SOFTS-Raw sugar hits 7-month peak; coffee, cocoa rally amid short covering

cnbc logo - SOFTS-Raw sugar hits 7-month peak; coffee, cocoa rally amid short covering

(Recasts throughout, updates prices, comment; adds NEW YORK to dateline, ICE data) NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Friday to a fresh seven-month high while arabica coffee had its biggest weekly rise in more than a year, amid short covering and a broader bounce in equities, dealers said.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar settled up 0.15 cent, or 1.2 percent, at 13.07 cents per lb, after earlier touching 13.28, its highest since early March.

* The contract gained 3.5 percent on the week.

* Prices were lifted by speculative short covering and were also supported by the broader bounce in equities, dealers said.

* “We continue to think that investors have a substantial short position they no longer want,” Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a market note.

* Open interest fell for the ninth straight session to a new 10-month low of 742,464 lots on Thursday, ICE data show.

* December white sugar settled up $0.60, or 0.2 percent, at $363.50 per tonne. The contract gained 4.8 percent on the week.

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee rose 1.8 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $1.1470 per lb, after the continuation contract hit $1.1680, its highest since mid-June.

* On the week, the contract jumped 6.7 percent, its biggest percentage increase since September 2017. This was the fourth straight week of gains.

* Dealers attributed some of the gains to short covering. Speculators hold a large net short position, though they have in recent weeks pared it down from a record.

* “It’s just short covering – nothing has changed fundamentally in the market,” said one U.S. dealer.

* Open interest fell on Thursday by 6,500 lots to 311,780 lots, the lowest since late August, ICE data show.

* Coffee growers were concerned about the broader downtrend in prices, and on Friday sent a letter to industry executives asking them to act.

* January robusta coffee settled up $26, or 1.5 percent, at $1,725 per tonne.

COCOA

* December New York cocoa settled up $63, or 3 percent, at $2,160 per tonne.

* On the week, the contract jumped 6.3 percent, its first positive finish in seven weeks.

* Some of the bounce was attributable to short-covering, dealers said.

* December London cocoa settled up 44 pounds, or 2.8 percent, at 1,596 pounds a tonne. The contract gained 4.5 percent on the week, its largest weekly gain since late August.

* Dealers were awaiting third-quarter European grind data, due out on Monday, with expectations for a rise of 2 percent to 3 percent.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Ana Ionova in London; Editing by Adrian Croft and Andrea Ricci)

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