Bloomberg News

Sugar Rises as Floods May Delay Thai Harvesting; Coffee Gains

October 24, 2011

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar rose in New York, rebounding from a weekly drop, on speculation floods may delay harvesting in Thailand, the world’s second-largest exporter. Coffee gained.

Thailand may delay cane crushing by two to three weeks as rains disrupt the harvest, Thai Sugar Trading Corp., the nation’s biggest shipper, said last week. Storms caused flooding in 62 of 77 Thai provinces, with 28 still inundated, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

“Concerns that Thailand may ‘lose’ around 300,000 metric tons production as a result of the recent floods are keeping things tight,” Nick Penney, a senior trader at Sucden Financial Ltd., wrote in a report today.

Raw sugar for March delivery climbed 1 percent to 26.74 cents a pound by 8:48 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices fell 5.2 percent last week. White, or refined, sugar for December delivery rose 0.5 percent to $709.80 a ton on NYSE Liffe in London.

Traders also were concerned about the development of next year’s crop in Brazil, according to Penney, with sugar for March delivery more expensive than May-delivery sweetener. The country is the top global sugar producer.

“The structure in New York remains firm as March-May spreads continue at around 80 points inverse, showing the market’s concerns on Brazil’s next crop,” Penney said.

Bullish Bets

Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased their net-long position in New York sugar futures, or bets on higher prices, in the week ended Oct. 18, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. Net-long positions rose by 19,982 contracts, or 22 percent, from a week earlier.

Sugar imports into China came to 468,868 tons in September, customs figures showed today. That compares with 423,794 tons in August and 352,299 tons a year earlier.

Arabica coffee for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $2.4625 a pound in New York. Robusta coffee for November delivery gained 1 percent to $1,886 a ton in London.

Cocoa for December delivery was little changed at $2,565 a ton on ICE. Cocoa for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to 1,648 pounds ($2,626) a ton on NYSE Liffe.

--With assistance from Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok. Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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