Raw sugar futures on ICE gained on Tuesday on technically prompted short-covering ahead of the spot contract’s Tuesday expiration, and ICE arabica and cocoa futures also rose, supported by technical levels and a weaker US dollar. May raw sugar futures on ICE Futures US were up 0.18 cent, or 0.1 percent, to finish at 17.67 cents a lb after dipping to 17.13 cents on Monday, the lowest level for the front-month contract since July 2010.
The most-active July contract gained 0.15, or 0.9 percent, to finish at 17.60 cents a lb after falling to 17.25 cents a lb last week, the contract’s lowest level since November 2010. “We have some edginess about the delivery. There’s also a technical rally going on after our outside day,” said Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup in Chicago.
The May/July spread was active throughout the session, with May ultimately settling at a premium to July. The second-month contract’s move into a discount to the front month during the previous session prompted the short-covering rally, dealers said. Traders said they expected to see origins of Brazil, Central America, and Mexico for delivery against the spot contract. Open interest in the spot contract totalled 31,817 lots on Monday, ICE data showed, interpreted as a potential sign of a larger-than-expected delivery.
The July contract was under pressure from producer price fixing, dealers said. “Producers are fully aware there’s a bumper crop coming along and they need to fix. They’re scale-up selling from 17.60 cents and the bulk are sitting around 17.75 to 18.00 cents,” said a London-based broker. August white sugar on Liffe was up $3.40, or 0.7 percent, to close at $505.10 a tonne.
Iraq reissued a tender on Tuesday to buy a minimum of 50,000 tonnes of white sugar from all origins except India and Thailand, the trade ministry said in a statement. July cocoa on ICE was up $33, or 1.4 percent, to close at $2,368 a tonne after earlier falling near technical support at $2,315 per tonne. July cocoa on Liffe closed up 15 pounds, or 1 percent, at 1,541 pounds a tonne. ICE July arabica coffee futures gained 1.35 cents, or 1 percent, to finish at $1.3510 per lb. The contract dipped to $1.3270 on Monday, the lowest level for the second month since May 2010, which dealers said now serves as technical support. July robusta coffee futures on Liffe were down $3, or 0.2 percent, to close at $2,007 a tonne.