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Weekly: ICE Sugar Post Weekly Loss; Rising Brazilian Production, Indian Monsoon Onset Weighs

3 Jun 2024 8:54 am
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Mumbai, 3 Jun (Commoditiescontrol): Sugar prices returned to their customary falling trend during the week ended May 31st, as increased Brazilian production and the early arrival of the monsoon in India helped tame supply concerns.

On Friday, however, the ICE sugar prices saw a modest recovery, buoyed by pre-weekend short-covering despite pressure from rising Brazilian production and the early arrival of the monsoon in India. India's Meteorological Department reported that monsoon rains arrived in southern India on Thursday, slightly ahead of the usual June 1 date. Concurrently, Unica reported that Brazil's sugar production in the first half of May increased by 1.0% year-over-year to 2.567 MMT. For the 2024/25 crop year through mid-May, production surged by 25.7% to 5.135 MMT.

Despite these factors, short-covering helped lift sugar prices at the end of the week and month. The July raw sugar contract rose by 0.11 cents, or 0.607%, closing at 18.30 cents per pound, though it lost 0.6% for the week. The August ICE white sugar contract in London increased by $1.60, or 0.30%, to settle at $541.70 per metric ton.

Over the past nine weeks, sugar prices have dropped due to enhanced global supply prospects driven by Brazil's increased production. On May 16, New York sugar prices hit a 1.5-year low, while London sugar reached a 1.25-year low amid expectations of ample global supplies. Although Brazil's sugar output currently outpaces last year's figures, a weaker second half of the season is anticipated by market participants.

The USDA projects a record sugar production of 186 million metric tons for the 2024/25 season, with demand expected to peak at 178.8 million tons. In France, 2023/24 white sugar production rose by 5.8% to 4.2 million metric tons, still 1% below the average of the previous four seasons.

Global production shifts are also influencing the market. Datagro forecasts a modest global surplus of 1.62 million metric tons for the 2024/25 season, reversing the previous season's deficit due to recovery in Thailand and increased output in China. Conversely, India’s sugar production decreased by 1.6% year-over-year as of April 30.

Speculators have increased bearish bets on ICE U.S. raw sugar futures. The CFTC reported that funds reduced their net short position by 1,362 lots to 68,128 in the week ending May 28, prompting an intensified short-covering rally.

Traders are keeping a close watch on these developments, with technical support for the July sugar contract at 18.07 and 17.83 cents, and resistance at 18.50 and 18.69 cents. Given the rising production in Brazil and evolving global supply dynamics, sugar prices are expected to remain volatile in the near term.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau: 09820130172)

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