October 1, 2018 / 6:31 PM / in 8 months

SOFTS-Raw sugar futures rise over 5 pct after NAFTA deal boosts commodities

 (Updates prices, headline; adds comment, NEW YORK to dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures rose
more than 5 percent on Monday as new buyers entered the market
and the most recent U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal boosted
agricultural commodity markets, while New York cocoa plunged to
its lowest in nearly nine months.
    * March raw sugar        settled up 0.41 cent, or 3.7
percent, at 11.61 cents per lb, earlier rising more than 5
percent to 11.79.
    * New buyers entered the market at the start of the final
quarter of the year and less producers sold, according to a New
York soft commodities trader.
    * "A combination of a bullish day for agriculture markets in
general because of NAFTA is helping," said Shawn Hackett,
president of Hackett Financial Advisors in Boca Raton, Florida.
    * The United States, Canada and Mexico announced they have
reached a deal on a trilateral pact to replace NAFTA.
    * The Thomson Reuters Core Commodity Index, measuring a
basket of commodities, was up more than 1 percent.          
    * A stronger Brazilian real also helped boost raw sugar
prices, traders said.       
    * December white sugar         settled up $6.70, or 2.1
percent, at $327.20 per tonne, after falling to $313.70.
    * December New York cocoa        settled down $67, or 3.3
percent, at $1,990 per tonne. Earlier in the session, prices
sunk to $1,982, their lowest since January.
    * Speculators who drove the market higher in recent months
anticipated dry weather, Hackett said. "But now it's not dry, we
have good rains, and a lot of speculators are selling."
    * "Wet conditions across the (West Africa)region this week
are likely to delay harvesting and will increase disease risk
for the crop, especially in Ivory Coast," weather service
Radiant Solutions wrote in a note. "However, the abundant rains
will favor the mid-crop flowering."
    * Meanwhile, Ivory Coast also said it expects 2018/19 cocoa
production to remain mostly unchanged from the previous season.
    * December London cocoa         settled down 33 pounds, or
2.2 percent, at 1,463 pounds per tonne, earlier sliding to
1,455, its lowest since January.      
    * December arabica coffee        settled down 0.25 cent, or
0.2 percent, at $1.022 per lb. 
    * "We’re still in a down trend," the New York soft
commodities trader said. "We really need to get above $1.15
before you start seeing the major covering."
    * November robusta coffee         settled up $18, or 1.2
percent, at $1,572 per tonne, reaching $1,575, its highest since
Aug. 20.
    * September exports from Indonesia's Lampung region in
Sumatra plunged 51 percent from the same month last year.

 (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Ana Ionova in
London; Editing by David Evans and Diane Craft)
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