By Onome Amuge
Raw sugar futures on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) were slightly bearish on Friday, extending the market’s withdrawal following more than eight-month high set earlier in the week, while coffee and cocoa prices soared.
March raw sugar shed 0.05 cents (0.35 per cent) to sell at 14.43 cents per lb. Prices plummeted sharply after the front month rose to a peak of 15.23 cents on Tuesday, the highest since February 25 this year.
December white sugar lost $0.10 (0.03 per cent) to sell at $389.80 a tonne.
According to dealers, there was follow-through selling after a weak close on Thursday while weakness in crude oil prices added to the downward pressure on prices.
They also noted that the market continued to be underpinned by uncertainty over India’s export policy. The Asian country, currently the world’s third highest exporter, is yet to sign export contracts owing to a lack of clarification on its export subsidy.
On the other hand, December arabica coffee rose by 1.10 cents (1 per cent) to sell at $1.0705 per lb while January robusta coffee climbed $15, (1.1 per cent) to $1,354 a tonne.
Dealers said the market was supported partly by concerns that dry weather in Brazil, the world’s leading producer, could contribute to a significant production decline in 2021, which is also an off-year in the country’s biennial crop cycle.
Meanwhile, March New York cocoa gained $13 (0.6 per cent) at $2,331 a tonne. March London cocoa rose by 8 pounds, or 0.5%, to 1,617 pounds a tonne.
Investors noted that the market rallied following disruptions to the flow of supplies in Ivory Coast, the world’s top supplier after its controversial presidential election won by Alassane Ouattara, the incumbent leader.