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Cocoa falls on heavy chart-based selling, sugar steadies

Cocoa falls on heavy chart-based selling, sugar steadiesNEW YORK/LONDON: Heavy chart-based selling by speculators pushed cocoa futures on ICE lower on Wednesday, with industry buying preventing steeper losses, while raw sugar futures stayed near contract lows ahead of production data from top grower Brazil later this week.

Robusta coffee finished higher as the July/September spread rose to a contract high ahead of the spot contract’s expiry at the end of the month.

Arabica fell after seesawing in a market lacking direction.

New York cocoa fell $ 58 per tonne in just one minute at 8:38 a.m. EDT (1238 GMT), triggering “thousands” of automatic sell orders below last week’s low, traders said. At one point, the contract was down $ 100 to a session low.

September New York cocoa settled down $ 59, or 1.8 percent, at $ 3,277 a tonne. Total volume was double the average. Industry buying was seen preventing deeper losses.

“They have some catching up to do because they don’t have much paper cover,” said one US trader. “They’ve been waiting to buy.” September London cocoa slid 43 pounds, or 1.9 percent, to close at 2,180 pounds a tonne. Weak demand also pressured prices. Dealers expected the second-quarter grind data for Asia to be published on Friday, with estimates for a year-on-year decline of more than 10 percent.

In raw sugar, Brazil cane industry group Unica is expected to publish output data for the first half of July for the key center-south region, on Thursday.

“Early July was unusually wet in parts of south Brazil’s cane region so sugar production is likely to be down – just how far down is the question,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey said.

October raw sugar futures closed down 0.04 cent, or 0.4 percent, at 11.38 cents a lb.

A Reuters survey of analysts forecast that raw sugar prices would recover to 13 cents a lb by the end of 2015 and average 14.50 cents in 2016, with the first global deficit in six years forecast for the 2015/16 season. October white sugar closed down 0.1 percent at $ 348 per tonne.

Robusta coffee futures firmed as some traders have yet to either pay the large nearby premium to cover their short positions or settle their accounts by supplying the physical commodity. September robustas rose $ 17, or 1 percent, to end at $ 1,681 a tonne, while September arabicas closed down 0.9 cent, or 0.7 percent, at $ 1.2505 per lb.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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