© Reuters. SOFTS-ICE raw sugar futures hits August highs as cocoa weakens
(Adds sugar delivery details, comments; updates with closing prices)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Raw sugar futures on ICE (NYSE:) climbed on Monday ahead of the October contract’s expiration while cocoa prices weakened on an expected strong start to the main crop season in top grower Ivory Coast.
* March raw sugar SBc2 settled up 0.03 cent, or 0.2%, at 12.65 cents per lb after peaking at 12.85 cents, the highest for the second position since Aug. 13.
* Singapore agribusiness Wilmar International was seen the sole buyer of about 175,000 tonnes, or 3,439 lots, of raw sugar to be delivered against the ICE Futures U.S. contract that expired on Monday, four traders said. That would be the smallest physical delivery of raw sugar against an ICE October contact since 2011, according to exchange data compiled by Reuters.
* The October contract SBV9 settled up 3.4% at 11.92 cents per lb after touching 12.02, the highest for the front-month since Aug. 5.
* Though nearby supplies remain available, expectations have mounted for an impending supply deficit amid strong pricing in Brazil as cane millers favor ethanol, one trader said.
* A significant reduction in the net short position held by speculators was also seen as potentially bullish. “It is clear that the funds have begun to cover shorts. No one can be sure that they will continue, but we do know that once they change direction they tend to go on in that new direction with big volumes and for a considerable time,” broker Marex Spectron said in a market update.
* December white sugar was up $2.90, or 0.8%, settling at $344.30 a tonne after peaking at $345.80, the highest for the front month since March.
* December New York cocoa CCZ9 settled down $48, or 2%, at $2,442 a tonne.
* Dealers were awaiting the start of the 2019/20 main crop season in Ivory Coast on Tuesday, with farmgate prices expected to rise to 825 CFA francs from 750 francs.
* Ivory Coast cocoa farmers predicted a strong start to the October-to-March main crop on Monday after above-average rains in most growing regions last week. March LCCc2 was down 13 pounds, or 0.7%, at 1,867 pounds a tonne.
* “We were short-term overbought after the rally on mostly short-covering,” Nick Gentile, managing partner of commodity trading advisor NickJen Capital in New York said, noting that selling picked up on stop-loss orders during the session.
“We’ve closed near the low, so I would think tomorrow we may see some follow-through (selling).”
* December arabica coffee KCZ9 rose 0.3 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $1.0115 per lb.
* November robusta coffee fell $1, or 0.08%, at $1,320 a tonne.
* Vietnam’s coffee exports in the first nine months of the year are likely to have fallen by 12% from a year earlier to 1.27 million tonnes, according to government data released on Saturday.