February 8, 2018 / 6:54 PM / in 6 months

SOFTS-Cocoa climbs on short-covering, sugar slips on ample supplies

 (Rewrites throughout; updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK
dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE rose
on Thursday, lifted by speculative short-covering, while
position rolling out of the spot contract boosted volume in the
New York market.
    Sugar prices fell amid worries over ample global supplies,
with the raws dropping 3 percent after breaking below
chart-based support.
      
    COCOA  
    * May New York cocoa        settled up $23, or 1.1 percent,
at $2,060 per tonne, trading within the prior session's range
and holding above the 200-day moving average at $2,015.
    * Volume was heavy due to heavy position rolling out of
March        into May, traders said.
    * Dealers pointed to speculative short-covering and the firm
British pound        versus the U.S. dollar as key supportive
factors.         
    * "We have seen a reaction to the swings in currency," said
one dealer. "And short-covering is the main form of the game
from the speculators."
    * March London cocoa         settled up 12 pounds, or 0.8
percent, at 1,460 pounds per tonne.

    SUGAR
    * March raw sugar        settled down 0.42 cent, or 3
percent, at 13.58 cents per lb, but remained well within this
week's trading range.
    * Prices extended losses after falling below technical
support at 13.7 cents, traders said.
    * Total open interest dropped sharply from last week's
10-year high, falling by 36,737 in three sessions to 915,746
contracts on Wednesday, ICE data show.
    * May white sugar         settled down $8.30, or 2.3
percent, at $357.10 per tonne.
    * The move widened the March contract's discount under May
LSUH8-K8 to a three-month low at $6.10 versus $4.40 on
Wednesday, potentially indicating a lack of nearby demand.
    * Prices were pressured by a bearish fundamental picture
amid a surge of output from the European Union, Thailand, India
and Pakistan this season. 
    * The premium of front-month white sugar over raw sugar
LSU-SB1=R fell as low as $49.42 per tonne, the weakest since
September.
    * "The whites premium remains stubbornly weak," said Nick
Penney, senior trader at Sucden Financial. "Further forward, the
premium is even weaker, which is impacting on refiners' margins
and reflects the availability of lower quality whites." 
        
    COFFEE
    * March arabica coffee        settled down 0.45 cent, or 0.4
percent, at $1.2285 per lb, in heavy volume due to position
rolling into May       , traders said.
    * Prices were pressured by a falling Brazilian real       ,
which attracts producer selling. 
    * March robusta coffee         settled up $7, or 0.4
percent, at $1,793 per tonne.
    * Dealers said robusta prices remained vulnerable to
producer hedging, with one estimating Vietnamese farmers have
sold forward up to 30 percent of their crop so far.

 (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Ana Ionova in
London; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jonathan Oatis)
  
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