March 20, 2020 / 12:11 PM / 16 days ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar soars as stimulus measures boost financial markets

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE jumped by about 5% on Friday as equities and oil rebounded after central banks and governments poured unprecedented aid into the global economy in an effort to halt coronavirus-driven recession.

Arabica coffee rose for a third consecutive day, helped by gains in wider financial markets and worries about potential supply chain disruptions because of the coronavirus.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar ​​was up 0.5 cents, or 4.5%, at 11.06 cents per lb by 1143 GMT, having hit its lowest since September 2018 on Thursday.

* Oil prices spiked, driven by the global economic stimulus measures and after U.S. President Donald Trump hinted he may intervene in the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

* Rising energy prices tend to prompt cane mills in Brazil to produce more of the biofuel ethanol at the expense of sugar. Cane is a feedstock for both products.

* A dealer said that sugar would continue to rise in the short term, given that it is massively oversold, though a sustained rally is unlikely given the macroeconomic uncertainty.

* May white sugar rose $7.90, or 2.3%, to $345.80 a tonne, having hit its lowest since last November on Thursday.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee rose 3.2 cents, or 2.8%, to $1.1655 per lb, having gained 4% on Thursday.

* Container shortages at ports in top producer Brazil and beyond are boosting arabica, as is general supply tightness and strong retail coffee demand as consumers stock up amid the coronavirus outbreak.

* ICE certified stocks KC-TOT-TOT fell further, totalling 2.08 million bags at the last count, versus 2.18 million at the end of January.

* Soaring arabica premiums in physical markets are deterring traders from delivering coffee to the exchange, where it commands little, if any, mark-up.

* May robusta coffee rose $17, or 1.4%, to $1,234 a tonne.

COCOA

* May New York cocoa ​​rose $42, or 1.9%, to $2,271 a tonne, having hit a six-month low on Thursday.

* May cocoa could stabilise around support at $2,222 a tonne and bounce towards $2,305, technical signals indicate.

* Dealers are concerned that chocolate consumption could suffer because of the coronavirus, while cocoa grinders could use up their plentiful stockpiles and place reduced orders for beans.

* May London cocoa rose 16 pounds, or 0.9%, to 1,810 pounds a tonne. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel Editing by David Goodman )

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