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Weekly: ICE raw sugar futures fall; improved weather conditions boosts output

6 May 2024 9:06 am
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Mumbai, 6 May (Commoditiescontrol): ICE Sugar futures continued with their recent falling streak unabeted. For the week ended on May 3rd, sugar prices fell for fourth week in a row as bearish fundamentals as well as dollar firmness dented investor sentiment. Further, the broader weakness of agriculture commodities also weighed.

Yet, on Friday, the ICE raw sugar futures extende gains, as Brazilian Real maintaining stronger tone continues to discourage export selling from Brazil's sugar producers. The Real's climb to a 3 week high against the dollar. Lighter Brazilian exports has also prompted short-covering in the natural sweetener.

ICE sugar futures for July delivery settled up 0.03 cents or 0.16% at 19.28 cents per lb. It lost 0.6% this week. August London ICE white sugar contract rose $1.50 or 0.26% at $572.00 a metric ton. The contract added 1.47% for the week.

ICE confirmed on Wednesday a large delivery on the expiring May contract of around 1.67 million tons. Traders were split on the possible impact to the market of such a large delivery, which would usually be a bearish sign.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Thailand's Meteorological Department said that more than three dozen of Thailand's 77 provinces had posted record-high temperatures this month, with new highs beating records as far back as 1958.

In recent times, Sugar has been hit by ideas of better supplies from Asia and Brazil, but dealers said the fall attracted some bargain buying on Thursday.

Spell of rain in Brazil led the improved outlook for cane production in the 2024/25 season and a weakening of the Brazilian currency is likely boosting selling by mills there.

Brazilian crop agency - Conab, on Thursday projected that Brazil's 2024/25 sugar production will climb 1.3% y/y to a record 46.292 MMT as 2024/25 sugar acreage in Brazil increases by 4.1% to 8.7 million hectares (21.5 million acres), the most in seven years. For the 2023/24 marketing year, however, Conab last Thursday cut its Brazil sugar production estimate by 2.6% to 45.7 MMT from a November estimate of 46.9 MMT.

Sugar beet area and output will increase by 2% in the European Union next season thanks to favourable market conditions and despite delayed sowing.

Elsewhere, Vietnam's Office of the Cane and Sugar Board reported that Thailand's 2023/24 sugar production from Dec-Mar was 8.75 MMT, above a Feb estimate from the Thai Sugar Millers Corp for sugar production of 7.5 MMT.

India's sugar consumption this year is poised to hit a record high as demand during the peak summer season gets a boost from heat waves and the mobilisation of millions for elections in the scorching temperatures.

Brazil's sugarcane crush at the first half of April is seen nearly 15% up year-on-year in a S&P Global Commodity Insights survey of analysts. Industry group UNICA is expected to release the data later this week.

Earlier, the Indian Sugar and Bioenergy Manufacturers Association reported that India's 2023/24 sugar production from Oct-Mar rose 0.4% on year to 30.2 MMT as more sugar mills stayed open to crush sugarcane. As of March 31, 322 Indian sugar mills had closed operations, compared with 346 mills that were closed at the same time last year.

Ukraine is likely to have used up its proposed 2024 sugar export quota from the European Union by next month and could have to cut the area sown with sugar beet by up to 20% unless it finds other markets, a top official said on Thursday.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data on showed speculators have increased their net short position in raw sugar by 9,659 lots to 37,684 lots.

As we have mentioned earlier, sugar complex suffered a double whammy from improved supplies, due to favourable weather conditions in the growing region, and falling global demand. Weather factor has also emerged a key factor in driving prices lately. Overall impact of improved weather condition is: rise in output and hence, the availability of sugar. Several industry reports including Unica, have pegged a sharp rise in Brazilian sugar production. That should help cut global deficit prospect. However, the drought conditions in growing region such as Thailand remains a concern. Traders have once again altered their price view to bearish. Analysts are forced to readjust their production estimates and availability of the sweetener.

For Monday, support for the Jul Sugar contract is at 19.13 cents and 18.99 cents, with resistance at 19.47 cents and 19.67 cents.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau: 09820130172)

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