September 27, 2017 / 12:23 PM / in 3 months

SOFTS-White sugar climbs off 2-year lows, arabica coffee slips

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - White sugar futures on ICE edged higher on Wednesday, climbing off 2-year lows touched a day earlier as producers and funds took a breather from a selling spree.

SUGAR

* December white sugar was up $2.70, or 0.8 percent, at $358.30 a tonne by 1140 GMT, after hitting a session high of $361.40.

* Prices plunged to their lowest since September 2015 in the previous session on a wave of selling, dealers said.

* “The market is primarily being beaten up by the amount of hedging that’s going into it,” said one dealer. “European producers have got sugar they don’t need. And the funds have also been selling it.”

* Lack of follow-through selling and light short-covering on Wednesday helped prices firm, although volumes were thin and appetite remained subdued.

* Brazilian mills which can produce both refined and raw sugar have also recently switched more production to the latter due to the depressed white sugar premium, dealers noted.

* March raw sugar was up 0.05 cents, or 0.4 percent, at 13.96 cents per lb.

* Prices fell to their lowest since Aug. 17 on Tuesday amid forecasts for rain in Brazil, which would benefit the cane crop after a recent dry spell.

* Dealers said light short-covering was lifting prices on Wednesday, although a stronger dollar was capping gains.

* Low raw sugar prices are expected to convince more Brazilian mills to divert additional cane into ethanol in the months ahead.

* Sucden sees Brazil’s centre-south region producing 34.5 million tonnes of sugar in the 2018/19 season, versus 35.8 million tonnes in 2017/18.

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee was down 0.90 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $1.3495 per lb in thin volume.

* Prices fell to a two-week low of $1.3085 in the previous session before late-day buying led to a partial recovery before the close.

* However, the focus remained on forecasts for crop-friendly rains in Brazil, which are expected to benefit coffee trees.

* November robusta coffee fell $4, or 0.2 percent, to $1,995 a tonne.

COCOA

* December New York cocoa rose $11, or 0.6 percent, to $1,982 a tonne.

* December London cocoa was up 4 pounds, or 0.3 percent, at 1,477 pounds a tonne.

* Ivory Coast is expected to set the minimum price paid to farmers at between 750 and 800 CFA francs ($1.38-$1.47) per kilogram for the 2017/18 main crop, sources said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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