December 7, 2018 / 7:51 PM / 11 days ago

SOFTS-New York cocoa surges 4.6 pct on exporter defaults, technicals

 (Recasts; updates prices throughout; adds comments; NEW YORK
dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE
surged on Friday, with New York cocoa having its biggest
single-day jump since April as news of exporter defaults in top
grower Ivory Coast helped push prices above key technical
levels, dealers said. 
    
    COCOA
    * March New York cocoa        settled up $97, or 4.6
percent, at $2,225 per tonne.  
    * On the week, the contract gained 1.2 percent, its second
consecutive positive weekly finish.
    * The price movement on Friday was a "knee jerk reaction to
the defaults in Ivory Coast," one U.S. broker said. 
    * Ivory Coast revoked the licenses of two cocoa exporters
that relinquished their contracts after they were denied bank
financing, two sources at the country's cocoa marketing board
said.             
    * That helped propel prices above key technical levels,
including the $2,215 area, which was Tuesday's high as well as a
62 percent Fibonacci retracement from the Dec. 5 low and Nov. 7
high. 
    * On Dec. 5, prices plunged 3.5 percent on technical
weakness and concerns about plentiful Ivorian supplies. 
    * While the defaults by the two Ivory Coast exporters
offered support on Friday, that support may only be temporary as
those exporters' cocoa would likely soon get reassigned to other
exporters, dealers said. 
    * March London cocoa         settled up 61 pounds, or 3.9
percent, at 1,631 pounds per tonne.  
    
    SUGAR
    * March raw sugar        settled up 0.23 cent, or 1.8
percent, at 12.87 cents per lb., after touching 13.07 cents per
lb. 
    * On the week, the contract gained 0.2 percent, its second
consecutive positive finish following five weeks of declines. 
    * Prices were supported by a rally in oil prices, which
earlier had jumped as much as 5 percent on news of a production
cut agreement from OPEC before paring gains.      
    * "If energy continues to rally, we're going to make less
sugar and make more ethanol. That's what's behind the sugar
move," one U.S. trader said. 
    * March white sugar         settled up $4, or 1.2 percent,
at $345.60 per tonne. The contract lost 0.6 percent on the week,
its sixth negative finish in seven weeks.    

    COFFEE
     * March arabica coffee        settled down 1.85 cent, or
1.8 percent, at $1.041 per lb.  
     * On the week, the contract lost 3.2 percent, its fifth
straight negative weekly finish.   
     * March robusta coffee         fell $9, or 0.6 percent, to
$1,554 a tonne, its lowest since early October.
    * On the week, the contract fell 2.8 percent, its seventh
straight negative weekly finish. 
    * Both arabica and robusta have been pressured by
speculative selling, partly inspired by expectations of ample
supplies.
    

 (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Ana Ionova in
London
Editing by David Evans, Mark Potter and Frances Kerry)
  
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