June 18, 2020 / 11:44 AM / 19 days ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar prices ease as demand concerns weigh

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE were slightly lower on Thursday as weakness in global equity markets heightened concerns about a potential fall in consumption this year.

SUGAR

* July raw sugar was down 0.03 cents, or 0.25%, at 12.08 cents per lb​ at 1137 GMT.

* Dealers said weak consumption combined with a rise in production in Brazil and India was now expected to lead to a global surplus in the 2020/21 season. A small deficit had been forecast in a Reuters poll issued in late January.

* The market is also undergoing a period of consolidation, with prices holding just below a three-month high of 12.27 cents set earlier this month.

* August white sugar fell $2.80, or 0.7%, to $383.30 a tonne.

COCOA

* September London cocoa fell 3 pounds, or 0.2%, to 1,669 pounds per tonne, after equalling the prior session’s low of 1,663 pounds - the weakest level since May 2019.

* Dealers said the market remained on the defensive due to sluggish demand.

* September New York cocoa fell $1, or 0.04%, to $2,229 a tonne.

COFFEE

* September arabica coffee fell 0.6 cents, or 0.6%, to 97.55 cents per lb, having hit a nine-month low of 94.55 cents on Monday.

* Dealers said the market remained on the defensive, with supplies ample as top producer Brazil harvests a huge crop.

* September robusta coffee fell $9, or 0.8%, to $1,173 a tonne.

* Coffee trading in Vietnam has been slow for a month as farmers have sold most of their stocks, well ahead of the end of the 2019/20 crop year, while Indonesia’s harvest season has increased supply, but prices are high, traders said.

Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Mark Potter

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