SOFTS-White sugar futures ease, cocoa also weakens

LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – White sugar futures on ICE (NYSE:) were slightly lower on Wednesday, easing back after setting a near four-year peak in the prior session, while cocoa prices also fell.

SUGAR

* March white sugar ​​fell $1.60, or 0.35%, to $462 a tonne by 1139 GMT.

* The front month contract had climbed to a peak of $470.40 on Tuesday, its highest since April 2017.

* Dealers said the market was consolidating after a recent run-up but it remained underpinned by nearby supply tightness.

* Commerzbank (DE:) said in a market note that robust physical demand coupled with a shortage of containers in countries such as India had created tightness in the physical market.

* “This is prompting customers who need sugar urgently to seek it on the exchange. Furthermore, production is disappointing in regions like Thailand and the EU, which are conventional white sugar suppliers,” the bank added.

* March raw sugar fell 0.05 cents, or 0.3%, to 16.24 cents per lb.

COCOA

* March New York cocoa was down $62, or 2.4%, at $2,537 a tonne with the front month’s premium CC-1=R also weakening to around $80 from about $100 at the close on Tuesday.

* Dealers noted the front month’s premium had led to more cocoa being graded with certified stocks rising to 259,930 bags, as of Feb. 2, up from 179,040 bags a week earlier.

* March London cocoa fell 12 pounds, or 0.7%, to 1,751 pounds a tonne.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee rose 0.2 cents, or 0.2%, to $1.2360 per lb.

* Arabica coffee prices will end this year nearly 8% above current levels as the market moves to price in a deficit next season after working off the current surplus, a Reuters poll of 11 traders and analysts showed. March robusta coffee was up $8, or 0.6%, at $1,307 a tonne.



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