LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE edged up on Monday as a technically over-sold market steadied after sinking nearly 6% last week, while cocoa prices hit their highest in more than a week.
* October raw sugar was up 0.05 cents, or 0.4% at 11.63 cents per lb at 1153 GMT.
* The contract plunged nearly 5.8% last week in the front-month’s worst weekly performance in 1-1/2 years.
* Speculators on ICE Futures U.S. increased their net short position in raw sugar in the week to July 16 to a five-week high.
* “The market remains over-sold. A corrective rally could be seen but it is unlikely a full-blown rally will develop at the moment,” said a dealer.
* In the wider markets, oil prices rose sharply on concerns that Iran’s seizure of a British tanker last week may lead to supply disruptions in the energy-rich Gulf.
* A stronger oil price can encourage cane mills to produce more ethanol at the expense of sugar. Sugar is an input for both products.
* Still, sugar prices remain under pressure after a large amount of white sugar from Thailand was delivered against the August contract last Tuesday, indicating weak Asian demand.
* Concerns about rising sugar exports from India, a top producer, are also weighing.
* October white sugar was up $0.50, or 0.2%, at $316.20 a tonne.
* September London cocoa rose 16 pounds, or 0.9%, to 1,891 pounds a tonne, having earlier hit $1,899, its highest in more than a week.
* September New York cocoa was up $15, or 0.6%, at $2,514, having earlier hit $2,531, its highest in more than a week.
* Speculators on ICE Futures U.S. cut their net long position in cocoa by 8,849 contracts in the week to July 16. In the previous week, they had held their largest net long position in about a year.
* A dealer said market fundamentals were roughly balanced and that prices were consolidating at these levels.
* Last week saw strong data on cocoa grinds, an indicator of demand, from North America and Asia, but weak readings from Europe.
* “I’m not sure the grinds are overly bullish,” said the dealer.
* September arabica coffee was down 0.3 cents, or 0.2%, at $1.1090 per lb.
* Speculators on ICE Futures U.S. increased their bearish stance by 3,060 lots in the week to July 16. This was the first time they increased their net position in over a month.
* “After shipping a record 41.1m bags in the 2018/19 crop year, Brazil has started 2019/20 at the same rate. Month-to-date data indicates the country will export 3.3m bags in July,” said Marex Spectron in a note.
* September robusta coffee was down $12, or 0.9%, at $1,408 a tonne. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)