November 20, 2017 / 1:06 PM / in 20 days

SOFTS-Raw sugar falls as short-covering rally ebbs

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures fell more than 2 percent as a short-covering rally ran out of steam on Monday while coffee and cocoa prices also moved lower.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar fell 2.3 percent to 15.02 cents per lb by 1223 GMT, having touched a 5-1/2 month high for the front month at 15.46 cents on Friday.

* Speculators’ net short position in raw sugar futures and options was reduced sharply in the week to Nov. 14, taking net shorts to their lowest in more than five months, data showed on Friday.

* “The CFTC data was very bearish, funds got out of the large net short position they were holding. The risk of a short-covering rally is not there anymore so the market is falling,” said Carlos Mera, senior commodities analyst at Rabobank.

* Limiting the market’s losses was the switch to using more cane to produce ethanol rather than sugar in Brazil, which could reduce the size of an expected global surplus in the 2017/18 season.

* March white sugar fell 1.4 percent to $388.20 a tonne.

* The U.S. government on Friday increased its sugar surplus forecast for 2017/18 to 10 million tonnes - a third higher than its May prediction.

* As soon as more reports of good production in the likes of India and the EU become available, the surge above the 15 cent mark could come to an abrupt end, Commerzbank said in a note.

COFFEE

* January robusta coffee was down 0.4 percent at $1,817 a tonne.

* March arabica coffee fell by 0.4 percent to $1.2680 per lb.

* Speculators reduced their bearish stance in arabica coffee in the week to Nov 14, taking it off the previous week’s record, data showed on Friday.

* Brazil will harvest and export less coffee than expected in the 2017-18 marketing year after arabica production in the world’s biggest producer fell and shipping issues reduced exports.

COCOA

* March New York cocoa fell 1.2 percent to $2,105 a tonne, well below last week’s 10-month high of $2,226.

* March London cocoa fell 1.2 percent to 1,588 pounds a tonne.

* Speculators turned to a bullish position in cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Nov. 14, after holding a net short position for the past year, data showed on Friday.

* “We saw a short-covering rally drive the market higher but once that finished, it fell back,” one London-based dealer said.

“I see prices consolidating from here. There’s a lack of fundamental input to give the market fresh impetus, so it’s tracking sideways overall.”

Editing by David Goodman

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