quota regime at the end of this month.

* “If you look at all the data that’s coming out of France and Germany and the rest of Europe - we’re seeing the production prospects edging ever higher,” said one dealer.

* Speculators switched to a net long position of 1,288 lots in white sugar as of Aug. 29, exchange data showed on Monday.

COCOA

* December London cocoa was up 5 pounds, or 0.3 percent, at 1,529 pounds a tonne.

* Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast had reached around 1.966 million tonnes by Sept. 3, a 35 percent increase on last season, exporters estimated on Monday. (Reporting by Ana Ionova, editing by Ed Osmond)

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