SOFTS-Raw sugar falls before Brazil cane data, cocoa eases

June 02, 2016 at 1:05 PM

* Coming up: Brazil Unica cane crush data due at 1300 GMT
    * NY July/September cocoa spread narrows

    By David Brough and Nigel Hunt
    LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE fell on
Wednesday before Brazilian cane data expected to show a strong
crush for the first half of May, while cocoa eased in
spread-related dealings.
    Coffee steadied, supported by concerns over a poor Brazilian
robusta (conillon) harvest.
    Raw sugar dipped, moving away from Tuesday's 23-month peak,
supported by a shift to a global deficit.
    Dealers awaited Brazilian data from cane industry group
Unica at 1300 GMT, expected to show a rapid crush in early May.
    "We expect that the data will show a continued strong
harvest in the first half of May. Our guess is that it will be
close to 40 million tonnes of cane," said Tom McNeill, director
of Green Pool Commodities.
    A survey of analysts by S & P Global Platts showed
expectations that 38.3 million tonnes of cane were crushed in
centre-south Brazil in the first half of May.
    July raw sugar was down 0.17 cent, or 1 percent, at
17.32 cents per lb at 1050 GMT, having risen on Tuesday to the
highest level since early July 2014 at 17.70 cents a lb.
    August white sugar fell $4.80, or 1 percent, at
$479.00 per tonne.
    Cocoa futures were lower, pressured by early selling of the
July/September spread in New York.
    "There was a concentrated selling effort from the opening,"
one London dealer said, adding the premium had dipped to around
$15 from Tuesday's close of $35.
    The climb in the premium to a contract high of $40 on
Tuesday had been driven partly by concerns about the poor
quality of West African mid-crops and rising differentials in
the cash market.
    September New York cocoa was off $19 or 0.6 percent
at $3,007 a tonne.
    The market remained underpinned, however, by crop concerns
with a substantial global deficit widely anticipated in 2015/16.
    September London cocoa was off 7 pounds or 0.3
percent at 2,200 pounds a tonne in light volume.
    Coffee futures steadied, with the trade digesting a forecast
by CoffeeNetwork for a global surplus of 3.8 million bags in
2016/17, after a deficit of 0.6 million bags in 2015/16.
    "More pronounced support for robusta prices (since end-2015)
has stemmed from the fact that, while total output in Brazil is
forecast to increase, within the national total expectations are
for a lower conillon crop," it said.
    July robusta was down $1, or 0.1 percent, at $1,647
per tonne.
    July arabica was up 0.8 cent, or 0.7 percent, at
$1.2235 per lb.

 (Editing by William Hardy)