November 20, 2019 / 1:00 PM / 16 days ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar futures edge higher, coffee prices rebound

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - ICE raw sugar futures edged higher on Wednesday, boosted partly by a slow start to the 2019/20 cane crushing season in India while funds also scaled back a net short position.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar rose 0.04 cent, or 0.3%, to 12.73 cents per lb by 1247 GMT.

* Indian sugar mills have produced 485,000 tonnes of the sweetener between Oct. 1 and Nov. 15, down from 1.34 million tonnes last year, the Indian Sugar Mills Association said in a statement on Wednesday.

* Dealers said that while the sugar harvest had got off to a slower start this year it was too early to draw conclusions about the outlook for the whole season with the second largest producing state Maharashtra yet to start its crushing season.

* They noted the market continued to lack a clear overall trend after failing to break to the upside last week when the March contract hit 12.91 cents, its highest since early October.

* The recent decline in Brazil’s real to a record low against the dollar has helped to keep a lid on the market.

* “Such a parity encourages Brazilian producers to accelerate export sales in dollars to benefit from a positive exchange rate effect,” analyst Agritel said in a market note.

* March white sugar rose $1.00, or 0.3%, to $337.00 a tonne.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee rose 1.05 cents, or 1.0%, to $1.0720 per lb.

* Dealers said the market had regained some ground after falling sharply on Tuesday.

* The sharp decline in Brazil’s real currency has also been weighing on arabica coffee prices.

* Arabica coffee futures are forecast to rise by the end of next year as exchange stocks decline, Rabobank said in an Outlook 2020 report issued on Wednesday.

* January robusta coffee rose $28, or 2.1%, to $1,368 per tonne.

* Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has named Ben Clarkson as the head of its coffee business, taking over from Michael Gelchie who was appointed chief operating officer earlier this week.

COCOA

* March New York cocoa was down $17, or 0.6%, at $2,636 a tonne after hitting $2,694 on Monday, the highest since May 2018.

* New York March cocoa may retrace to $2,616, as it faces a resistance at $2,683 per tonne, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

* March London cocoa was unchanged at 1,929 pounds a tonne, underpinned by a weaker pound. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by David Evans)

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