May 11, 2018 / 11:59 AM / 7 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar prices ease on oversupply, arabica also lower

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE were slightly lower on Friday with concerns about oversupply keeping the market on the defensive, while arabica coffee prices also eased.

SUGAR

* July raw sugar was down 0.06 cents, or 0.5 percent, at 11.21 cents per lb by 1148 GMT.

* Dealers said the strong early start to the harvest in Brazil had added to concerns about oversupply.

* Brazil’s centre-south, the world’s largest sugar producing region, crushed almost 50 percent more cane in April, the first month of the 2018/19 local crop season, than it did a year earlier, as dry weather accelerated field work.

* “It is more sugar (from Brazil) and with India looking to have record production next year it is not surprising the market is down,” one dealer said.

* Dealers said producers were slowly revising down the price at which they would be willing to sell.

* “Any rally is going to be sold (by producers) which is keeping a cap on the market,” the dealer added.

* August white sugar fell $2.10, or 0.65 percent, to$321.30 a tonne.

* The United States will produce nearly 9 million short tonnes of sugar in 2018/19, the lowest in two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its first forecast for the crop year on Thursday.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee fell 0.35 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $1.1920 per lb.

* Dealers said the market was keeping a close watch on Brazil’s real currency with its rebound on Thursday helping the market recover ground after falling to a two-week low of $1.1835 per lb.

* July robusta coffee rose $4, or 0.2 percent, to$1,747 a tonne.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa was up $11, or 0.4 percent, at$2,773 a tonne.

* A bearish target zone of $2,641-$2,692 per tonne remains unchanged for New York July cocoa as suggested by a projection analysis and a triangle, according to Reuters market analyst for commodities technicals Wang Tao.

* July London cocoa fell 9 pounds, or 0.5 percent, to 1,922 pounds a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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