December 4, 2019 / 12:05 PM / a day ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar edges up, stronger pound weighs on London cocoa

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - ICE raw sugar futures edged up towards last week’s nine-month high on Wednesday, supported by fund short covering and tightening supplies, while London cocoa prices eased on a strong pound.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar was up 0.10 cents, or 0.8%, at 12.96 cents per lb at 1150 GMT. The front-month rose to a peak of 13.01 cents on Friday, its highest since Feb. 26.

* Dealers said funds were continuing to scale back a net short position and a further test of resistance around 13 cents was possible in the near future.

* The market has also been supported by tightening supplies, with a global deficit widely forecast for the current 2019/20 season and some early indications there could be another deficit in the 2020/21 season.

* A wall of producer selling may, however, cap the advance.

* “The pressure from producers, who continue to sell on the futures market to hedge their next production, remains strong, particularly in Brazil,” analyst Agritel said in a market note.

* March white sugar rose $1.30, or 0.4%, to $345.90 a tonne.

COCOA

* March London cocoa fell 8 pounds, or 0.4%, to 1,853 pounds a tonne, weighed partly by a stronger pound.

* Sterling surged to seven-month highs on Wednesday as investors raised their expectations for the ruling Conservative Party to win an outright majority, which could remove some of the political uncertainty that has weighed on the currency.

* March New York cocoa was unchanged at $2,565 a tonne.

* New York March cocoa may break a resistance at $2,575 per tonne and rise to $2,599, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection analysis, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said on Wednesday.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee fell 0.40 cents, or 0.31%, to $1.2340 per lb. The benchmark second month rose to a peak of $1.2475 on Tuesday, its highest in more than one year.

* Dealers said the market was supported by tightness in supplies of washed arabica with certified exchange stocks continuing to fall.

* Funds have also largely covered a net short position during the recent sharp advance in prices.

* March robusta coffee fell $13, or 0.9%, to $1,399 per tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by Louise Heavens)

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