January 20, 2020 / 12:27 PM / a month ago

SOFTS-White sugar edges back near 2-yr high, cocoa steadies

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - White sugar futures on ICE edged back up to near a two-year high on Monday in holiday thinned trade, boosted by momentum fund buying amid further signs of shrinking supply, while London cocoa steadied.

U.S. markets are closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

SUGAR

* March white sugar was up $1.5, or 0.4%, at $400.30 a tonne after touching a two-year high of $401.70 on Thursday.

* March raw sugar closed up 0.1% on Friday, having hit a two-year high of 14.58 cents on Thursday.

* Speculators switched to a net long position of 35,987 raw sugar contracts in the week to Jan. 14, adding 57,210 long contracts, CFTC data showed.

* Dealers said the data came in at the bottom end of expectations, meaning speculators have plenty of capacity to buy more.

* “We expect a test of 15 cents in the short to near term. The market is attracting funds on the long side as (it) is forecast to be in deficit this year and ‘needs to rally’ to draw out sugar away from the ethanol market,” said Sucden Financial.

* Sugar deficit forecasts for 2019/20 are being revised up amid shrinking output in key regions such as India and Thailand, though high prices could eventually prompt India to export its pricey surplus stocks and tempt Brazil to produce more sugar.

COCOA

* March London cocoa fell 9 pounds, or 0.5%, to 1,994 pounds a tonne as the market adjusted after hitting its highest since early December on Friday.

* March New York cocoa, ​​settled up 3.1% on Friday, having touched a 1-1/2 year high of $2,808.

* Speculators extended their net long position in New York cocoa to 35,987 contracts in the week to Jan. 14, adding 57,210 long contracts.

* Worries over dry weather in top grower Ivory Coast coupled with strong demand growth in Asia are lifting cocoa, overshadowing poor demand growth in Europe and the United States.

* Cocoa arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast reached 1.296 million tonnes between Oct. 1 and Jan. 19, 2020, exporters estimated, up 1.2% versus last season.

* Commodity trader Olam, a major player in cocoa, is dividing its products portfolio into two new businesses, with an intention to potentially spin out each unit and list them separately.

COFFEE

* March robusta coffee was down $10, or 0.8%, at $1,309 a tonne.

* March arabica coffee ended down 1.2% on Friday, after touching a two-month low of $1.1135.

* Speculators cut their net long positions in arabica by 4,199 contracts to 16,708 in the most recent week.

* Arabica has been sliding off December’s more than two-year peak, with ICE certified stocks KC-TOT-TOT rising sharply this year after a steep and prolonged decline in 2019.

Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Alex Richardson

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