May 22, 2018 / 5:51 PM / in 3 months

SOFTS-Raw sugar at five-week high on India buffer stocks plan

(Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE extended gains to reach the highest in more than five weeks on Tuesday, with the market underpinned by news that No. 2 grower India could build up government stockpiles of the sweetener in a move that could curb exports.

SUGAR

* July raw sugar settled up 0.05 cent, or 0.4 percent, at 12.15 cents per lb, after rising to 12.29 cents, the highest since April 13.

* Total open interest rose to the highest since February 2008 at 1,036,966 lots on Monday, when the spot contract rallied 3.8 percent, its biggest one-day jump in 2018, ICE data show.

* Prices extended the prior session’s gains on support from news in India, where the government will build stockpiles of sugar to cut a surplus in the market, two official sources said on Tuesday.

* “This should also reduce the volume of Indian sugar that we could see exported onto the world market. We had been expecting India to export up to 3 million tonnes over the 2017-18 season,” ING said in a market note.

* August white sugar settled up $3, or 0.9 percent, at $343 per tonne.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa settled down $26, or 1 percent, at $2,589 per tonne, after falling to a five-week low at $2,575.

* The recent decline has been driven by funds scaling back long positions against the backdrop of favorable weather in Ivory Coast, improving the outlook for the 2017-18 mid-crop in the world’s top grower.

* July London cocoa settled down 6 pounds, or 0.3 percent, at 1,857 pounds per tonne.

* Ivory Coast cocoa grinders processed 2 percent more beans in the first seven months of the 2017-18 crop year than the same period a year ago, data from exporters’ association GEPEX showed.

* Meanwhile, Barry Callebaut plans to boost the annual grinding capacity of its facilities in Ivory Coast, CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said on state-owned broadcaster RTI.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee settled up 0.65 cent, or 0.5 percent, at $1.2085 per lb.

* Arabica futures were supported by the firm Brazilian real versus the U.S dollar, traders said.

* Reports of light frost in isolated parts of Brazil, where dry conditions have weakened trees in some areas, spurred some short-covering, traders said.

* July robusta coffee settled down $5, or 0.3 percent, at $1,790 per tonne.

* Swiss commodities trader Sucafina picked up a large chunk of robusta coffee stocks tendered, sources told Reuters. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; editing by David Goodman and Marguerita Choy)

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