April 19, 2017 / 11:27 AM / a year ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar gains on fresh buying; London cocoa near lows

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures eased on Wednesday as a bout of fresh buying temporarily overshadowed worries about ample supply, while London cocoa fell near lows touched a day earlier.


* July raw sugar prices were up 0.15 cents, or 0.9 percent, at 16.85 cents by 1110 GMT.

* Prices were supported by firmer technicals after the market overcame choppy trade to close higher in the previous session.

* The buying was partly driven by momentum investors, though further support was seen as somewhat limited amid a broadly bearish backdrop on fundamentals.

* “The fundamentalists among investors and traders will still be looking for lower prices,” said Tobin Gorey of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “We think that group may ultimately be right, but a surge in buying from momentum investors is irresistible in the short term.”

* Output in Maharashtra, one of India’s key producing states, could jump nearly 70 percent in 2017/18 to 7 million tonnes as ample rains drive farmers to plant more cane, fuelling a rebound from an El Nino slump, an industry body told Reuters.

* Associated British Foods on Wednesday reported a 36 percent rise in first-half profit, primarily driven by a recovery in its sugar business.

* August white sugar rose by $2.40, or 0.5 percent, to $478.30 a tonne.


* July London fell by 8 pounds, or 0.5 percent, to 1,511 pounds a tonne after slipping to 1,498 pounds, just above a near four-year low touched in the previous session.

* A surge in the pound on Tuesday sent prices tumbling to their lowest since July 2013, adding fuel to a sell-off driven by mounting worries over a large global surplus.

* Sterling, which remained near 6-1/2 month highs, continued to pressure cocoa prices on Wednesday.

* “The recent sell-off has seen the outlook favour the bears once more and the indicators show the strong downward trend,” said Sucden analyst Geordie Wilkes in a market note. “Futures need to close below yesterday’s low in heavy volumes to help confirm the case for a continuation of the bearish trend.”

* July New York cocoa gained $2, or 0.1 percent, to $1,918 a tonne.


* July arabica coffee gained 0.35 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $1.4590 per lb, touching a new four-week high on further chart-based buying after a strong close in the previous session.

* July robusta eased by $1, or 0.05 percent, to $2,189 a tonne. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by David Goodman)

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