January 11, 2019 / 12:27 PM / 5 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar and arabica coffee edge higher

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Friday, boosted by currency effects and gains in broader commodity markets while coffee also edged up and cocoa was little changed.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar edged up by 0.06 cents, or 0.5 percent, to 12.73 cents per lb by 1208 GMT after touching a session high of 12.79 cents.

* Dealers said prices were supported by a softer U.S. dollar and stronger Brazilian real.

* A stronger currency in top producer Brazil reduces local returns on dollar-traded goods such as sugar and coffee, discouraging producers from selling.

* The market also continued to track energy prices, further supported by gains in crude oil.

* Stronger energy prices boost the competitiveness of ethanol in Brazil, bolstering expectations that mills will continue to favour the biofuel over sugar.

* Speculators were driving the bulk of activity as they tested technical resistance levels, dealers said.

* “Momentum is firmly on the upside,” said Sucden Financial technical analyst Geordie Wilkes, noting that a close above the 40-day moving average would pave the way for further gains.

* Market participants also continued to monitor India, which has lagged in exporting a large surplus this season.

* The country is now expected to export only 2.5 million to 3.5 million tonnes of sugar, far below the 5 million tonne target it had initially set.

* “This is no doubt due to the slow pace of sales and of negotiations,” Marex Spectron said in a note. “Time has gone by and logistics simply make large exports tougher.”

* The Indian government is considering raising the minimum selling price of sugar, a television news channel reported on Friday.

* Marex Spectron noted that the possibility for higher minimum prices is further diminishing the incentive for mills to export.

* March white sugar rose by 60 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $344.70 a tonne.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee rose 0.5 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $1.0475 per lb, also supported by the Brazilian real.

* March robusta coffee was up $8, or 0.5 percent, at $1,544 a tonne.

COCOA

* May London cocoa rose 1 pound, or 0.1 percent, to 1,741 pounds a tonne.

* March New York cocoa rose $2, or 0.1 percent, to $2,371 a tonne.

* Farmers in top cocoa grower Ivory Coast say the current crop is worsening, with beans starting to rot because of a lack of financing that is preventing them from properly fermenting and drying beans already stressed by bad weather. (Reporting by Ana Ionova Editing by David Goodman )

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