ICE raw sugar tumbled after hitting an eight-month high on Friday, pressured by a stronger dollar, while arabica coffee hit a one-month low as rain boosted crop prospects in Brazil. Cocoa on ICE Futures US dipped as the rising dollar outweighed news that grindings in Asia, a signal of demand, were larger than initially anticipated. ICE March raw sugar settled down 0.32 cent, a 2.2 percent loss, at 14.28 cents per pound, after rising as high as 14.73 cents, the highest since February 20. The contract still eked out its fourth consecutive weekly rise, settling up 0.01 cent.
Volume thinned at the highs, signalling a lack of buying interest, and dollar strength added to pressure on prices, said Nick Gentile, managing partner at commodity trading adviser NickJen Capital in New York. “We lost some momentum,” Gentile said, noting that the fall below 14.40 cents a lb, the level that ushered in a sharp move higher the prior session, triggered sell-stops that exaggerated losses.
Brazil’s center-south sugar mills crushed 36.13 million tonnes of cane in the first half of October, down from 40.5 million tonnes in late September, as rains in Sao Paulo state slowed harvesting, industry group Unica said. This data was largely in line with expectations, and concerns the rains could disrupt harvest activities had already been priced into the market, dealers said.
December white sugar settled down $7, a 1.8 percent loss, at $383.90 per tonne. December New York cocoa settled down $15, a 0.5 percent loss, at $3,125 per tonne, while March London cocoa settled up by 8 pounds, a 0.4 percent gain, at 2,132 pounds per tonne.
Traders said the market was supported by data showing Asia’s third quarter grind fell 1.6 percent year-on-year, below market expectations for a decline of about 5 percent. The stronger dollar, however, pressured the New York contract. December arabica coffee settled down 1.4 cent, or 1.2 percent, at $118.45 per pound, having touched $1.1775, its lowest level since September 24 as recent rains brought relief after a dry spell that threatened to damage the flowering of Brazil’s crop. Prices lost nearly 6 percent this week, the second straight week of losses and the sharpest in two months. January robusta coffee settled down $28, or 1.8 percent, at $1,558 per tonne.