SOFTS sugar prices weaken, focus on March white expiry

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Sugar futures on ICE were lower on Friday, with traders focusing on the expiration of the March whites contract as Arabica coffee prices retreated from the high of 10 years from the previous session.


* March raw sugar fell 0.6% to 18.19 cents a pound at 1420 GMT and was on track for a small weekly loss of 0.2%.

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* Dealers said the market remained supported by the recent strength in energy prices, which is increasing the incentive to use sugarcane to produce ethanol as biofuel rather than sugar, especially in the Brazil, leading exporter.

* “While high crude oil prices will support sugar prices, we expect them to ease later this year and put downward pressure on sugar prices through 2022,” Fitch Solutions said in a rating.

* May white sugar fell 0.8% to $486.90 a tonne.

* Dealers said a delivery of around 400,000 tonnes was expected from the March contract, which expires on Friday. This is a slightly lower tonnage than the March 2021 contract which saw 511,750 tonnes tendered.


* May Arabica coffee fell 1.1% to $2.5235 a pound, extending its decline from the 10-year high of $2.6045 set on Thursday.

* The market was on track for a weekly gain of 4.1%, supported by tight supplies, with stock stocks near a 20-year low.

* Coffee growers in Brazil sold 32% of forecast production for 2022/23 as of February 8, ahead of the 21% seen a year ago, but up just 1 percentage point from the previous month, a consulting firm Safras & Mercado said on Friday.

* May robusta coffee fell 0.35% to $2,255 a tonne after hitting a four-week high of $2,286.


* New York Cocoa in May fell 0.9% to $2,808 a tonne, losing ground after climbing to a two-year high of $2,838 on Thursday.

* Dealers said concerns about dry weather in top producer Ivory Coast remained a supporting factor. Read more

* May cocoa in London fell 0.4% to 1,849 pounds a tonne.

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Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by David Goodman and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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