May 11, 2018 / 5:59 PM / in 9 days

SOFTS-Raw sugar prices weaken on excess supplies, arabica eases

(Updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK dateline)

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

SUGAR

* July raw sugar settled down 0.05 cent, or 0.4 percent, at 11.22 cents per lb. It closed the week down 2.5 percent, the 10th week lower out of the past 11.

* Dealers said the strong early start to the harvest in top grower Brazil, where dry weather accelerated field work, had added to concerns about oversupply.

* “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.

* Producers were slowly revising down the price at which they would be willing to sell, while the weakening Brazilian currency against the U.S. dollar further pressured prices on the day, traders said.

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

* August white sugar settled down $2.70, or 0.8 percent, at $320.70 per tonne.

* Dealers noted significant interest in trading the August white premium over July raws, which climbed to $75 on Thursday from $63 last week.

* “It is creating some side interest while the flat prices are perennially under pressure,” one dealer said.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee settled down 0.15 cent, or 0.13 percent, at $1.194 per lb. It closed the week down 2.6 percent, the second-position contract’s poorest weekly performance in three months.

* The currency in Brazil turned lower on Friday, adding pressure to arabica prices as the country is the world’s biggest coffee grower and weakness in the real encourages farmers there to sell at lower dollar-denominated prices, traders said.

* July robusta coffee settled up $15, or 0.9 percent, at $1,758 per tonne.

* Louis Dreyfus Company has offloaded the bulk of its certified robusta coffee stocks ahead of a rule change that will make it more expensive to carry the coffee forward, industry sources told Reuters.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa settled up $43, or 1.6 percent, at $2,805 per tonne. It closed the week up 1 percent, moving back towards last month’s 1-1/2-year high.

* The rally surprised some traders, citing plentiful global supplies that do not warrant higher prices.

* July London cocoa settled up 15 pounds, or 0.8 percent, at 1,946 pounds per tonne. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Phil Berlowitz)

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