September 11, 2017 / 7:14 PM / in 2 months

SOFTS-Raw sugar settles higher on Hurricane Irma worries in Cuba

(Recasts, updates prices; adds comment, adds NEW YORK to dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE settled up on Monday on worries that the crop was damaged in Cuba by Hurricane Irma over the weekend.

Arabica coffee settled higher as concerns about dry weather continued in top-grower Brazil.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar settled up 0.2 cent, or 1.4 percent, at 14.29 cents per lb.

* December white sugar settled up $2.60, or 0.7 percent, at $378.30 per tonne, after dropping to its lowest since Aug. 23.

* Concerns about the impact of Hurricane Irma on the sugar crop in Cuba drove prices up, said Michael McDougall, director of commodities for Societe Generale.

* “It’s going to take some time to assess crop damage. But it’s still early, so the question is ‘can they repair it before harvest,'” he added.

* Prices dropped to 13.80 cents per lb in early trade, likely because of fund-selling, McDougall said.

* World sugar prices are now seen as below ethanol parity in top-grower Brazil, which should convince mills to switch more of their production away from the sweetener, dealers said.

* “A stronger real should keep Brazilian sugar away from the market for now,” McDougall said.

* The Brazilian real’s gains tend to support prices of dollar-traded commodities.

* The market shrugged off a stronger dollar index, said Nick Gentile, managing partner of NickJen Capital in New York. A stronger greenback would typically lead to weakening foreign demand.

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee settled up 1.2 cent, or 0.92 percent, at $1.3185 per lb.

* November robusta coffee settled down $9, or 0.5 percent, at $1,951 per tonne.

* The September contract, which is in a delivery period, settled down $7, or 0.4 percent, at $1,972 a tonne.

* Participants were monitoring weather in top-grower Brazil, after drier-than-normal weather moved through much of the coffee belt in early September, said Kenny Miller of MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

* “That’s not going to help the flowering. The record crop that we’re supposed to have next year might not be as big as we think,” Gentile said.

* The drier weather caused speculator short-covering, Gentile added. COCOA * December New York cocoa settled up $1, or 0.05 percent, at $1,934 per tonne. * December London cocoa settled down 1 pound, or 0.07 percent, at 1,476 pounds per tonne. * Improving demand, mainly in Europe and Asia, boosted prices, said Peter Mooses, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Ana Ionova in London; Editing by Jon Boyle and Steve Orlofsky)

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