The Hindu Business Line

Arabica coffee hits 13-year low; robusta also falls

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Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell to their lowest level in more than 13 years on Tuesday as the market continued to struggle to absorb excess supplies.

May arabica coffee was down a quarter of a cent, or 0.3 per cent, at 91.85 cents per lb by 1205 GMT after dipping to 91.25 cents, the weakest for the front month since December 2005.

Dealers said speculator­s were extending net short positions against the backdrop of excess supplies. One dealer noted that Brazil would start to harvest a large arabica crop next month even though it is an off-year in its biennial crop cycle.

May robusta coffee was down $10, or 0.7 per cent at $1,408 a tonne after dipping to a low of $1,395, the weakest for the front month since March 2016. Dealers said the harvest of Brazil’s robusta crop, known as conillons, was about to start and could hit a record production peak of around 20 million bags.

Sugar and cocoa

May raw sugar rose 0.02 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to 12.69 cents per lb after touching 12.7 cents, the highest level for the front month in almost a week. Dealers said the market was underpinne­d by continued strength in crude oil prices, which should help to boost the incentive for mills in Brazil to use cane to make ethanol rather than sugar. May white sugar was up $1.50, or 0.45 per cent, at $331.60 a tonne.

May London cocoa rose £5 , or 0.3 per cent, to £1,754 a tonne, underpinne­d by the weakness of sterling. The pound fell on Tuesday as British Prime Minister Theresa May came under pressure to resolve the Brexit crisis by either calling an election or leaving the European Union without a deal. May New York cocoa fell $6, or 0.3 per cent, to $2,321 a tonne.

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