13 de abril de 2015 / 13:38 / en 3 años

SOFTS-ICE raw sugar, arabica coffee ease as dollar strengthens

* Conab forecasts larger Brazil sugar cane crop

* Dollar climbs to 4-week high against basket of currencies

By Nigel Hunt

LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures were lower on Monday weighed by a stronger dollar and the prospect of a large crop in top grower Brazil while arabica coffee prices also eased.

The dollar rose to its highest level in four weeks against a basket of currencies on Monday. A stronger dollar makes prices denominated in local currency terms more attractive for producers and can encourage them to sell.

May raw sugar on ICE fell 0.07 cents or 0.55 percent to 12.76 cents a lb by 1257 GMT.

Dealers said the sugar market was back on the defensive after an upside technical correction which saw the May contract rise to a four-week high of 13.13 cents last week.

They also noted a large crop was expected in Brazil despite some minor delays caused by recent wet weather.

“Everyone is expecting a big crop some July onwards. Wet weather is going to delay it a matter of days, not weeks or months,” one dealer said.

Brazil’s 2015/2016 sugar cane crop which began crushing in April is due to recover to 654.6 million tonnes, up 3 percent annually as cane fields recover from last year’s drought, the government’s crop supply agency Conab said on Monday.

In its first forecast of the new crop, Conab said Brazil is expected to produce a total 37.35 million tonnes of sugar, up 5 percent from a year ago, with most of the growth coming from the recovery of the main crop in the centre-south region.

May white sugar futures, which expire on Wednesday, were off $0.20 or 0.05 percent at $365.40 per tonne.

Dealers said a small delivery was currently anticipated.

Arabica coffee futures were also lower with May off 0.40 cents or 0.3 percent at $1.3470 per lb while May robusta futures fell $13 or 0.7 percent to $1,800 a tonne.

Cocoa futures were higher, with the market underpinned by talk that the mid-crop in top grower Ivory Coast may be lower than anticipated this season.

May New York cocoa rose $21 or 0.8 percent to $2,802 a tonne while May London cocoa was up 15 pounds or 0.8 percent at 1,955 pounds a tonne.

Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast reached 1,257,478 tonnes by March 31 since the start of the season on Oct. 1, according to data from the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) seen by Reuters on Monday.

The total is up from 1,238,947 tonnes in the same period of the previous season. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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