(Updates prices; updates to include company responses, includes deliverer details)
NEW YORK, May 1 (Reuters) - The delivery against the May raw sugar contract on ICE Futures U.S. was the smallest since July 2014 at just about 67,000 tonnes, exchange data showed on Wednesday, in line with expectations from traders on Tuesday.
The total delivery of 1,324 lots was worth about $17.8 million, based on Tuesday’s closing price, and due from Argentina, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico, exchange data showed on Wednesday.
COFCO International, the trading arm of Chinese state-owned food group COFCO, was said to be the buyer of the sugar, traders told Reuters on Tuesday.
COFCO could not immediately be reached for comment.
It was the smallest delivery against the contract in nearly five years, according to exchange data compiled and reviewed by Reuters. It was also notable for the absence of sugar from top grower Brazil, traders said.
There was not much sugar available from center-south Brazil due to the slow start to Brazil’s crop and their favoring of ethanol over sugar, one trader said.
The appearance of sugar from logistically difficult origins including Argentina and Mexico caused wild gyrations in the spread, traders said. The discount of the May contract flared out in the last few sessions.
ED&F Man delivered nearly a third of the sugar, or 376 lots, from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua, ICE said. ED&F Man could not be reached for comment.
Traders said that Sucden delivered the remaining 948 lots. Sucden declined to comment.
The front-month July contract on ICE was down 0.22 cent, or 1.7 percent, at 12.13 cents per lb by 9:55 a.m. ET on Wednesday. (Reporting by Chris Prentice, additional reporting by Ayenat Mersie; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bernadette Baum)