September 6, 2017 / 6:53 PM / 20 days ago

SOFTS-ICE raw sugar rises on Hurricane Irma worries, cocoa retreats

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

NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on worries that Hurricane Irma could hurt cane in key regions, while robusta coffee hit its lowest in at least three months.

New York cocoa fell on speculative selling.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar settled up 0.26 cent, or 1.9 percent, at 14.29 cents per lb.

* Worries about Hurricane Irma possibly hitting growing regions in the Caribbean and Florida helped boost prices, traders said.

* The hurricane could potentially impact sugar production directly or sugar prices through oil and ethanol prices, said James Liddiard, analyst at Agrilion Commodity Advisors in New York.

* Sugar prices often track energy prices as petroleum is a key input cost and millers can divert cane to sugar or ethanol.

* “While no one is forecasting the demise of these crops, there could be some impact to production and facilities. A direct hit to Florida would also cause further dollar weakness,” added James Cassidy, a director at Societe Generale in New York.

* India’s plans to allow 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar imports continued to support prices, said Peter Mooses, senior market strategist with RJO Futures in Chicago.

* October white sugar settled up $3.10, or 0.8 percent, at $380.60 per tonne.

COFFEE

* November robusta coffee settled down $24, or 1.2 percent, at $1,945 per tonne, after hitting a session low of $1,914, the weakest for the second position since May 25.

* Demand remained weak and supply high, both pressuring prices, but lows were limited, Mooses said.

* “Most of our studies are showing that we can be reaching oversold levels,” Mooses added.

* September robusta, which is currently in a delivery period, settled down $18, or 0.9 percent, at $1,965 per tonne.

* December arabica coffee settled up 0.05 cent, or 0.04 percent, at $1.279 per lb.

COCOA

* December New York cocoa settled down $29, or 1.49 percent, at $1,917 per tonne, after hitting a session low of $1,888.

* Technical factors and speculative selling drove prices down Wednesday, said Nick Gentile, managing partner for NickJen Capital in New York.

* “Prices failed above $2,007 yesterday, and when we failed that, it gave the specs a little more incentive to sell again. So today they’re still selling,” Gentile said.

* Ivory Coast brought in a record cocoa crop of 2 million tonnes, President Alassane Ouattara said on Wednesday.

* December London cocoa settled down 29 pounds, or 1.9 percent, at 1,490 pounds per tonne, its lowest since Aug. 21. (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Ana Ionova in London; editing by David Clarke and Chizu Nomiyama)

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