NY sugar hits 11-week low, near bear market; cocoa, coffee up

Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:38pm EDT

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE dropped to
11-week lows on Friday and were teetering on the brink of a bear
market after Unica data showing the quickening pace of Brazil's
harvest reinforced concerns about the growing market surplus.
    Coffee and cocoa were both higher as they recovered from
recent pressure.
        
 2:24 PM      SETTLE    NET     PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                       CHNG    CHNG                       VOL
 Sugar OCT     19.58   0.13    0.7%    19.48   19.74   31,264
 Sugar MAR     20.29   0.13    0.6%    20.22   20.48   20,133
 Cocoa SEP      2437     -8   -0.3%    2,417   2,439       13
 Cocoa DEC      2397     10    0.4%    2,366   2,408    5,388
 Coffee SEP    162.6    2.4    1.5%   160.00  163.50      150
 Coffee DEC    162.9   1.25    0.8%   161.25  164.50    6,697
 
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG
 ICE SUGAR       65,339   113,650    88,516
 ICE COCOA        6,786    23,774    19,013
 ICE COFFEE       8,836    24,502    19,769
                                                             
 
    RAW SUGAR
    * Benchmark October raw sugar futures settled down
0.01 cent, or 0.05 percent, at 19.58 cents a lb, after falling
as low as 19.48 cents, the weakest for the front month since
June 6.
    * Volumes were low due to the northern hemisphere summer
holiday. UK markets will be closed on Monday. About 65,000 lots
had trader, more than 40 percent below the 30-day average.
    * Brazilian cane mills pumped out just over 3 million tonnes
of sugar in the first two weeks of August with the help of dry
weather, a volume 14 percent greater than the same fortnight a
year ago - milling association Unica. 
    * The market was on the brink of bear territory after a
19-percent drop in prices since mid-July.
    * Technically the market was oversold, with its Relative
Strength Index (RSI) below 30.
    * Prices could hit 19 cents in the near term, although that
likely would draw consumer buying - Alex Oliveira, senior sugar
analyst at brokers Newedge USA.
    * A bearish target range of 19.24-19.42 cents per lb remains
unchanged for October sugar, as it is riding on a downward wave
5, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao. 
    * Total open interest climbed for the fifth straight day, up
8,971 lots to 701,833 on Aug. 23, the highest since June 28 -
ICE data.
        
    ARABICA COFFEE
    * Benchmark December arabica futures traded up 0.1
cent, or 0.65 percent, at $1.629 per lb.
    * The premium on arabica coffee over robustas has narrowed
to around 70 cents per lb from over 90 cents in July as roasters
have changed their blends to use more lower-priced robusta beans
- trader.
    * Technical charts showed coffee was close to being
oversold, with an RSI of 35.
    * Signals will remain mixed for December coffee so long as
it hovers above a support at $1.6035 per lb, according to
Reuters analyst Wang Tao. 
    * Only 8,800 lots traded, more than two thirds below the
30-day average.
        
    COCOA
    * Benchmark December cocoa futures rose for a second
session, settling up $12, or 0.5 percent, at $2,397 per tonne,
just shy of its intraday high of $2,408.
    * The market watched a large speculative long position - the
biggest since the unrest in Ivory Coast in early 2011 -
indicating bets on higher prices amid possible supply issues in
West Africa due to dry weather and Ivory Coast's industry
reforms.
    * Two days of gains were not enough to offset losses earlier
in the week due to better weather in the key-growing region of
West Africa, which helped the forthcoming main crop. 
    * Prices notched their largest weekly fall since the end of
June.
    * Nearly 6,800 lots changed hands, which was over 70 percent
below the 30-day average.
    * December cocoa will drop to $2,329 per tonne as a
correction from $2,501 has not completed, according to Reuters
market analyst Wang Tao. 
        
For related news and prices, click on the codes in brackets:  
Sugar futures/spreads   Sugar cash prices  
Coffee futures/spreads  Coffee cash prices 
Cocoa futures/spreads   Cocoa cash prices    
       
RELATED NEWS AND OTHER TOPICS   
All sugar news            All coffee news         
All cocoa news            All softs news           
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 (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)
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