March 18, 2019 / 6:22 PM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-Arabica coffee prices fall, raw sugar rises

 (Recasts throughout; updates prices, adds market activity,
comments, NEW YORK dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures
on ICE fell on Monday, approaching last week's 13-year low as
the market struggled to absorb excess supplies, while raw sugar
prices rose to their highest in more than two weeks.
    * May arabica coffee        settled down 0.95 cent, or 1
percent, at 96.85 cents per lb, after trading in light volumes
for the second consecutive session. 
    * Earlier, the contract traded as low as 96.30 cents per
lb., closing in on last week's 13-year low of 94.65 cents. 
    * Prices have been weighed down by excess global supplies,
especially in top-grower Brazil, which harvested a record-large
crop last year.
    * Brazil's production outlook for this year also appears
favorable, even though it will be an off-year in the country's
biennial crop cycle.
     * May robusta coffee         was unchanged from the
previous session and settled at $1,485 a tonne.
    * In the previous session, the contract fell to a two-year
low of $1,463, also pressured by plentiful global supplies.

    * May raw sugar        settled up 0.32 cent, or 2.6 percent,
at 12.84 cents per lb, after peaking at 12.87, its highest since
March 1.
    * Data released on Friday, showing speculators held a
larger-than-expected net short position, was supporting futures
by prompting some short-covering, dealers said.
    * Speculators sharply increased their net short position in
raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. to a five-month high in the week
to March 12, U.S. government data showed.             
    * The strength of the energy market continued to support
sugar, as higher oil prices encourage Brazilian cane mills to
produce more ethanol rather than sugar. 
    * Potential exports from India kept a lid on prices, though
a small global deficit is generally expected in 2019-20.
    * India's sugar output is expected at 32.6 million tonnes in
the year that began on Oct. 1, 2018, the All India Sugar Trade
Association said, up from a previous estimate of 31.5 million
    * May white sugar         settled up $6, or 1.8 percent, at
$346.70 per tonne.
    * May New York cocoa        settled down $1, or 0.1 percent,
at $2,196 per tonne.
    * Cocoa arrivals at Ivorian ports reached 1.627 million
tonnes between Oct. 1 and March 17, exporters estimated on
Monday, up about 11 percent year on year.             
    * Showers in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions last week
augured well for the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said,
despite concerns over below-average rainfall in the country's
    * May London cocoa         settled down 2 pounds, or 0.1
percent, at 1,654 pounds per tonne.

 (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in
London; Editing by Richard Chang)
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