May 4, 2018 / 11:06 AM / 16 days ago

SOFTS-New York cocoa slips as fund buying stalls, sugar also falls

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures on ICE slipped on Friday as speculative buying petered out, while raw sugar and coffee also eased.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa was down $8, or 0.3 percent, at $2,833 a tonne by 1042 GMT, having touched a session low of $2,814.

* Dealers said funds were taking a breather after a recent buying spree, though favourable technicals meant further upside was still likely.

* “There’s a growing sense of exasperation among traders because the market doesn’t seem to be following any fundamentals,” one dealer said. “It’s all in the hands of the funds.”

* Participants were awaiting government data, due later on Friday, for indications of recent fund activity.

* One dealer said he expected speculators to have maintained or slightly trimmed their large bullish stance in the market.

* July London cocoa rose 5 pounds, or 0.3 percent, to 1,945 pounds a tonne in thin volume.

* Technically, the market was in overbought territory, but the trend remained broadly positive, dealers said.

* Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, will impose heavy fines and prison sentences to combat illegal smuggling of agricultural produce under a government decree approved on Thursday.

SUGAR

* July raw sugar fell 0.03 cents, or 0.3 percent, to 11.66 cents per lb, extending losses from the previous session.

* August white sugar was down $0.60, or 0.2 percent, at $322.90 a tonne.

* Both markets fell sharply this week after India approved plans to subsidise its sugar industry, potentially paving the way for exports to the global market.

* While prices have since recovered somewhat, the market focus remained on ample global supplies.

* Thai sugar production is expected to jump 50 percent to 15 million tonnes after this season’s cane crop reached a record of about 135 million tonnes, Sucden said in a quarterly update.

* “The industry might also decide to carry as raw sugar some of the exportable surplus to 2018/19, but the odds of large production again next year will limit this option,” Sucden said.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee slipped by 0.15 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $1.2420 per lb.

* July robusta coffee fell $6, or 0.3 percent, to $1,825 a tonne.

* Honduran April coffee exports fell 14.8 percent year on year, data showed on Thursday, amid falling demand for the country’s beans. (Reporting by Ana Ionova Editing by David Goodman)

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