February 9, 2018 / 6:50 PM / 6 months ago

SOFTS-Spot raw sugar premium jumps to five-week high over May contract

 (Recasts; updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Spot raw sugar futures
rose on Friday, sharply lifting the March contract's premium
over May to a five-week high as position rolling dominated
    New York cocoa steadied after earlier pressure from the weak
British pound. The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity
Index           fell for the sixth straight session.    
    * March raw sugar        settled up 0.09 cent, or 0.7
percent, at 13.67 cents per lb, and marked its third consecutive
weekly gain.
    * March moved to a premium as high as 0.13 cent over May
SBH8-K8, from a 0.01 discount the prior session, potentially
indicating nearby demand as the March contract nears expiry at
the end of the month. 
    * May white sugar         settled up $1.40, or 0.4 percent,
at $358.50 per tonne.
    * The front month, which expires on Tuesday, had an open
interest of 14,080 lots at the close of business on Thursday.
    * "It seems unlikely with three sessions to go the delivery
will be large," said Tom Kujawa, co-head of the softs department
at Sucden Financial.

    * May New York cocoa        ended the session flat at $2,060
per tonne but closed the week down 1.2 percent, its first weekly
loss this year.
    * Dealers said a short covering rally appeared to have
stalled as the market traded within the prior session's range
for the second straight session, amid forecasts for a second
consecutive global surplus in 2017-18.           
    * 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.
    * March London cocoa         settled up 8 pounds, or 0.6
percent, at 1,468 pounds per tonne.

    * May arabica coffee        settled down 1.1 cents, or 0.9
percent, at $1.238 per lb. 
    * Selling by producers in top-grower Brazil prevented
stronger gains, traders said, with a large 2018-19 crop
expected. Meanwhile, January exports from there were down.
    * "We think that lower Brazilian production in the biennial
'off-year' and strong demand should support the prices of
arabica and robusta coffee this year," said Capital Economics in
a note, calling for arabica prices to reach $1.40 and robusta
$1,900 per tonne by the end of 2018.
    * May robusta coffee         settled up $1, or 0.06 percent,
at $1,769 per tonne.

 (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Nigel Hunt in
London; editing by Ed Osmond and Cynthia Osterman)
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