SOFTS Raw sugar hits 2-1/2 week high as crude oil surges
LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE hit a 2-1/2 week high on Wednesday as crude oil surged due to an outage on a pipeline from Iraq to Turkey and geopolitical tensions in Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
High energy prices tempt cane mills in Brazil to ramp up cane-based ethanol output at the expense of sugar.
* March raw sugar rose 1% to 18.85 cents per lb at 1124 GMT, its highest since early January.
* Dealers said many analysts see crude continuing to improve, which could have a significant bearing on how much cane Brazilian mills divert from sugar to ethanol when the 2022/23 season starts in April.
* Still, they added, sugar is unlikely to return to its previous range of 20-20.50 and will even struggle to top 19.50 given the return of Indian selling.
* March white sugar rose 0.5% to $511.60 a tonne.
* March arabica coffee rose 0.4% to $2.4055
* Green coffee stored at ports in the United States fell by 10,029 60-kg bags by end-December to 5.83 million bags, the lowest level since June, data showed.
* Brazil's food supply agency Conab forecast arabica production at 38.78 million bags in 2022, smaller than the market expects.
* HedgePoint analyst Natalia Gandolphi said output of 38.78 million bags would result in a global arabica deficit of 1-3 million bags.
* March robusta coffee rose 0.6% to $2,207 a tonne, having hit a two month low on Tuesday.
* March London cocoa fell 0.6% to 2,615 pounds per tonne, retreating from Monday's three-month high of 1,790 pounds.
* Europe's fourth-quarter cocoa grind, a measure of demand, rose 6.3% from a year earlier to 365,826 tonnes, data showed.
* "The data point to very robust cocoa demand in Europe," said Commerzbank in a note.
* Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli (LISN.S) expects chocolate sales to grow 5-7% this year, following double-digit growth last year. It blamed supply chain bottlenecks for a sales slowdown in late 2021 in North America. read more
* March New York cocoa fell 1.2% to $1,748 a tonne.
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