April 11, 2018 / 11:27 AM / 5 months ago

SOFTS-White sugar hits new 2-1/2 year low, cocoa turns higher

LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - White sugar futures on ICE fell further on Wednesday, touching their lowest in more than 2-1/2 years as ample supplies from India and Thailand weighed on sentiment, while cocoa edged up.

SUGAR

* August white sugar was down $2.10, or 0.6 percent, at $333.90 by 1108 GMT, after falling to a fresh low of $332.30, the weakest for the second position since August 2015.

* Dealers said the market remained pressured by ample global supplies, with particular focus on India and Thailand.

* India is mulling a subsidy in a bid to make sugar exports viable, which would add pressure to a global market already grappling with excess supplies.

* Dealers said Indian domestic prices have recently come down, with one dealer pegging them at roughly $100 above the world market.

* Stronger-than-expected production in Thailand was also adding to the bearish mood, dealers said.

* “Between those two countries, they’ve found a whole pile of sugar,” said one dealer. “You can’t look at this any other way than as bearish.”

* May white sugar, which expires on Friday, rose $1.80, or 0.5 percent, to $347.40 per tonne.

* Dealers said the strengthening May/August spread signalled sellers were hesitant to deliver against the contract at current prices.

* Reduced availability of white sugar from Central America and the European Union has also supported the premium in recent weeks.

* May raw sugar fell 0.12, or 1 percent, to 12.01 cents per lb.

* Dealers said prices were pressured by the supply overhang and by continued weakness in the Brazilian currency, which encourages producer selling.

COCOA

* July London cocoa climbed 7 pounds, or 0.4 percent, to 1,747 pounds a tonne.

* July New York cocoa also rose $6, or 0.2 percent, to $2,537 a tonne.

* Both markets remained within their recent trading ranges, with dealers pointing to technical signals and speculative activity as key drivers.

* There were signs of recovering demand, however, as Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut reported sales rose 8 percent in the six months to February, compared to global growth of 2.5 percent.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee was down 0.30 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $1.1730 per lb.

* Brazilian green coffee exports fell in March to the lowest level in six years for that month, exporters association Cecafé reported on Tuesday.

* May robusta coffee was up $3, or 0.2 percent, at $1,739 a tonne. (Reporting by Ana Ionova, editing by David Evans)

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