November 15, 2019 / 12:15 PM / 24 days ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar slips as fund short covering runs out of steam

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Raw sugar prices on ICE slipped on Friday as fund short covering ran out of steam amid a weak real and excess stocks from last season. Coffee and cocoa also slipped.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar dipped 0.03 cent, or 0.2%, to 12.78 cents per lb by 1142 GMT, having hit a six-week high of 12.91 cents on Wednesday.

* Sugar is struggling to extend gains despite recent downgrades to the production outlook in the United States and India, with producer selling of excess stocks capping the upside.

* A dealer said 13 cents was proving to be sufficient resistance for now, adding there is little evidence that funds will be panicked into aggressively covering their short positions.

* The Brazilian real has weakened this week, tempting producers in Brazil to sell dollar-priced commodities by raising their value in local currency terms.

* Sugar mills in India’s Maharashtra state were forced to delay the start of the new crushing season by a few weeks due to untimely heavy rains in October and November.

* French sugar group Tereos posted a loss of 21 million euros in the first half of 2019/2020, mainly hurt by low global and European sugar prices.

* March white sugar fell by $2.8, or 0.8%, to $337.60 a tonne.

* December white sugar, which expires on Friday, fell nearly 3% to hit its lowest since mid-September. Open interest on the contract stood at 762 lots as of Thursday’s close, equating to just 38,100 tonnes of sugar.

COCOA

* March London cocoa was down 8 pounds, or 0.4%, at 1,938 pounds a tonne after peaking at 1,970 pounds on Thursday, the highest in a year and a half.

* A shortage of cocoa to tender against the December contract has been supporting prices. Front month cocoa was last at a premium of 103 pounds to March. LCC-1=R.

* Further out however, the outlook for production in top grower Ivory Coast remains generally favourable.

* March New York cocoa was down $13, or 0.5%, at $2,656 a tonne after rising to a 1-/12 year peak of $2,686 on Thursday.

* The front month cocoa in New York was last at a premium of $82 a tonne against March CC-1=R.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee was down 1.2 cents, or 1.1%, at $1.1030 per lb, heading for its first weekly loss in four weeks amid a weak real.

* Coffee prices are steadying, having been boosted of late by fund short covering against the backdrop of dry weather in Brazil and a potential tightening in Central American supplies.

* January robusta coffee fell $16, or 1.1%, to $1,405 per tonne.

* Coffee trading in Vietnam picked up slightly ahead of the main harvest expected from mid-November. (Editing by Edmund Blair)

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