April 13, 2018 / 6:16 PM / in 5 months

CORRECTED-SOFTS-Raw sugar futures fall for 7th straight week on surplus

(In first bullet point of COFFEE section, corrects arabica coffee contract to July from May)

NEW YORK/LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE were higher on Friday, as prices consolidated above Wednesday’s 2-1/2 year low, though the spot contract closed the week down for the seventh straight week as traders focused on a global surplus.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar settled up 0.03 cent, or 0.3 percent, at 12.08 cents per lb, still within sight of Wednesday’s 2-1/2 year low of 11.93 cents. It closed the week down 2.1 percent.

* Total open interest rose above 1 million contracts this week for the first time since March 2008, when spot prices were also around 12 cents, ICE data show.

* Prices rose as the market consolidated above this week’s low, dealers said.

* “The market remains capped by producer selling coming closer to market levels,” Sucden Financial senior trader Nick Penney said in a market note.

* Volumes were boosted by the rolling forward of positions out of May into July with the expiry of May options on Monday providing a short-term focus.

* In the whites market, the focus was on the expiry of the May contract later on Friday with a delivery of less than 150,000 tonnes now anticipated.

* The sugar is expected to come from Central America, Thailand and possibly the EU although depressed prices curbed interest in tendering European sugar.

* August white sugar settled up $1.40, or 0.4 percent, at $339 per tonne.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa settled up $12, or 0.5 percent, at $2,576 per tonne. For the week, it rose for the first time in three weeks.

* The contract remained within this month’s range of $2,474 to $2,675 as dealers await next week’s first-quarter grind data for Europe and North America.

* Europe’s first-quarter grind, scheduled to be issued on Wednesday, is expected to show a year-on-year rise of 2 to 4 percent. The grind showed year-on-year increases in every quarter last year.

* Dealers said the outlook was less clear for North America, where grind data is due to be released on Thursday, with estimates ranging from 1.5 percent lower to 2 percent higher.

* July London cocoa settled up 3 pounds, or 0.2 percent, at 1,764 pounds per tonne with gains tempered by a firm sterling against the dollar.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee settled down 0.5 cent, or 0.4 percent, at $1.195 per lb, with the prospect of a record crop in Brazil this year continuing to keep a lid on prices.

* July robusta coffee closed flat at 1,736 a tonne. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Nigel Hunt in London, editing by David Evans and Chizu Nomiyama)

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