December 23, 2019 / 1:19 PM / 7 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar slips further off recent highs; arabica falls

LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - ICE raw sugar futures slipped on Monday as the market continued to consolidate recent gains in holiday-thinned trade and as oil prices weakened.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar slipped 0.04 cents, or 0.3%, to 13.50 cents per lb by 1304 GMT, having clocked nine straight weeks of gains last week.

* Oil prices fell, driving down energy prices more broadly and weighing on sugar by tempting cane mills to produce less ethanol and more of the sweetener.

* ICE raw sugar speculators trimmed their net short position by 21,293 contracts to 4,986 in the week to Dec 17, CFTC data showed.

* They are expected to slowly start building a net long position given tightening supplies and an upbeat macro economic backdrop, but are taking a measured approach as producer selling remains firm at or near recent highs.

* Marex Spectron said sugar is currently in a window period where it can explore the outer limits of its new range with the harvest in top producer Brazil virtually done for 2019/20 and output disappointing in other key regions.

* Brazil’s centre-south produced 33,000 tonnes of sugar in the first half of December, down 92.4% from a year earlier, trade group Unica said.

* Indonesia may import 3.2 million tonnes of raw sugar for industry in 2020, a government official said.

* March white sugar fell $0.9, or 0.3%, to $357.60 a tonne, having hit its highest since February on Friday.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee fell 3.1 cents, or 2.4%, to $1.2760 per lb, having settled up 2.8% on Friday.

* ICE arabica speculators raised their net long position in the week to Dec 17 by 5,557 contracts to 20,049.

* March arabica rose to a peak of $1.3840 last Tuesday, the highest in more than two years, but has since slid below $1.30 cents in volatile, holiday-thinned trade.

* Prices have gained some 40% since mid-October, supported by fund buying amid tightening supplies, with exchange arabica stocks falling KC-TOT-TOT and a global deficit widely forecast for the 2019/20 season.

* March robusta coffee was down $6, or 0.4%, at $1,368 a tonne.

COCOA

* March New York cocoa was down $24, or 1%, at $2,393 a tonne, having hit its lowest since mid-September at $2,392.

* Speculators in ICE New York cocoa cut their net long position in the week to Dec 17 by 1,157 contracts to 35,315.

* March London cocoa was flat at 1,749 pounds a tonne, after hitting 1,743 earlier, its lowest since mid-September.

* Speculators in ICE London cocoa cut their net long position in the week to Dec 17 by 19,233 contracts to 45,576. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel; editing by Nick Macfie)

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