* Indian white sugar prices ease to $470/T from $490/T
* Thai hipol premiums unchanged at 70 to 80 points
* White-over-raws premiums slip to $85-$88 from $121 in Aug
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, Oct 8 Prices of Indian white sugar
dropped in thin trade this week, dealers said on Tuesday, while
Thai raws premiums were stuck in a range as trading houses
digested a sharp rebound in New York futures.
ICE raw sugar hit a 6-1/2-month high on Monday after recent
wet weather hampered crushing in top grower Brazil. The March
contract has rebounded more than 16 percent since hitting
a three-year low of 15.93 cents a lb in mid-July.
But the physical market in Asia has shifted its attention to
India and Thailand, which are likely to compete for buyers. Main
consumer India may export as much as 3 million tonnes of sugar
in the 2013/14 season to reduce excess stocks.
"The current price is at around $470 a tonne for sugar from
the old crop. New crop is yet to come out," said a dealer in
Dubai, who trades Indian sugar.
Two weeks ago, white sugar from the main producing state of
Maharashtra was offered at $490 a tonne free on board. London
white sugar has rebounded from a 3-year low of around
$458 a tonne in mid-July, but prices are still below recent
highs of around $500.
"Raws are not offered at the moment, but if white sugar
prices drop further, it will be more attractive to millers to
sell and export raw sugar. We need to watch the futures market
and the currency movements," said the dealer.
White-over-raws premiums were quoted by dealers at between
$85 and $88 a tonne, down from $121 in August, which suggested
demand for refined sugar had weakened. The premiums measure
Thai high polarisation, or hipol, raw sugar was offered at
premiums of 70 to 80 points to New York's futures for
January-March delivery, unchanged from last week, even though
the sweetener was sold at higher premiums at a government tender
This indicates buyers are waiting for lower differentials as
fresh supply from Thailand is expected to enter the physical
market in the next few weeks, with the crushing season due to
start on Nov. 15.
Thai sugar production is forecast to reach 11 million tonnes
Thai raw sugar for the Japanese market, or J-spec, for next
year's delivery was offered at premiums of 100 points to New
York futures, unchanged from last week.
Premiums for Thai white sugar for this year's delivery stood
at $24 to $25 a tonne, within sight of last week's levels of $25
and $32, with no report of deals.
Thai raw sugar premiums could slip by a couple of points
next week if New York futures extend gains. Premiums and futures
usually move in opposite directions.
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)