March 19, 2020 / 3:18 PM / 11 days ago

SOFTS-Coffee jumps 4% on supply chain worries; cocoa falls

(Updates prices, includes comments)

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures jumped 4% in New York as worries about potential disruptions to the supply chain due to the coronavirus outbreak raised fears of occasional shortages.

Raw sugar closed down after hitting a 1-1/2 year low earlier in the session.


* May arabica coffee closed up 4% to $1.1270 per lb, posting another strong session after having closed up 5% on Wednesday.

* Dealers and traders said there was talk of possible difficulties in the supply chain as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

* ICE Europe has cut cocoa and coffee delivery limits due to potential disruptions linked to the pandemic.

* One U.S. importer said Honduras main coffee port of Puerto Cortes had stopped operations, but the port’s operator Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana (OPC) denied it.

* Strong retail coffee demand, as people stock up, was seen supportive as well, said U.S. trader Christian Wolthers.

* “Supermarkets and roasters are asking for anticipation of deliveries, they are trying to guarantee supplies,” he said.

* ICE certified stocks KC-TOT-TOT totalled 2.08 million bags at the last count, versus 2.18 million at end-January.

* Soaring arabica premiums in the physical markets are deterring traders from delivering coffee to the exchange where it commands little, if any, mark-up.

* May robusta coffee lost $11 to $1,216 a tonne.


* May raw sugar ​​settled down 0.08 cent, or 0.7%, at 10.59 cents per lb​​, after hitting its lowest since September 2018 at 10.44 earlier in the session.

* Crude oil prices bounced off 18-year lows on Thursday, as investors assessed the impact of massive central bank stimulus measures introduced to stem the financial rout.

* Weakness in the Brazilian real was seen pressuring prices, since it induces millers there to sell more dollar-priced sugar as its value rises in local currency terms.

* A dealer said many now expect Brazil to produce more than 30 million tonnes of sugar in the upcoming season that starts in April, versus 26.5 million for each of the last two seasons.

* May white sugar closed up $2.1 to $337.90 a tonne.


* May New York cocoa ​​settled down $68, or 3.0%, to $2,216 a tonne, the lowest price since September 2019.

* ICE has reduced its spot month position limit for cocoa futures to 50 lots.

* May London cocoa ​​settled down 52 pounds, or 2.8%, to 1,813 pounds per tonne​. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, David Clarke and Sonya Hepinstall)

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