August 17, 2018 / 6:37 PM / 8 months ago

SOFTS-ICE coffee, raw sugar prices hit 2008 lows as weak real weighs

 (New throughout with updated market moves, comment, prices;
adds NEW YORK dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee and raw
sugar on ICE Futures U.S. both hit their lowest levels since
2008 on Friday, under pressure as the Brazilian real resumed its
retreat against the U.S. dollar and hefty supplies weighed.
    Cocoa also fell.

    * ICE second-month arabica coffee        settled down 0.65
cent, or 0.62 percent, at $1.047 per lb and touched $1.0385, its
weakest since 2008. 
    * Benchmark prices finished the week down 5 percent.
    * "Funds and speculators are very keen to sell this market,"
said Rabobank senior commodities analyst Carlos Mera.
Speculators hold a huge bearish bet in the commodity.
    * Prices have been hit as broader pressure on emerging
market currencies has battered the Brazilian real       . The
real and coffee prices often move in tandem, as weakness in the
Brazilian currency can prompt producer selling of dollar-traded
commodities as it makes them more valuable in local terms. 
    * "Prices are now below costs of production at most washed
arabica origins," raising concerns about future production,
Volcafe said in a report seen by Reuters.
    * Dealers monitored weather and the rising risk of El Nino.
Recent unseasonable rains in Brazil's arabica regions have also
raised some concerns.
    * November robusta coffee         settled down $36, or 2.26
percent, at $1,560 per tonne, after touching $1,544, its lowest
since April 2016. 
    * Front-month raw sugar        finished down 0.12 cent, or
1.17 percent, at 10.18 cents per lb after touching 10.11 cents,
the weakest since June 2008.
    * Prices fell 3.4 percent this week, under pressure from
weak technical signals, the flagging Brazilian real and broader
commodities pressure, dealers said.
    * "Sugar’s fundamentals are not changing at present while
the world in general is going through significant political and
economic turmoil which will buffet sugar along with other
commodities," Agrilion advisers said in a market note.
    * October white sugar         settled down $3.70, or 1.19
percent, at $307.50 per tonne after sliding to $306.30, the
lowest since December 2008.

    * December New York cocoa        settled down $9, or 0.42
percent, at $2,149 per tonne, but finished the week up 1.5
    * "The 10 (day moving average) has closed in and we
anticipate this to provide resistance to the market in the near
term," said Sucden Financial technical analyst Geordie Wilkes.
    * December London cocoa         finished down 4 pounds, or
0.25 percent, at 1,603 pounds per tonne, ending the week down
    * Ivory Coast cocoa grinders processed 421,000 tonnes of
beans by the end of July, data from exporters' association GEPEX
showed on Friday.             

 (Reporting by Chris Prentice in New York and Ana Ionova in
London; editing by David Goodman and Dan Grebler)
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