March 27, 2019 / 6:21 PM / in 23 days

SOFTS-Arabica coffee futures fall as Brazil's currency hits 2019 low

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices; adds market activity,
comments, NEW YORK dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures
on ICE fell on Wednesday as the currency of top grower Brazil
softened to its weakest levels against the dollar this year,
while cocoa prices rose.
          
    COFFEE
    * May arabica coffee        settled down 1.5 cents, or 1.6
percent, at 93.85 cents per lb, drifting back toward a contract
low of 92.60 cents set on Monday.
    * Prices, which have collapsed on excess global supplies,
were dragged lower by a weaker Brazilian real, dealers said. A
weaker Brazilian currency can encourage producer selling of
commodities priced in dollars, such as coffee. 
    * The Brazilian real hit a fresh year-to-date low, trading
weaker than 3.95 per dollar for the first time in 2019.
Brazilian financial markets tumbled after a measure to seize
more control over the federal budget received near-unanimous
approval by the country's lower house of Congress.             
    * "The Brazil real alone will continue to dictate market
direction for the foreseeable future, subject to any sudden
moves by funds, which is unlikely," said Darren Stetzel,
commodity broker at INTL FCStone in Singapore.
    * Rabobank increased its forecast for a global coffee
deficit in 2019-20 to 2.3 million 60 kilogram bags, from a
previously estimated 1.2 million, citing reduced production in
several key countries.             
    * Global coffee growers are being forced into poverty by low
international prices, farmers' representatives said at an
international conference, warning the future of the industry is
at risk.             
    *    May robusta coffee         settled down $6, or 0.4
percent, at $1,504 per tonne.    

     COCOA
    * May New York cocoa        settled up $11, or 0.5 percent,
at $2,248 per tonne, its fourth straight positive finish.
    * The May-July spread CCK9-N9 settled at a $2 premium. The
spread inverted to a premium on Tuesday as some market
participants rolled their positions forward. 
    * Prices are unlikely to move higher to break out of their
recent range "unless we get a big boost in global demand, like
with the Asian grind data,"  said Peter Mooses, senior market
strategist at RJO Futures. 
    * May London cocoa         settled up 4 pounds, or 0.2
percent, at 1,691 pounds per tonne.
    
     SUGAR
    *    May raw sugar        settled down 0.01 cent, or 0.1
percent, at 12.58 cents per lb.
    * S&P Global Platts said it had cut its forecast for the
size of an anticipated global sugar deficit in the 2019-20
(October-September) season by 400,000 tonnes to 1.93 million
tonnes.             
    * "Demand now looks set to grow more sluggishly than
previously assumed," Commerzbank said in a market note that
referred to the revised forecast.
    * May white sugar         settled down $1.50, or nearly 0.5
percent, at $330.10 per tonne.

 (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in
London; editing by Louise Heavens and G Crosse)
  
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