May 17, 2019 / 6:28 PM / 4 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar sinks to 7-1/2-month low as real weakens

(Recasts with updated prices, market activity, comments, adds NEW YORK to dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE tumbled on Friday to their lowest in 7-1/2 months as the currency of top grower Brazil sank and New York Sugar Week ended without generating much bullish market sentiment, dealers said.

Brazil’s real weakened beyond 4.10 per dollar for the first time in eight months on Friday, accelerating its slide this week on growing investor concerns over the economy and the government’s ability to get its reform agenda through Congress.

A weaker real boosts returns in local currency terms for dollar-denominated commodities and can, therefore, encourage producer selling. SUGAR

* July raw sugar settled down 0.23 cent, or 2 percent, at 11.55 cents per lb, after falling to 11.43 cents, the lowest since Oct. 1.

* On the week, the contract fell 1.5 percent, its fourth consecutive negative weekly finish.

* Prices were dragged down by the weaker Brazilian currency, dealers said.

* The bearish sentiment at New York Sugar week also did not help, dealers said. While the event has in the past helped brighten moods and temporarily lift prices, many discussions this year were focused on expectations that next year’s global production decline would be offset by massive stockpiles.

* August white sugar settled down $4.10, or 1.3%, at $321.50 per tonne, after falling to $318.40, also an Oct. 1 low.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee futures settled down 2.65 cent, or 2.9%, at 89 cents per lb, after setting a one-week low of 88.45.

* The contract shed nearly 2% this week, its seventh negative weekly finish in 10, as large global supplies and a weak Brazilian currency weighed.

* “If you try to find a bullish argument, you will struggle,” the dealer added, noting that the deteriorating economic outlook in Brazil could spark further weakness in the currency.

* July robusta coffee settled down $34, or 2.6%, at $1,301 per tonne, after bottoming at $1,292.

* Robusta plunged 4.6% on the week, its eighth negative weekly finish in ten.

* Shares of Luckin Coffee Inc surged as much as 52.7% in their market debut, indicating strong investor demand for the self-declared challenger to Starbucks Corp in China.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa settled down $19, or 0.8%, at $2,353 per tonne. The contract rose about 1% on the week.

* July London cocoa settled down 14 pounds, or 0.8%, at 1,729 pounds per tonne.

* Ghana’s graded and sealed cocoa arrivals reached 726,130 tonnes between the start of this year’s harvest on Oct. 1 and May 2, up 0.5% year on year, figures from Ghana’s marketing board showed. (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in London Editing by David Goodman and James Dalgleish)

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