February 6, 2020 / 12:47 PM / 20 days ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar steadies, arabica recovers from three-month low

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE steadied on Thursday as the market consolidated after scaling a two-year peak earlier this week, while arabica coffee edged up off the prior session’s three-month low.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar ​edged up 0.01 cent, or 0.1%, at 14.74 cents per lb at 1230 GMT, having touched a two-year high of 15.13 cents on Tuesday.

* Sugar is being driven by falling production in key regions such as India, Thailand and the European Union, though the market is consolidating its gains for now as funds roll forward their nearby long positions.

* Dealers said another leg higher looks possible for sugar as it continues to hold most of this year’s gains.

* Brazilian mills have fixed sugar prices for about 62% of estimated exports of 19.5 million tonnes between April 2020 and March 2021. That is well above a five-year average for the period of 40%, Archer Consulting said.

* “(Brazilian) producers can obviously still hedge (sell) more but we suspect that selling faces growing inertia,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note.

* French sugar group Tereos said core profits climbed to 122 million euros in the third quarter of 2109/2020, versus 52 million in the same period the previous year.

* March white sugar was up $2.30, or 0.6%, at $415.90 a tonne after touching a 2-1/2 year high of $420 on Tuesday.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee was up 0.4 cent, or 0.4%, at 98.20 cents per lb, having hit a three-month low of 97.55 cents on Wednesday.

* Arabica has been under pressure from the record crop expected from Brazil this year and by the sharp rise in ICE exchange stocks KC-TOT-TOT in January, though that rise has since abated.

* “Below a dollar arabica is good value, (physical)differentials are quite firm, I’d be friendly because down here, not many (producers) can make money,” said a dealer.

* March robusta coffee rose $4, or 0.3%, to $1,288 a tonne, having touched a three-month low of $1,280 on Wednesday.

* Domestic prices in Vietnam’s, a top robusta producer, fell slightly this week due to growing concern over the coronavirus epidemic.

COCOA

* March London cocoa was down 6 pounds, or 0.3%, at 1,964 pounds a tonne.

* Cocoa is consolidating recent gains, though concerns remain over dry weather in top producer Ivory Coast.

* March New York cocoa fell $5, or 0.2%, to $2,783 a tonne. (Editing by David Evans)

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