August 31, 2017 / 11:59 AM / 2 years ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar climbs on light buying, London cocoa steadies

LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Thursday as speculative buying helped lift prices, while London cocoa regained some ground as a weaker British pound lent support.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar was up 0.14 cents, or 1 percent, at 14.05 cents per lb by 1145 GMT.

* The climb marked a recovery after prices tumbled sharply from three-week highs this week on the back of technical selling.

* Friendly chart signals lent support on Thursday, after prices climbed over 14 cents and spurred light short-covering.

* Speculators have also been rolling forward their short positions out of the October contract and into the March one, dealers said.

* Upward momentum was limited by sales by Brazilian mills, who have been seeking to hedge their sugar.

* “When the funds do cover, they run into the Brazilians pricing so the market can’t really rally,” said one dealer. “We’re capped on that side.”

* October white sugar fell $0.40, or 0.1 percent, to $379.20 a tonne.

* Egypt’s strategic stocks of sugar stand at over 1 million tonnes, the supply ministry said in a statement on Thursday, enough to cover the country’s needs through January, when local sugar cane production begins.

COCOA

* December London cocoa was up 10 pounds, or 0.7 percent, at 1,527 pounds a tonne, after hitting a session high of 1,535 pounds as the British pound weakened.

* The market was also technically supported, after gaining a foothold above the short-term moving average.

* “Futures have been well bid below the 10 (day moving average) in recent weeks, suggesting demand for prices at this level,” said Sucden Financial technical analyst Geordie Wilkes.

* December New York cocoa rose $3, or 0.2 percent, to $1,927 a tonne.

* Both markets slumped in the previous session, pressured by a wave of selling by funds.

COFFEE

* November robusta coffee rose $2, or 0.1 percent, to $2,077 a tonne.

* Traders in Vietnam said the upcoming coffee crop looked healthy as sufficient rainfall supported tree growth, with one trader expecting output to rise 15 percent compared to this season.

* December arabica coffee fell 0.20 cents, or 0.16 percent, to $1.28 per lb. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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