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Soft futures - Sugar, coffee decline as ample supplies weigh

Published Mar 13, 2013 08:27AM ET
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Investing.com - U.S. soft futures were mostly lower during U.S. morning trade on Wednesday, with sugar and coffee prices coming under pressure for a second day amid ongoing concerns over ample global supplies.

On the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, sugar futures for May delivery traded at USD0.1869 a pound, down 0.6% on the day. The May contract fell by as much as 0.85% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD0.1864 a pound.

Prices continued to consolidate below last week’s seven-week high of USD0.1904 a pound as traders became progressively nervous about recent gains amid the view that global supplies are more than ample to meet world demand.

Sugar prices rallied sharply last week as shipping delays out of top producer Brazil and a move towards higher ethanol production triggered short-covering buying.

The South American country is the world’s largest sugar producer and exporter, with the USDA estimating the nation accounts for nearly 20% of global production and 39% of global sugar exports.

Meanwhile, Arabica coffee for May delivery traded at USD1.4193 a pound, down 0.25% on the day. The May contract declined by as much as 0.4% earlier to hit a daily low of USD1.4168 a pound, the weakest level since March 7.

Coffee prices came under pressure for a third day as speculators pushed prices lower amid worries over sufficient global supplies.

The International Coffee Organization said last month that coffee output in Brazil and Colombia will help make up for crop losses in Central America.

Brazil is the world's largest producer and exporter of Arabica coffee, while Colombia is the world's second largest.  Arabica is grown mainly in Latin America and brewed by specialty companies.

Elsewhere, cotton futures for May delivery traded at USD0.8758 a pound, up 0.3% on the day. The May contract held in a tight trading range between USD0.8722 a pound, the daily low and a session high of USD0.8760 a pound.

Cotton prices rallied to a ten-month high of USD0.8874 a pound last Friday, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said world cotton reserves will be lower than forecast a month ago as demand increased in China ,India and Bangladesh.

According to the USDA, global inventories will total 81.74 million bales in the year ending July 31, down from the February estimate of 81.86 million bales.

Global demand was estimated at 107.11 million bales, up from 106.24 million last month.

The agency increased its estimate for projected consumption by top consumer China to 36 million bales from 35.5 million last month.

Cotton prices have rallied nearly 14% since the start of the year on the back of strong demand from top consumer China and concerns over U.S. supplies.

Soft futures - Sugar, coffee decline as ample supplies weigh
 

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