April 8, 2019 / 11:22 AM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar prices ease, arabica coffee edges higher

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures were slightly lower on Monday as the market extended a retreat from a near three-week high set during the prior session, while arabica coffee edged higher.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar fell 0.05 cent, or 0.4 percent, to 12.71 cents per lb by 1105 GMT. The front month peaked at 12.84 cents on Friday, its highest since March 18.

* Dealers said the upside was capped by producer selling above 12.80 cents while data showing a larger than expected cut in the speculative net short position was also mildly bearish.

* Speculators reduced their net short position in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to April 2, U.S. government data showed on Friday.

* The market was underpinned, however, by firm crude oil and strength in prices in the European Union.

* Oil prices rose to their highest since November 2018 on Monday, driven by OPEC supply cuts, U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela and fighting in Libya as well as strong U.S. jobs data.

* Spot sugar prices in the European Union are recovering from last year’s record lows as world prices languish, prompting a pick-up in imports to one of the few global regions where output is slumping.

* “EU prices have surged upwards again, which seems to confirm that EU processors really are sold out. That could imply either stocks have been overestimated or consumption has been underestimated,” broker Marex Spectron said in a report.

* May white sugar was down $1.70, or 0.5 percent, at $328.60 a tonne.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee was up 0.20 cent, or 0.2 percent, at 93.40 cents per lb. The front month slumped to a 13-year low of 91.25 cents last week.

* Dealers said the prospect that another large crop in top producer Brazil will be harvested in the coming weeks continued to weigh on the market.

* Nearly $50 million in government aid for Colombia’s struggling coffee farmers is not enough to keep producers afloat amid a global price crisis, the country’s growers’ federation said on Friday.

* May robusta coffee was down $4, or 0.3 percent, at $1,416 a tonne.

COCOA

* May London cocoa fell 5 pounds, or 0.3 percent, to 1,805 pounds a tonne.

* Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast reached 1.748 million tonnes between Oct. 1 and April 1, exporters estimated, up about 15 percent from 1.521 million tonnes in the same period last season.

* May New York cocoa was up $6, or 0.25 percent, at $2,419 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by David Evans)

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