August 25, 2017 / 11:20 AM / 2 years ago

SOFTS-Sugar extends climb on fund short covering, coffee also up

LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE rose to the highest level in almost three weeks on Friday, boosted by fund short covering, while coffee and cocoa prices also advanced.

London-based white sugar, robusta coffee and cocoa contracts will be shut on Monday for a public holiday in Britain.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar was up 0.07 cent, or 0.5 percent, at 14.09 cents per lb by 1106 GMT after peaking at 14.11 cents, the highest for the front month since Aug. 7.

* Dealers said the run-up in prices this week was triggered partly by news that Brazil will tax ethanol imports for the first time to protect local producers from growing shipments coming from the United States.

* “The duty increase is supportive for domestic ethanol prices in Brazil, which should see mills that have the flexibility, produce more ethanol at the expense of sugar,” ING said in a market note.

* Dealers said short covering by funds and other investors gave added impetus to the run-up in prices.

* “The tariffs were the ignition but probably only a small part of the fuel,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey, adding investors had been heavily short.

* October white sugar rose $1.50, or 0.4 percent, to $384.10 a tonne.

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee rose 0.95 cent, or 0.7 percent, to $1.2885 per lb, edging away from a six-week low of $1.2715 set on Thursday.

* Dealers were keeping a close watch on the prospects for Brazil’s 2018/19 harvest, an on-year in its biennial crop cycle, which is going into its flowering window.

* “The expectation for a bumper 2018/19 Brazil arabica crop could keep futures prices subdued but that crop has yet to flower,” Rabobank said in a market note, adding prices may be volatile during the flowering period.

* November robusta coffee rose $15, or 0.7 percent, to $2,082 per tonne.

* Peruvian farmers will likely harvest some 300,000 tonnes of coffee this year, 13 percent more than in 2016, the country’s main coffee association said on Thursday.

COCOA

* December London cocoa rose 23 pounds, or 1.5 percent, to 1,528 pounds a tonne.

* Dealers said the market was moving up towards the middle of this month’s range of 1,461 to 1,624 pounds but lacked any major upward momentum.

* December New York cocoa rose $29, or 1.5 percent, to $1,924 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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