March 8, 2018 / 12:31 PM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar climbs off eight-month low, London cocoa near highs

LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures rose on Thursday, boosted by speculative short-covering after prices tumbled the previous day to their lowest in more than eight months, while London cocoa hovered near a one-year high.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar was up 0.26 cents, or 2 percent, at 13.05 cents per lb by 1211 GMT, having hit a session high of 13.11 cents.

* Dealers said the market was supported by speculative short-covering after prices tumbled nearly 5 percent on Wednesday to their lowest since June 2017.

* The sell-off came after an Indian trade body boosted its output forecast, triggering aggressive fund selling and producer pricing.

* While higher Indian production was widely expected, dealers noted the sharp upward revision signalled that the country could export to the world market sooner than expected.

* “All that production might not be such a problem for the rest of the world if it simply stayed in India,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Tobin Gorey.

* Dealers noted Thursday’s correction was fragile and that ample global supplies remained in focus.

* May white sugar rose $5.70, or 1.6 percent, to $359.80 a tonne.

COCOA

* May London cocoa was up 4 pounds, or 0.2 percent, at 1,731 pounds a tonne after touching a peak of 1,734 pounds.

* Speculative buying had helped prices climb to 1,741 pounds in the previous session. That was their highest since March 2017.

* The market has rallied sharply this week on the back of speculative short-covering amid signs of more modest production in top grower Ivory Coast.

* “There’s been a sudden change in sentiment,” said one dealer. “And the funds have exacerbated that.”

* Dealers said the mood remained upbeat on Thursday, boosted by slowing arrivals from Ivory Coast as the main crop winds down.

* However, gains were somewhat limited as the market remained at its most technically overbought level since 2008.

* May New York cocoa was up $4, or 0.2 percent, at $2,447 a tonne.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee was up 0.1 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $1.2085 per lb.

* May robusta coffee fell $1, or 0.1 percent, to $1,784 a tonne.

* Vietnam, the world’s top robusta producer, exported 129,893 tonnes (2.16 million 60kg bags) of coffee in February, down 35.3 percent from the previous month.

* Vietnam, the world’s top robusta producer, is expected to export 150,000 to 170,000 tonnes (2.5-2.8 million 60kg bags) of coffee in March, traders said on Thursday. (Reporting by Ana Ionova Editing by David Goodman)

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