October 19, 2017 / 10:52 AM / in a month

SOFTS-Robusta prices climb as rains set to delay Vietnam harvest

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Robusta coffee futures on ICE rose to a four-week high and the nearby premium widened on Thursday as rains in Vietnam looked set to delay the harvest.

COFFEE

* November robusta coffee rose $27, or 1.35 percent, to $2,027 per tonne by 1040 GMT after peaking at $2,035, a four-week high for the front month.

* Dealers noted the front month’s premium had risen to around $60. The last time it was around current levels was in November 2016.

* The harvest in Vietnam, the top robusta producer, is due to start around mid-November.

* Dealers said any delays to shipments from Vietnam would heighten concern about tight nearby supplies.

* “It has been raining and it looks like it is going to rain for another week or so out there. The more days it rains the more shipments get delayed so there is a time squeeze,” one London dealer said.

* December arabica coffee rose 1.10 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $1.2540 per lb.

* Dealers said the arabica market was supported by short covering and technically-driven buying after the December contract found support at $1.23 on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar was up 0.01 cent, or 0.1 percent, at 14.09 cents per lb.

* Dealers said the the market was underpinned by the prospect of an early end to the harvest in top producer Brazil.

* Raízen Energia SA, the world’s largest sugar maker, ended 2017-18 cane crushing at its Santa Helena mill, in Brazil’s main cane belt, on Tuesday, ahead of the original schedule, a source with knowledge of the company’s operations told Reuters on Wednesday.

* December white sugar was up $0.70, or 0.2 percent, at $371.00 a tonne.

COCOA

* December London cocoa was up 5 pounds, or 0.3 percent, at 1,565 pounds a tonne.

* The market was awaiting third-quarter cocoa grind data from North America later on Thursday and from Asia on Friday.

* Traders pegged North America’s grind about 2-3 percent higher, while the grindings in Asia were seen up about 10 percent.

* December New York cocoa was up $12, or 0.6 percent, at $2,079 a tonne.

* Ghana’s cocoa regulator Cocobod is in talks with Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) to secure a $500 million loan to overhaul the sector and protect against global price volatility, two senior officials said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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