March 3, 2020 / 10:16 PM / a month ago

SOFTS-Arabica coffee scales 7-week peak, cocoa and sugar ease

(Adds settlement prices)

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

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee settled up 6.6 cents, or 5.7%, at $1.222 per lb, a seven-week high.

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

* “If the last move up is just a correction, it would likely fail around $1.21. If the market goes through there, then it opens up the possibility to run higher, if not much higher in the short run,” Cardiff Coffee Trading said in a report.

* Dealers said longer-term sentiment had also been boosted by the prospect of a global deficit in the 2021/2022 season, an off-year in Brazil’s biennial cycle.

* “It is a long way away. But if there is to be a large deficit in 21/22, the market would need to go up now to start correcting it,” Cardiff Coffee Trading said.

* May robusta coffee settled up $40, or 3.1%, at $1,331 a tonne.

COCOA

* May New York cocoa ​​settled down $8, or 0.3%, to $2,653 a tonne.

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

* Chocolate maker Lindt’s CEO said on Tuesday the company had 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.

* May London cocoa ​​settled down 8 pounds, or 0.4%, to 1,949 pounds per tonne​.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar ​​settled down 5 cents, or 0.4%, at 13.76 cents per lb​​, after setting a seven-week low of 13.62 cents.

* 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 ​​settled down $2.70, or 0.7%, at $389.20 a tonne per tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt, additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Barbara Lewis and Richard Chang)

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