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SOFTS-Sugar at 2016 High on Tightening Supply Forecasts

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on March 15, 2016 - 4:29pm

* Spot raw, white sugar contracts make double top formations

* Cocoa traders eye Ivory Coast attack (Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline)

By: Marcy Nicholson and David Brough

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 14 Raw sugar on ICE extended gains to its highest level this year on Monday, after two analysts increased their global deficit forecasts, while arabica coffee garnered upward momentum from the prior session's surge and touched a two-month peak.

Cocoa prices turned higher, extending their steadily upward move, to 2-1/2-month highs, led by the sterling-traded London market, which felt support from the weak British pound against the U.S. dollar.

 
 
 
 
 

Sugar prices were buoyed by prospects for a deeper global 2015/16 deficit than some had initially forecast, with Rabobank raising its estimate to 6.8 million tonnes from 4.7 million tonnes. Later, F.O. Licht upped its estimate to 7.2 million tonnes from 6.5 million tonnes.

"All the headlines are grabbing people's attention. The deficit's real," said one U.S. trader.

"For people who are trading sugar daily, though, this is no real news."

May raw sugar settled up 0.29 cent, or 1.9 percent, at 15.42 cents per lb, the highest this year.

The session high of 15.44 cents matched that of Dec. 31, forming a double top for the spot contract, a formation that has the potential to create technical resistance, though a close above the psychological 15-cent level was viewed as bullish.

Also bullish was the larger-than-expected increase in speculators' net long position released late Friday.

May white sugar settled up $5.10, or 1.2 percent, at $438.50 per tonne, after touching $439.20, the highest since November 2014 and also a double top.

Coffee futures extended gains, with robusta seen supported by prolonged dry weather in Brazil and concerns over drought in Vietnam.

May robusta settled up $11, or 0.8 percent, at $1,438 per tonne, after hitting a three-week high of $1,444.

May arabica coffee settled up 1.4 cent, or 1.1 percent, at $1.272 per lb. It earlier hit $1.277, the highest price since Jan. 4.

Cocoa futures were partially supported by Sunday's attack in which gunmen from al Qaeda's North African branch killed 18 people at a beach resort town in Ivory Coast, with traders mentioning potential supply worries.

May London cocoa ended up 29 pounds, or 1.3 percent, at 2,254 pounds a tonne, the highest since Dec. 31.

New York May cocoa settled up $19, or 0.6 percent, at $3,081 per tonne, the highest since Jan. 5. (Editing by Keith Weir and Andrea Ricci)

Originally Published: Reuters

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