Top Stories
Top Stories

SOFTS-Sugar steadies after hitting two-month lows

(Updates prices, adds comment, changes dateline to NEW YORK, previously LONDON) NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures steadied after hitting new two-month lows on Thursday on technical selling and more good weather in Brazil, while cocoa retreated after the previous session's rally.


* May raw sugar dropped 0.02 cent, or 0.1 percent, to settle at 12.14 cents per lb, after slipping to 12.08 cents, the lowest since Jan. 7.

* Dealers said the market remained range bound and technically driven, with no fresh fundamental drivers.

* "The market yesterday broke down through an uptrend line at about 12.34 (cents). This is a bearish development, projecting a move towards 11.82," said a dealer. "On a rebound, 12.60 is resistance."

* The Indian cabinet has approved incentives worth $471 million to help sugar mills boost ethanol production.

* Ethanol prices are at their highest since last March. High ethanol prices encourage Brazilian cane mills to produce more of the biofuel rather than sugar.

* However, the lower Brazilian real has weighed on sugar as well, said Jack Scoville, a commodities market analyst at Price Group.

* Brazil's real will appreciate in coming months, a Reuters

poll found. A stronger real can discourage

Brazilian mills from selling dollar-priced sugar.

* ICE May white sugar settled down 90 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $337.20 per tonne.


* May New York cocoa fell $63, or 2.9 percent, to $2,182 a tonne, after recording its biggest single-day percentage jump since December in the previous session.

* The European Central Bank pushed out the timing of its first post-crisis rate hike to next year at the earliest on Thursday and offered banks new rounds of multi-year cash. The position raised concerns about potential weakening demand.

* "After ECB and some of the news coming out with a little weaker data than we expected, the market went down again," said Peter Mooses, Senior Market Strategist at RJO Futures.

* Prices rose on Wednesday after hitting a buy stop at $2,195 and jumped again after quickly ascending to another buy stop at $2,220.

* May London cocoa settled down 44 pounds, or 2.6 percent, at 1,651 pounds per tonne.


* May arabica coffee fell 1.85 cents, or 1.9 percent, to settle at 96.85 cents per lb.

* New York May coffee may test a support at 97.10 cents per lb, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection analysis.

* May robusta coffee fell $27, or 1.8 percent, to $1,505 per tonne.

* Coffee farmers in Vietnam are struggling to secure sufficient water for their trees during the country's dry season, while trading has started to pick up in Indonesia amid a mini harvest.

(Reporting by Maytaal Angel in London and Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York Editing by Marguerita Choy)