June 20, 2012 / 9:09 AM / 7 years ago

SOFTS-ICE coffee, sugar, cocoa dip, await Fed

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee and raw sugar futures on ICE eased in thin volumes on Wednesday, as investors waited to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve will adopt further monetary stimulus to help counter faltering economic growth.

Cocoa futures dipped with dealers focused on forecasts for potential El Nino weather conditions which could cut prospects for the 2012/13 crop, and tracked main crop development in West Africa, the world’s top cocoa producing region.

COFFEE

* Arabica coffee futures were slightly lower in early trade, trading above Monday’s two-year low.

* September futures were down 1.25 cent or 0.8 percent at $1.5755 per lb at 0846 GMT. On Monday, the second month fell to $1.5010, the lowest level for the benchmark since June 2010.

* New York July coffee KCN2 is expected to rise to $1.6105 per lb, as indicated by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci retracement analysis, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

* Robusta futures on Liffe eased, with September down $13 or 0.6 percent at $2,088 a tonne.

* Coffee exports from Central America, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and the Dominican Republic rose 5.8 percent in May from the same month last year, reaching 2.89 million 60-kg bags in the month.

* Starbucks Corp on Tuesday laid out its expansion plans for Latin America, where the world’s biggest coffee chain sources the majority of its coffee beans.

SUGAR

* Raw sugar futures on ICE eased, consolidating this week’s gains, supported by worries over the impact of wet weather on the harvest and export flows from top producer Brazil.

* Rain in southern Brazil is extending ship lineups at the country’s largest agricultural commodities ports Santos and Paranagua, where more than 250 vessels are waiting to unload or load fertilizers, grains, sugar and other cargoes, the authorities said on Tuesday.

* July’s premium to October SB-1=R remained firm, standing at 0.73 cent, as dealers eyed wet weather forecasts which could further delay Brazil’s harvest progress.

* July raw sugar futures were down 0.21 cent or 1 percent at 21.36 cents a lb.

* London August white sugar was down $1 or 0.2 percent at $610.20 per tonne.

* Premiums for Thai J-spec raw sugar stayed at their strongest level in nearly a year this week despite a rebound in New York futures, with dealers saying demand from Japanese buyers was limited as they continued to wait for bargains.

* New York July sugar SBN2 will extend its Tuesday gain to a range of 21.93-22.14 cents per lb, as it has broken above a resistance zone of 21.17-21.21 cents, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

* The U.S. ethanol industry is hunkering down for another spell of deep losses, with a second producer temporarily shutting a Nebraska plant on Tuesday as diminishing corn supplies and lackluster gasoline demand crush profit margins.

COCOA

* Cocoa futures on ICE edged down in thin volumes, as dealers monitored forecasts for the El Nino weather phenomenon. Dealers also tracked main crop development in West Africa.

* ICE September cocoa futures were down $13 or 0.6 percent at $2,222 a tonne.

* New York second-month cocoa will revisit its Monday low at $2,175 per tonne, as a drop from the June 15 high of $2,271 is far from complete, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

* Liffe September cocoa futures were down 2 pounds or 0.1 percent at 1,521 pounds per tonne.

* Cocoa farmgate prices in Ivory Coast’s growing regions were stable to lower last week, supported by grinders seeking beans but pressured by exporters put off by deteriorating quality, farmers and buyers said on Tuesday.

OTHER MARKETS

* European shares and the euro steadied on Wednesday, pausing after strong gains, as investors waited to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve will adopt further monetary stimulus to help counter faltering economic growth. (Reporting by Sarah McFarlane; editing by James Jukwey)

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