March 2, 2020 / 1:56 PM / a month ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar eases but holds above recent seven-week low

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Raw sugar prices on ICE fell slightly on Monday although they held above the prior session’s seven-week low as global financial markets showed signs of stabilising after last week’s plunge.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar was down 0.04 cents, or 0.3%, at 14.10 cents per lb by 1232 GMT. The contract slid to a seven-week low of 13.86 cents on Friday.

* Dealers said funds had been scaling back a net long position in raw sugar during the last few days, noting CFTC data issued on Friday only covered the period up to last Tuesday.

* Raw sugar speculators on the ICE Futures U.S. raised their net long position in the week ended Feb. 25, the CFTC said in a weekly report on Friday.

* The market, however, remained underpinned by tightening supplies.

* The International Sugar Organization of Friday forecast a deficit of 9.44 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season, the largest deficit in 11 years.

* “A whole host of observers are already envisaging a further deficit in 2020/21, albeit on a smaller scale,” Commerzbank said in a market note on Monday.

* Dealers said nearly one million tonnes of sugar was expected to be tendered against the March contract which expired on Friday. ICE is due to issued details later on Monday.

* The comparatively large size of the delivery, however, did not appear to have a major impact on the market.

* “Large deliveries though have become the norm. And in the context of a market seeming falling over itself to make ever larger deficit forecasts it hardly seemed to matter at all,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey said.

* May white sugar rose $0.90, or 0.2%, to $397.50 a tonne.

COCOA

* May New York cocoa was down $24, or 0.9%, at $2,648 a tonne after setting a six-week low of $2,646 on Friday.

* Dealers said weather in top grower Ivory Coast continued to be closely watched to see the extent to which dry conditions will curb the size of this year’s mid-crop.

* The International Cocoa Organization is now scheduled to release its first forecast for the global balance in 2019/20 on Friday, one week later than originally planned.

* A Reuters poll issued in late January gave a median forecast for a deficit 70,000 tonnes.

* May London cocoa fell 12 pounds, or 0.6%, to 1,943 pounds a tonne.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee rose 0.20 cent, or 0.2%, to $1.1155 per lb.

* May robusta coffee was up $7, or 0.55%, at $1,290 per tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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