UPDATE 2-Louis Dreyfus seen taking huge ICE October sugar delivery
* ICE October raw sugar delivery estimated at 1.49 mln tonnes-traders
* Estimated delivery biggest on records dating back to 1989
* Brazil, Argentina, Central America seen delivering sugar
By Marcy Nicholson
NEW YORK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Global agribusiness group Louis Dreyfus Commodities is expected to be the sole receiver of the largest delivery against a New York raw sugar contract in at least 24 years, three traders said on Monday.
The delivery was at the top end of the range predicted by traders ahead of the expiry, reflecting abundant global supplies and uncertainty about disruption in supplies as rains in Brazil have hampered cane crushing in the world's No. 1 producer.
Louis Dreyfus was unable to provide immediate comment.
Traders expect a delivery against the ICE Futures U.S. October sugar contract of 29,344 lots, or 1.49 million tonnes. If confirmed on Tuesday morning, when the exchange will release the official delivery figure, this would be the biggest delivery in at least 24 years, according to exchange data that goes back to 1989.
This is more than triple the average 453,000 tonnes in the past five October deliveries, according to ICE data.
While Louis Dreyfus often sells raw sugar onto the board, this is the company's first purchase in at least a year.
It also comes just weeks after Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse SA bought all 313,150 tonnes of white sugar tendered against the NYSE Liffe October contract.
"I frankly don't think the receiver has any homes for the delivery," said one sugar dealer, referring to the large raw sugar delivery and echoing another dealer's bearish sentiment on the large delivery.
"It could be rather painful for them as they will struggle to find homes in a market not awash with demand."
Other dealers, however, noted there could be a bullish impact.
"One entity taking all is generally bullish," one dealer said.
The October futures contract soared in thin dealings on its last day of trade, jumping 4.3 percent to a session high at 17.60 cents per lb before closing up 3.6 percent at 17.48 cents. With open interest remaining unusually high the day ahead of expiration, the large delivery was much anticipated during the trading session.
"The market took it well. It rebounded," another dealer said.
"Depending on this rain in Brazil, if it does rain and sugar production estimates go down, anybody who took delivery now could be sitting pretty."
Dealers said the sugar is coming from Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Last October, Bunge Ltd took the bulk of a delivery of about 595,000 tonnes, or 11,710 lots, as rains increased worries about potential supply disruptions.
The large delivery comes as the market continues to digest a huge crop, even as rains and maintenance have hampered cane crushing in the world's top grower, Brazil. Raw sugar futures closed the third quarter up 6.7 percent, the spot contract's best quarterly performance in nearly three years, after being locked in a bear market since early 2011.
Imperial Sugar, one of the largest U.S. refiners and owned by Louis Dreyfus Corp, is one of three firms suing customers for defaulting on contracts, in the latest sign that sinking prices and a supply glut are roiling the U.S. industry.
With futures prices no longer at a steep discount to Brazil's cash market, delivering to the exchange was seen as possibly more alluring for Brazil's huge output, traders said.
The delivery against the October contract is expected to eclipse the delivery against the May 2013 contract which totaled 1.43 million tonnes, or 28,222 lots, when Louis Dreyfus was one of the deliverers.
In December 2012, Louis Dreyfus Corp's Brazilian sugar and ethanol unit Biosev, said it was selling assets at its Sao Carlos plant to the Sao Martinho milling group for 200 million reais (then $95.51 million).
- Cortege departs to take Mandela's body to lie in state |
- U.S. Mega Millions lottery up to $344 million, fourth biggest in its history
- UPDATE 1-U.S. Mega Millions lottery up to $344 million, fourth biggest in its history
- Uruguay becomes first country to legalize marijuana trade
- Ukrainian riot police clash with protesters in Kiev square