RPT-Asia Softs-Tokyo rubber below 200 yen/kg; Thai sugar premiums rise
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* TOCOM rubber seen in 190-197 yen/kg range this week
* Coffee differentials set to change after London rises
* Butter ratios may trade in highest ratios since Dec
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, June 9 (Reuters) - Global benchmark Tokyo rubber futures could trade in a tight range below the psychological level of 200 yen this week due to pressure from inventory, while Thai sugar premiums are set to rise on renewed buying interest, dealers said on Monday.
But Indonesian coffee premiums may weaken because of gains in London robusta futures, while strong demand from chocolate makers could keep Asian cocoa butter ratios at their highest since December.
The most active rubber November contract on Tokyo Commodity Exchange added 1.9 yen a kg at 194.9 yen at 0458 GMT, but prices have fallen more than 29 percent so far this year on persistent worries about economic growth in top consumer China.
"It may take time for the price to recover to 200 to 220 yen. This week's range will be 190 to 197 yen," said Gu Jiong, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji Co in Tokyo.
Inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange have slipped to their lowest since November at about 154,000 tonnes, but stocks in the bonded warehouses in Qingdao remain high and are estimated by dealers at more than 300,000 tonnes.
In the sugar market, early indications showed Thai prompt high polarisation raws stood at 20 points premiums to New York's July futures from 10 points last week. July/September hipol was valued at 55 to 60 points premiums from 40 to 50 points last week.
"I think there's a combination of things. The July contract has fallen relative to the other contracts, and there has been a little bit of demand emerging. But there's nothing special," said Tom McNeill, director of Brisbane-based commodities analyst Green Pool.
Premiums of Indonesian coffee could slip from last week's levels of $70 a tonne after London futures tracked New York arabica higher due to output uncertainty in top coffee producer Brazil.
Since futures and differentials often move in opposite directions, gains in London could widen the discounts of robusta beans in rival Vietnam to around $30 from $5 last week. Foreign trading firms are believed to be holding up to 350,000 tonnes of beans in their Vietnamese-based warehouses.
"In our opinion, the stocks in Vietnam, even at a higher (level) than usual, should not be considered as a bearish factor," said SW Commodities in a report.
"Stocks are wrongly calculated as availabilities in Ho Chi Minh City, whilst probably 90 percent of these coffees are already sold or hedged on price fixation, and will be shipped during the third quarter."
In the cocoa market, butter ratios could trade at 2.60 times London futures <0#LCC:>, steady from last week, because of demand from chocolate makers after the East celebration. (Editing by Anand Basu)
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