September 26, 2017 / 11:22 AM / in 3 months

SOFTS-Raw sugar hits five-week low as Brazil rains awaited

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE fell to a five-week low on Tuesday, weighed down partly by producer selling, as the market waited to see if forecast and much-needed rains in top producer Brazil would materialise in the next few days.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar was down 0.18 cents, or 1.25 percent, at 14.17 cents per lb by 1109 GMT, reversing course after hitting a session high of 14.47 cents.

* Dealers said forecasts for crop-friendly rains Brazil had triggered a speculative sell-off in the last few days.

* Dealers said light corrective buying initially lifted prices on Tuesday, although hedging by Brazilian producers was halting the rebound.

* “The weight of producer selling basically is overwhelming the market,” said one trader. “And the fundamental picture still points to a very large surplus.”

* The October contract was down 0.23 cents, or 1.7 percent, at 13.51 cents ahead of its expiry on Friday, with dealers noting appetite to take delivery seemed subdued.

* “If the spread weakens by 10-15 points, then somebody may appear,” the dealer said. “But at the moment, it’s not particularly enticing.”

* December white sugar was down $1.70, or 0.5 percent, at $360.50 a tonne.

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee was up 0.30 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $1.3185 per lb at 0934 GMT, hovering just above a two-week low of $1.3135 set on Monday.

* Dealers said the market was waiting to see if rains forecast for late September and early October in Brazil materialise. The prospect of much-needed rains has helped to drive prices down during the last few days.

* Most Brazil coffee areas are suffering from a long dry spell that has caused trees to lose leaves and could result in poor flowering, a key phase to determine the size of next year’s crop. Farmers and coffee cooperatives are already saying production in 2018 will not be as large as previously expected.

* November robusta coffee fell $7, or 0.35 percent, to $1,999 a tonne.

* Farmers earn so little from coffee that many are likely to abandon their trees, endangering future supplies at a time of surging demand, the head of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Monday.

COCOA

* December New York cocoa rose $3, or 0.15 percent, to $1,975 a tonne as the market continued to lack a clear trend ahead of the start of the main crop season in top grower Ivory Coast at the beginning of October.

* December London cocoa was up 3 pounds, or 0.2 percent, to 1,473 pounds a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt and Ana Ionova; editing by David Clarke)

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