June 27, 2018 / 11:55 AM / 6 months ago

SOFTS-NY cocoa slips on improved Ivorian crop outlook, sugar steady

LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures on ICE fell on Wednesday, partly under pressure from waning speculative buying and an improved crop outlook in top grower Ivory Coast, while raw sugar was steady.

COCOA

* September New York cocoa was down $32, or 1.3 percent, at $2,440 a tonne by 1130 GMT, partly weighed by a firmer U.S. dollar.

* Prices were also under pressure from a slowdown in buying by speculators, coupled with an improving crop outlook in Ivory Coast, dealers said.

* Recent rains have relieved a dry spell in the top grower and boosted the outlook for its mid-crop, although worries over the impact on quality linger, dealers said.

* “There are better weather reports and I think the fact that supplies will be plentiful, that’s leaning on prices,” said one European dealer. “All the while, we have a trimming in the speculative long position on a weekly basis now.”

* Speculators reduced their net long position in cocoa to its lowest since March in the week to June 19.

* “They still control the ultimate direction,” the dealer said. “And we expect the reduction of their long to continue.”

* September London cocoa eased 16 pounds, or 0.9 percent, to 1,788 pounds a tonne, with market focus on the July options expiry later this week, dealers said.

* The July contract’s premium over September eased from the prior session. The spot price surged to a premium recently from a discount of nearly 70 pounds earlier this month.

* Indonesia will cut its export tax on cocoa beans to 5 percent in July from 10 percent, the Trade Ministry said on Wednesday.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar eased 0.02 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 12.43 cents per lb.

* Prices rallied in the prior session, boosted by data showing Brazilian mills produced more ethanol than expected, leaving less available cane for sugar.

* Focus also remained on enduring dry weather in the top grower, which could curb sugar production in the current season and going forward.

* “Dry weather conditions and aging cane are having an impact on ... yields, which will mean a reduction in cane supply moving forward,” ING said in a market note.

* August white sugar fell $0.10, or 0.03 percent, to $349.90 a tonne.

COFFEE

* September robusta coffee was up $4, or 0.2 percent, at $1,690 a tonne.

* The spot July position gained $16, or 0.9 percent, to $1,712 a tonne.

* September arabica coffee rose 0.25 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $1.1795 per lb. (Reporting by Ana Ionova Editing by Edmund Blair)

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