Soft commodities watch: Sugar price rebounds from six-year low

By: Anthony Broadfoot
Anthony Broadfoot
Anthony worked for a number of years as head of sales and marketing for stock broker companies with extensive… read more.
on Mar 31, 2015

Soft commodity futures have been trading mixed so far in today’s session with raw sugar rebounding from a fresh six-year low after it was dragged down by speculative trading. Cocoa was changing hands at its lowest level in seven weeks, weighed by favourable planting conditions before the start of West African mid crops.

ICE Raw sugar futures for settlement in May rose 0.38 percent to 12.01 cents per lb on the ICE exchange, as of 13:25 BST. The contract has rebounded from a session low of 11.91 cents hit in earlier trading, its weakest level since January 2009. Reuters cited a commodities trader as saying:
“It’s speculator selling. The specs have got the market on the run”. In his view prices were too low to entice offers of Indian raw sugar exports on the market. At last check, May white sugar was up 0.05 percent at $357.700 per tonne, not far off the contract low of $357.300 hit earlier today.
Arabica coffee futures climbed, consolidating after a four percent fall during the previous session on the back of a rally in the US dollar. Arabica futures for May settlement had gained 1.19 percent to $1.3375 per lb, above the 13-month low of $1.2875 per lb reached earlier in March. May robusta coffee was down $11 or 0.64 percent at $1,711 a tonne.
Cocoa for May delivery fell £6 to £1897.00 per tonne in London, while the US benchmark was up 0.45 percent at $2,694.50. Cocoa dealers claimed that favourable weather in West African growing regions augured well for the mid crops, weighing on prices.
In grain futures, US wheat fell from a one-week high of $531.13, reached earlier today. The contract gave back its earlier gains as support from a dry spell and rising temperatures in parts of the US grain belt, which threatened to curb yields of the winter crop, was offset by strength in the US dollar. Wheat futures for delivery in May on the Chicago Board of Trade had declined 0.87 percent to $5.2538 a bushel. The commodity climbed 4.4 percent during the previous session.
Meanwhile, corn prices were down nearly two cents, or 0.48 percent, to $3.911 a bushel. The commodity rallied three cents yesterday but remains under pressure amid ample supplies and poor demand for US cargoes.
Soybean prices have edged downwards to trade near their lowest since 20 March, pressured by the prospect of higher planting in the US. May soybeans had lost 0.37 percent to $9.633 per bushel as of 13:44 BST. Agricultural commodities traders are awaiting the release of the prospective plantings report from the US Department of Agriculture, due at 17:00 BST, for further cues on market movements.

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