NEW YORK/LONDON: Sugar and coffee futures fell on Friday as market participants took profits ahead of a runoff presidential election in top-grower Brazil on Sunday, while cocoa prices rose.
SUGAR * March raw sugar settled down 0.13 cent, or 0.9 percent, at 13.84 cents per lb after hitting a 9-1/2-month peak Wednesday.
* On the week, the contract shed 0.4 percent, its first negative weekly finish in four.
* Profit-taking ahead of Sunday’s elections was pressuring prices, dealers said.
* The upcoming election has strongly impacted the country’s currency. Its strength over the past several weeks has buoyed sugar and coffee prices by helping discourage producer selling.
* “The lack of follow-through buying or a higher high in a still technically ‘overbought’ market in itself was slightly ominous for the bulls,” James Liddiard, senior vice president of consultancy Agrilion, said in a note.
* December white sugar settled down $8.50, or 2.2 percent, at $372.90 a tonne.
* December arabica coffee settled down 1.5 cents, or 1.24 percent, at $1.1965 per lb.
* On the week, the contract lost 1.9 percent, its first negative finish in six.
* “Coffee is struggling – we might test the $1.10 area again even though we’ve corrected from overbought levels. The weather is really good in Brazil, and there’s really no shortage of coffee,” one US trader said.
* After climbing the past several days, open interest fell on Thursday to its lowest since early July, ICE data show.
* “The only buyers have been the short-covering funds,” said one European dealer. “The roasters bought a lot when the market was at the lows.”
* Dealers warned of a potential pick-up in selling as Brazilian and Central American producers will have to hedge supplies soon.
* January robusta coffee settled up $23, or 1.4 percent, at $1,730 per tonne.
* December New York cocoa settled up $42, or 1.9 percent, at $2,251 per tonne. On the week, the contract gained 4.1 percent.
* Prices were lifted by short-covering and weather concerns in top-growing region West Africa, dealers said.
* “Some things we’re seeing on the weather diagrams are adding to the (price) volatility and a possible uptick. El Nino weather that we’re seeing across West Africa could make things dryer and make production numbers come in lower,” said Peter Mooses, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
* December London cocoa rose 29 pounds, or 1.7 percent, at 1,704 pounds a tonne, after hitting 1,716 pounds, its highest since July. The contract rose 6.1 percent this week.
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