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ICE Sugar Prices Settle Lower For 2nd Day On Liquidation Pressures

15 Feb 2020 8:41 am
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Mumbai (Commodities Control) Sugar prices fell back for a second day Friday on long liquidation pressure from commodity funds. Sugar futures have rallied sharply over the past month to a 2-3/4 year high on Wednesday as concern about future global supplies.

An extremely large net-long position held by funds makes the sugar futures markets vulnerable to long liquidation pressure.

May NY world sugar #11 on Friday closed down 23 cents to settle at 14.55 cents/lb, and May London white sugar #5 closed down 6.00 or 1.43%.

In bullish news, Green Pool Commodity Researchers on Monday raised its global 2020/21 sugar deficit estimate to 3.8 MMT from a previous forecast of 1 MMT. India's Sugar Trade Association (ISMA) last Monday reported that sugar production in India, the world's second-largest sugar producer, dropped sharply by 24% y/y to 14.1 MMT during Oct 1-Jan 31. Also, sugar supplies from the EU are on the decline after the European Commission reported Feb 3 that EU sugar exports during Oct 1-Jan 22 fell 62% y/y to a 3-year low of 291,000 MT.

Sugar prices are also seeing support from a drought in Thailand, the world's fourth-biggest sugar producer. The Thailand Meteorological Department said this year's drought in Thailand is the worst in 40 years. The Thai Sugar Millers Corp said Feb 7 that Thailand's 2019/20 sugar production might drop 35% y/y to 9 MMT from 14 MMT in 2018/19 as dry conditions reduce sugarcane yields.

Unica on Wednesday reported that Brazil's 2019/20 Center-South sugar production Oct-Jan rose +0.48% y/y to 26.485 MMT with the percentage of sugar cane crushed for sugar falling to 34.50% from 35.44% last year and the percentage of cane crushed for ethanol production rising to 65.50% from 64.56% last year. Conab on Dec 19 cut its Brazil 2019/20 sugar production estimate by -5.3% to 30.1 MMT from an Aug estimate of 31.8 MMT.

The recent rally in sugar prices may prompt increased sugar exports from India after the ISMA said on Tuesday that India's sugar mills have already contracted 3.0-3.5 MMT of sugar for export this year, but the recent surge in prices "makes Indian sugar exports more attractive for Indian sugar producers" who may boost their sugar exports to 5.0 MMT this year.

Support and Resistance for Sugar #11 lies at 14.05 cents and 15.05 cents/lb, respectively.

(Commodities Control Bureau)

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