March 29, 2019 / 12:35 PM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-Arabica coffee gains as roasters snap up bargains

LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose for a second day running on Friday as roasters snapped up bargains following the contract low hit earlier this week, while raw sugar also rose.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee rose 1.6 cents, or 1.7 percent, to 95.60 cents per lb by 1202 GMT, having set a contract low of 92.60 this week.

* Prices are on track to drop 3.1 percent in March, after falling 9.7 percent in February.

* Dealers said while coffee remains heavily oversupplied, roasters are tempted to pick up bargains at the lows, while the recovery late this week in the Brazilian real has also helped.

* The real rose on Friday, extending its recovery from this week’s 2019 lows and discouraging Brazilian producers from selling dollar-priced Arabica.

* May robusta coffee was up $1 or 0.1 percent at $1,493 per tonne.

* Vietnam’s coffee exports in the first quarter of this year are expected to fall 15.3 percent from a year earlier to 477,000 tonnes.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar rose 0.1 cent, or 0.8 percent, to 12.63 cents per lb.

* Ukraine’s 2019 sugar beet area could fall 5 percent to 261,000 hectares.

* Oil prices rose amid OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

* Rising energy prices can make it more attractive to use cane in Brazil to make biofuel ethanol rather than sugar.

* May white sugar was down $3.30, or 1.0 percent, at $326.80 per tonne.

* The EU has exported 953,000 tonnes of sugar so far in the 2018/19 season, versus around 1.87 million tonnes in the prior year period, ING said.

* “While lower (EU) white sugar exports should be fairly supportive, (there are) concerns the Indian harvest might turn out to be larger than many were anticipating,” ING added.

COCOA

* May London cocoa rose 1 pound, or 0.06 percent, to 1,711 pounds per tonne, while May New York cocoa rose $13, or 0.58 percent, to $2,270 per tonne.

* The Ivory Coast will guarantee a cocoa farmgate price at 750 CFA francs ($1.29) per kilo for the mid-crop harvest. .

* New York May cocoa may break technical support at $2,239 per tonne and fall to the next support at $2,208 as it faces a strong resistance at $2,269..

Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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