July 18, 2019 / 5:59 PM / 4 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar falls to eight-week low; NY cocoa edges higher

 (Updates prices and market activity; adds comments, NEW YORK to
    NEW YORK/LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on
ICE fell on Thursday to their lowest levels in eight weeks,
pressured by signals of weak Asian demand and the prospect of
Indian exports, while New York cocoa prices inched higher.
    * October raw sugar        settled down 0.24 cent, or 2%, at
11.55 cents per lb, after hitting a May 23 low of 11.53 cents.
    * This was the contract's sixth consecutive negative close. 
    * The sugar market remained under pressure following a large
delivery of Thai white sugar against the August contract that
expired Tuesday, especially as the appearance of sugar from
Thailand suggested weak Asian demand, dealers said.             
    * The possibility that India, a top sugar producer and the
world's biggest consumer, could export up to 8 million tonnes of
the sweetener, was also a bearish influence, dealers said.
    * "This would be more than enough to compensate for the
expected decline in production in other regions. It is thus
questionable whether the market will be able to easily absorb
this additional quantity," Commerzbank said in a market note.
    * October white sugar         settled up $0.3, or 0.1%, at
$312.60 per tonne.
    * Suedzucker, Europe's largest sugar refiner, said that
trading conditions remained intensely difficult, with low sugar
prices and no turnaround likely for the company's current
financial year.             

    * September New York cocoa        settled up $16, or 0.7%,
at $2,440 per tonne.
    * The market was underpinned by reduced output in
second-largest producer Ghana because of crop disease, as well
as the country's agreement with largest producer Ivory Coast to
fix a "living income differential" for farmers.       
    * Ghana's Cocoa Marketing Company has postponed about 50,000
tonnes of cocoa export contracts that it will not be able to
execute from the current crop, sources at Ghana's marketing
board Cocobod said on Wednesday.             
    * Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council has sold 1.6
million tonnes of cocoa export contracts by July 12 for the
2019/20 season, which begins in October, two sources at the
industry regulator said on Thursday.             
    * September London cocoa         settled down 3 pounds, or
0.2%, at 1,833 pounds per tonne, pressured by a stronger pound.

    * September arabica coffee        settled up 1.2 cent, or
1.1%, at $1.086 per lb. 
    * September robusta coffee         settled up $4, or 0.3%,
at $1,427 per tonne.
    * Vietnam's domestic coffee prices were unchanged on
Thursday from a week earlier, while the Indonesian premium
narrowed slightly on abundant supplies.             
    * Commodity trader Louis Dreyfus Company has appointed
Michael Gelchie as head of its coffee platform, trade sources
said on Thursday.             

 (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in
Editing by Deepa Babington, David Goodman and Diane Craft)
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