March 1, 2018 / 12:16 PM / a year ago

SOFTS-London cocoa climbs to three-month high as sterling slips

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - London cocoa futures rose to a three-month high on Thursday, buoyed by a weak British currency and diminished crop prospects in top grower Ivory Coast.


* May London cocoa was up 4 pounds, or 0.25 percent, at 1,586 pounds a tonne by 1201 GMT, having climbed to a three-month high of 1,589 pounds.

* Sterling fell against the dollar as nervous investors sold the pound ahead of more Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union and an eagerly awaited speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday.

* Dealers said the market’s recent advance had also been fuelled by reduced prospects for Ivory Coast output.

* Ivory Coast’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) has sold forward more main-crop export contracts than the world’s top grower is now expected to produce, two senior officials with the marketing board told Reuters on Thursday.

* The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) on Wednesday forecast there would be a global cocoa surplus of 105,000 tonnes in the 2017/18 season (October/September).

* May New York cocoa fell $9, or 0.4 percent, to $2,209 a tonne.


* May raw sugar was off by 0.05 cents, or 0.4 percent, at 13.33 cents per lb by 1127 GMT, falling back slightly after the previous session’s strong advance.

* The International Sugar Organization (ISO) on Thursday raised its forecast for a projected global sugar surplus in 2017/18 (October/September) to 5.15 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 5.03 million.

* The ISO said in a quarterly report that early indications pointed towards a high probability that the surplus phase in the sugar cycle would last for at least one more season.

* “We still believe that the current fundamental picture does not look promising and a sustained rise in world market values seems rather unlikely,” the ISO said.

* Trade houses Alvean and Wilmar International have scooped up about 742,500 tonnes of raw sugar against the March futures contract on ICE that expired on Wednesday, three traders said.

* May white sugar fell $1.20, or 0.3 percent, to $360.10 a tonne.


* May robusta coffee rose $35, or 2 percent, to $1,759 a tonne.

* Dealers said the robusta market was finally beginning to find support after falling for six consecutive sessions.

* The strong pace of exports from top producer Vietnam has contributed to the market’s recent decline.

* May arabica coffee was little changed at $1.2205 per lb. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt Editing by David Goodman)

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