July 3, 2020 / 2:18 PM / a month ago

CORRECTED-SOFTS-Sugar gains on improved macro data, China import hopes

(Removes raw sugar, arabica coffee and New York cocoa prices. Adds line saying U.S. markets are closed. Changes ‘settled up’ to ‘fell’ in London cocoa price line.)

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - London sugar prices on ICE rose on Friday as recovering global economic data kept nagging coronavirus nerves at bay in the wider markets, and as investors focussed on talk China would need to import more of the sweetener this year. MKTS/GLOB

U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.

SUGAR

* “People are chattering about China needing to import more raws. That 1.5 mln tonnes (a year of white sugar) smuggling has been stopped more or less. Now that sugar needs to come in officially as raws. It does increase raw sugar demand,” said a dealer.​​

* Sugar trader Czarnikow said in a note that Thailand, the world’s second largest sugar exporter, is in for another dry year in 2021, with production set to fall once again to 7.5 million tonnes, half of what it was in 2019.

* The port of Paranaguá, Brazil’s second busiest for shipping commodities like soybeans and sugar, has resumed normal activities.

* August white sugar ​​rose $1.70, or 0.5%, to $352 a tonne, with the discount for August versus October sugar widening LSUQ0-V0, indicating growing supplies.

COFFEE

* The International Coffee Organization said Central American farmers face “immense challenges” as coronavirus hampers demand for pricey arabica beans from the region.

* September robusta coffee fell $6, or 0.5%, to $1,196 a tonne.

COCOA

* September London cocoa fell 15 pounds, or 0.9%, to 1,616 pounds per tonne​, having plumbed 15 month lows on Wednesday on worries over weak demand and collapsing nearby premiums LCC-1=R.

* “Cocoa continues to drift. We believe chocolate consumption will be significantly impacted this year and next by the Covid-19 lockdowns and economic recession,” said Fitch Solutions.

Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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