SOFTS-Raw sugar hits multi-year high as supplies tighten

Updates prices

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LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters)Raw sugar futures on ICE hit their highest in almost six years on Wednesday as continued signs of near-term supply tightness prompted speculators to buy and deterred physical traders from selling.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar SBc1 was up 0.6% at $20.70 cents per lb by 1611 GMT after touching the highest level since February 2017 at 20.99 cents.

* Dealers said speculative funds are increasing their long position while the trade is very cautious about selling, leaving little to stop the market from climbing.

* Fundamentals are increasingly pointing to more production next year, they said, but the market does not seem to believe this will ease the near-term tightness.

* This tightness can be seen in the premium for front-month March futures over May SB-1=R, which climbed to 1.42 cents per lb on Tuesday, having hit its highest in a decade last week.

* Delays to harvests in Thailand, Australia and Central America have helped to tighten supplies while rain has meant some cane in Brazil will not be cut until next season.

* In bearish news, dozens of merchant ships carrying grains and sugar are stuck outside Iranian ports as payments snags disrupt flows of goods into the country.

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* March white sugar LSUc1 was flat at $564.30 a tonne, having hit its highest since mid November at $574.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee KCc1 rose 0.7% to $1.6880 per lb​​.

* The strengthening of Brazil’s real currency against the dollar BRL= is underpinning arabica prices.

* World coffee production is forecast to rebound in 2022/23, primarily because of a larger crop in Brazil, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

* March robusta coffee LRCc2 rose 0.6% to $1,880 a tonne, having hit its lowest since Dec. 6 on Tuesday at $1,851.

COCOA

* March London cocoa LCCc1 rose 0.9% to 2,006 pounds a tonne after gaining 0.7% on Tuesday.

* March New York cocoa CCc1 rose 1.4% to $2,531

a tonne, having closed flat on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Maytaal Angel Editing by David Goodman, Kirsten Donovan)

((maytaal.angel@thomsonreuters.com(00442075429105)(Reuters Messaging: maytaal.angel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net) ))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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