BY ONOME AMUGE
Arabica coffee futures gained for a third consecutive session on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), rising to their highest in over a week on supply concerns from top producer Brazil and dwindling ICE stocks.
September arabica coffee was up 2.3 percent to $2.3555 per pound (lb), having hit its highest since June 23 at $2.3575, while September robusta coffee stood 0.3 percent higher at $2,038 a tonne.
Market dealers said some 35 percent of Brazil’s coffee for the current season had been harvested by June 21, but were at a below-average pace due to an uneven maturation of fruits and labour shortages in some regions of the South American country.
In another development, ICE-certified coffee stocks continued on a downward trend to fresh 22-year lows.
On a similar note, August raw sugar declined 0.3 percent to 18.45 cents per pound, drawing close to a recent four-month low of 18.20 cents. August white sugar also stumbled 0.3 percent to $555 a tonne.
Dealers observed that while the expiry for sugar was slightly bullish with the July contract closing 15 percent higher at 18.20 cents per pound, the sweet commodity is being battered by outside influences amidst the macro negative global recession fears.
On the supply side, deliveries at the July expiry were seen at around 502,000 tonnes, historically not very large, but at a little above average level, according to preliminary information from traders.
Meanwhile, New York cocoa hit its lowest in nearly a year as September New York cocoa tumbled 0.9 percent to $2,320 a tonne.
September London cocoa, however, stuck to a bullish terrain, rising 0.4 percent to 1,720 pounds per tonne, having hit a 3-1/2-month low of 1,704 in the previous session.
Cocoa was seen to be under demand pressure over concerns that soaring inflation could slow global growth and dent demand for luxury items like chocolate.
Supply of the soft commodity also suffered a knock as Belgian-Swiss cocoa processor and chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut suspended production at its Wieze plant in Belgium, the world’s biggest chocolate factory, after discovering salmonella in a production lot earlier in the week.
On a positive note, rain in top producer Ivory Coast has led to projections of a bumper harvest for the upcoming main crop in the West African region.