June 3, 2019 / 11:54 AM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-Coffee and sugar slip, giving up some of gains made in May

LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee and raw sugar futures on ICE slipped on Monday, giving up some of the strong gains they had made in May.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee fell 0.6 cents, or 0.6%, to $1.04 per lb at 1135 GMT after peaking at $1.053 on Friday, the highest since Feb. 7 as the Brazilian real hit a six week high against the dollar.

* Arabica surged 13.9% in May in its biggest monthly percentage jump in two years. In April, prices crashed to a 13-1/2-year low of 86.35 cents.

* Speculators reduced their net short position in arabica coffee in the week to May 28 to the smallest number since February, government data showed.

* “We’ve just started the frost season in Brazil. Any hedge fund that’s been maintaining short positions will want to tread carefully over the next few weeks,” Kona Haque, head of research at agricultural commodities trader ED&F Man, said.

* She added: “The real is firming quite a bit and the whole agricultural complex has gotten a new lease of life. The money in this asset class will inevitably filter into coffee.”

* July robusta coffee was unchanged at $1,478 per tonne. The contract gained 6.5% in May, following three straight months of declines.

SUGAR

* July raw sugar was down 0.05 cents, or 0.4%, at 12.05 cents per lb.

* The contract rose 0.9% last month, following two straight months of declines.

* Speculators increased their net short position in ICE U.S. raw sugar in the week to May 28 to its highest level since September, government data showed.

* Dealers said general strength in agricultural commodities should support sugar, adding Friday’s settlement above 12 cents could well trigger fund short covering near term.

* August white sugar was unchanged at $330.60 per tonne. Prices gained 6.5% on the month.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa rose $6, or 0.3%, to $2,406 per tonne.

* The contract gained 1.4% last month, its fourth straight month of gains, buoyed by strong demand signals.

* Speculators cut their bearish bets in ICE U.S. cocoa in the week to May 28 to the smallest number in more than three months.

* The International Cocoa Organization trimmed its forecast for the size of an expected global cocoa surplus in the 2018/19 season to 36,000 tonnes from 39,000 tonnes.

* July London cocoa was flat at 1,785 pounds per tonne, after hitting a two-week high on Friday. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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