SOFTS-Raw sugar, arabica coffee close down; cocoa recovers

(Recasts, includes closing prices and comments)

NEW YORK/LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) – Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures closed down on ICE (NYSE:) on Thursday amid rising cases of coronavirus in several countries that put a cloud on ideas of demand recovery this year.

Cocoa recovered from two days of losses to close up.


* May raw sugar ​​settled down 0.06 cent, or 0.4%, at 14.71 cents per lb​​, after setting a three-month low of 14.67 cents on Wednesday.

* Dealers said sugar price risks were to the downside with easing supply tightness, but added Wednesday’s low might hold given uncertainty over the upcoming Brazilian harvest.

* “We forecast the global market in an 8.5 million tonne surplus in both 2020/21 and in 2021/22. In 2021/22, production will recover in the EU, Thailand and Russia among others,” said Fitch Solutions.

* Brazil exported 1.98 million tonnes of sugar in March versus 1.42 million tonnes a year ago, the government said. Indian sugar mills’ output rose by nearly a fifth year on year to 27.76 million tonnes in the first six months of the 2020/21 marketing year, a trade body said. May white sugar ​​settled up $3.40, or 0.8%, at $423.40 a tonne.


* May arabica coffee settled down 1.9 cents, or 1.5%, at $1.216 per lb​​, having hit a 1-1/2 month low of $1.2050 on Wednesday.

* Arabica remains underpinned by the prospect of less output in Brazil with the 2021/22 harvest, but rising cases of coronavirus, particularly in Europe, put in doubt previous expectations of a recovery on arabica demand.

* Brazil exported 241,589 tonnes of green coffee in March versus 182,615 tonnes a year ago. May robusta coffee settled down $17, or 1.3%, at $1,325 a tonne.

* Local coffee prices in top robusta producer Vietnam fell this week versus last on weak demand, dealers said. May New York cocoa ​​settled up $44, or 1.9%, to $2,392 a tonne.

* Top cocoa producer Ivory Coast said it has lowered its cocoa farmgate price by 9% to 750 CFA francs ($1.35) per kilogramme for the 2020/21 mid-crop, following poor sales caused by the coronavirus crisis. May London cocoa ​​settled up 20 pounds, or 1.2%, to 1,713 pounds per tonne​.

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