March 29, 2019 / 2:45 PM / 21 days ago

SOFTS-Arabica coffee gains as roasters snap up bargains

(Updates prices, adds details)

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 0.8 cents, or 0.9 percent, to 94.80 cents per lb by 1430 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 fell $9 or 0.6 percent at $1,483 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 0.02 cent, or 0.2 percent, to 12.55 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 dipped $0.4, or 1.0 percent, to $326.10 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 8 pounds, or 0.5 percent, to 1,718 pounds per tonne, while May New York cocoa rose $16, or 0.7 percent, to $2,273 per tonne.

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

* The West African nation exported 938,229 tonnes of raw cocoa beans from the start of the season on Oct. 1 to Feb. 28, up about 11 percent.

* 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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