LONDON: Raw sugar futures rose to the highest level in nearly five months on Wednesday, boosted by stronger energy prices and a slow start to the cane harvest in Centre-South Brazil.
Higher energy prices can prompt cane mills in Brazil to divert output from sugar to ethanol, a cane-based fuel.
May raw sugar was up 0.7% to 20.36 cents per lb at 1312 GMT after climbing to a peak of 20.51 cents – the highest for the front month in nearly five months.
Brazil’s centre-south sugarcane crushing totalled 1.18 million tonnes in the second half of March, down 76.3% from a year earlier as the new season gathers pace, industry group Unica said on Tuesday.
May white sugar, which expires on Thursday, rose 2% to $574.70 a tonne.
Dealers said around 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of white sugar was expected to be delivered against the May contract.
July London cocoa was down 0.2% at 1,802 pounds a tonne.
Dealers said Europe’s first-quarter cocoa grind, due to be published on Thursday, would provide a short-term focus as the market looks for further indications on the extent to which demand is rebounding from a COVID-19 driven dip.
July New York cocoa rose 0.04% to $2,635 a tonne.
Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut expects steady global cocoa prices in the current season because the market is effectively balanced, it said on Wednesday.
July arabica coffee fell 2.7% to $2.2725 per lb.
Dealers said the market was underpinned, however, by a continued decline in ICE certified stocks which stood at 1.08 million bags, as of April 12, a slight drop from 1.09 million a week ago and sharply down from 1.86 million a year earlier.
July robusta coffee fell 0.5% to $2,100 a tonne.
Italian coffee maker Lavazza said on Wednesday it expected a challenging 2022 due to raw material price rises after reporting a strong increase in profits for 2021.