February 9, 2018 / 1:09 PM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar resumes advance, arabica coffee and cocoa ease

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures rose on Friday, resuming its advance after a setback the previous session, while arabica coffee and cocoa prices were slightly lower.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar was up 0.10 cent, or 0.7 percent, at 13.68 cents per lb at 1234 GMT with the market on track for a third consecutive weekly gain.

* Dealers said March had moved to a small premium to May LSU-1=R making it less attractive to hold onto supplies.

* White sugar’s premium to the raw product, a measure of the profitability of refining, remained weak although prices rose slightly on Friday.

* “The futures continue to offer little by way of incentive to carry or refine raw sugar,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey said in a market note.

* March white sugar rose $3.60, or 1.0 percent, to $354.40 per tonne, rebounding slightly after setting a contract low of $349.90 a tonne on Thursday.

* India is considering scrapping the 20 percent export duty on sugar, the country’s food minister said on Friday, as the government tries various ways to lift prices of the sweetener amid expectations of a surge in production this marketing year.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee was down 0.05 cents, or 0.04 percent, at $1.2280 per lb.

* Dealers said selling by Brazilian producers had helped to halt the recent run-up in prices with a large crop expected this year in the world’s top grower.

* Brazil exported 2.327 million 60-kg bags of green coffee in January, down 5.1 percent from a year earlier, exporters association Cecafé said on Friday, adding that this had been expected.

* “We believe exports will continue at a slow pace until the new harvest starts coming in,” said Cecafé President Nelson Carvalhaes. adding Brazil was expecting a good crop this season after abundant rains.

* March robusta coffee was up $7, or 0.4 percent at $1,800 a tonne.

COCOA

* March New York cocoa fell $16, or 0.8 percent, to $2,018 a tonne with the contract on track for a weekly loss for the first time this year.

* Dealers said a short covering rally appeared to have stalled against a backdrop of plentiful global supplies with a second consecutive global surplus generally expected in the 2017/18 season.

* Ecobank, in a report on Friday, forecast an Ivory Coast cocoa crop this season of 1.9 million tonnes, marginally below last season’s estimate of 2.0 million.

* The bank also forecast an average cocoa price of $1,950 a tonne in 2018.

* May London cocoa was down 5 pounds, or 0.3 percent at 1,455 pounds a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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