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UPDATE 1-Speculators buoy ICE sugar, cocoa bullish bets to record
October 30, 2013 / 8:37 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators buoy ICE sugar, cocoa bullish bets to record

* Speculators raise sugar long position as futures rally

* Noncommercials increase cocoa net long for 14th week

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Speculators raised their net long position in raw sugar and cocoa futures and options on ICE Futures U.S. to their highest since records were first published seven years ago in the week ended Oct. 15, data showed on Wednesday.

They cut their net long position in cotton futures and options by nearly 20 percent, and reduced their net short arabica coffee position by 15 percent, the data showed.

Hedge funds and other speculators added 15,225 sugar futures and options contracts to take their net long to 146,389 contracts, the most bullish bet since records were first published in 2006, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed in a delayed report.

This net long position is equivalent to 7.4 million tonnes of the sweetener, or roughly 18 percent of the total open interest as of Oct. 15.

The bullish move comes four weeks after speculators shifted to a net long position after maintaining a year-long net short position, and as the futures market extended its rally to a nine-month high on weather concerns in top grower Brazil.

The sugar futures market peaked at a one-year high on Oct. 18 at 20.16 cents per lb, after large warehouses caught fire at a Brazilian port and temporarily raised supply concerns.

This data report was originally scheduled for release on Oct. 18 but was delayed due to the U.S. government shutdown.

The noncommercial dealers increased their net long positions in cocoa options and futures for the 14th straight week, as the benchmark cocoa futures contract continued to rise, reaching a two-year high at $2,770 per tonne. The rally was spurred by weather concerns in top growing region West Africa and increasing global deficit forecasts. It has since come off its highs.

Speculators raised their net long cocoa position by 1,819 contracts to 62,066 contracts, the highest since records became available in 2006.

Speculators reduced their net short position in arabica coffee by 4,713 lots to 27,356 lots, and their net long position in cotton by 8,538 lots to 36,871 lots, the data showed.

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