March 9, 2018 / 12:44 PM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-London cocoa turns lower after setting 13-1/2 month high

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - London cocoa futures climbed to their highest level in more than one year on Friday before slipping back, while raw sugar was hovering just above an eight-month low set earlier this week.

COCOA

* May London cocoa was down 4 pounds, or 0.2 percent, at 1,769 pounds a tonne at 1228 GMT after touching a peak of 1,790 pounds, the highest for the second position since January 2017.

* Dealers said prices may suffer a short-term setback following the recent strong advance with technical indicators suggesting the market is heavily overbought.

* The run-up has been fuelled by technically-driven fund buying and a diminished outlook for production in Ivory Coast.

* “There is nothing new to add to the story we have already told this past week, with production in the Ivory Coast the main concern, where hot and dry weather has lowered production forecasts considerably,” INTL FCStone said in a market update.

* Ivory Coast’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) will suspend programmes for the 2018-19 season that boost cocoa output, it said on Friday, aiming to reduce production in the face of global oversupply.

* A scramble for quality cocoa has pushed prices of beans in Europe sharply higher and made the spot London futures contract suddenly more attractive to buyers, traders say.

* May New York cocoa was up $1, or 0.04 percent, at $2,495 a tonne.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar was off 0.01 cent, or 0.1 percent, at 12.88 cents per lb with the market hovering just above Wednesday’s low of 12.76 cents, the weakest for the front month since June 2017.

* Dealers said the market may be set for a second session of consolidation on Friday after falling sharply earlier in the week after a higher forecast for production in India added to concerns about excess supplies.

* May white sugar was unchanged at $356.70 a tonne.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) raised its forecast for domestic sugar supply as it increased expectations for a record crop and upped its forecast for imports from Mexico, the country’s top foreign supplier.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee was up 0.45 cent, or 0.4 percent, at $1.2075 per lb.

* May robusta coffee rose $11, or 0.6 percent, to $1,771 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by David Evans)

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