March 3, 2020 / 12:45 PM / a month ago

SOFTS-Arabica coffee climbs to 7-week high, cocoa and sugar ease

LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose to a seven-week high on Tuesday boosted partly by a shortage of high quality supplies while cocoa and sugar prices were lower.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee rose 3.25 cents, or 2.8%, to $1.1885 per lb by 1222 GMT after setting a seven-week high of $1.1935.

* Dealers said the market had been boosted by tightening supplies with high quality arabica coffee commanding significant premiums in the physical market.

* “While sufficient coffee exists to meet existing levels of demand, concern has been growing about the immediate availability of quality arabica,” the International Coffee Organization said in a report on Tuesday.

* The ICO reported that global coffee exports fell nearly 8% in January from a year earlier.

* May robusta coffee was up $21, or 1.6%, at $1,312 a tonne.

COCOA

* May New York cocoa was down $21, or 0.8%, at $2,640 a tonne after setting a six-week low of $2,624 on Monday.

* Dealers said fund long liquidation has contributed to recent weakness along with some concerns that the coronavirus may curb demand.

* Chocolate maker Lindt’s CEO said on Tuesday the company has seen a negative impact on tourist purchases over the last two or three weeks but it would not threaten the company’s organic growth target for this year.

* The 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.

* Below-average rainfall mixed with heat in Ivory Coast’s central cocoa-growing regions last week raised concerns over the mid-crop outlook, though there was sufficient moisture in other regions, farmers said on Monday.

* May London cocoa fell 8 pounds, or 0.4%, to 1,949 pounds a tonne.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar was down 0.03 cents, or 0.2%, at 13.78 cents per lb. The contract slid to a seven-week low of 13.77 cents on Monday.

* Dealers said concern that funds may continue to scale back net long positions against the backdrop of diminishing risk appetite was keeping a lid on prices.

* The market, however, remained underpinned by tightening supplies with a significant global deficit widely forecast for the current 2019/20 season.

* May white sugar fell $0.80, or 0.2%, to $391.10 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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