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Softs - Coffee trades near 5-week low as ample global supplies weigh

Published 10/17/2012, 09:09 AM
Updated 10/17/2012, 09:09 AM - U.S. soft futures were mixed during U.S. morning trade on Wednesday, with coffee prices coming under heavy selling pressure on the view that global supplies are more than ample to meet world demand for the bean.

Meanwhile, cotton prices hit a fresh one-month high, as market players continued to close out bets on falling prices.

On the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, Arabica coffee for December delivery traded at USD1.6028 a pound, tumbling 1.25%. The December contract fell by as much as 1.3% earlier in the day to hit a session low of USD1.6022 a pound.

December coffee futures fell to a five-week low of USD1.5952 a pound on Monday.

Coffee futures have been under heavy selling pressure since touching a ten-week high of USD1.8542 a pound on October 3, as concerns over the pace of the Brazilian coffee harvest eased.

Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of Arabica coffee. Arabica is grown mainly in Latin America and brewed by specialty companies.

Market players said that an anticipated rebound in Colombia's crop further weighed and added to view that global supplies of the bean are more than ample.

Meanwhile, sugar futures for March delivery traded at USD0.2005 a pound, shedding 0.6%. The March contract fell by as much 0.65% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD0.2003 a pound.

Front-month sugar prices slumped to USD0.1981 a pound on Monday, the weakest level since September 24.

Sentiment on the sweetener has turned negative since hitting a two-month high of USD0.2176 a pound on October 4, amid receding concerns over the pace of the harvest in Brazil’s Center South-region.

Brazil’s Center South-region produces nearly 90% of the nation’s sugar. 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.

Elsewhere, cotton futures for December delivery traded at USD0.7522 a pound, adding 0.45%. The December contract rose by 0.5% earlier in the session to hit a daily high of USD0.7523 a pound, the strongest level since September 21.

Cotton prices were higher for the fourth consecutive day, with market participants attributing recent gains to a flurry of short-covering, as investors closed out bets on lower prices.

The fiber fell to USD0.7042 a pound on October 11, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased its estimate for 2012-13 global ending stocks to a record high.

The USDA’s weekly crop progress report released after Monday’s closing bell showed that approximately 28% of the U.S. cotton crop was harvested as of last week, up from 21% in the preceding week.

Nearly 42% of the U.S. cotton crop was in ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ condition, compared to 30% recorded in the same week a year earlier.

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