NEW YORK/LONDON: Cocoa prices on ICE steadied on Thursday following losses in the previous session, with investor attention turning to low exchange stockpiles that were partially caused by a dispute between industry and top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Coffee and sugar closed up as the Brazilian currency reached the strongest level against the dollar since July, a movement that tends to reduce hedging from the world's largest producer of both commodities.
* March New York cocoa closed up $13 to $2,651 a tonne, having hit its lowest in nearly two weeks in the previous session.
* Dealers noted it makes no economic sense to bring in fresh beans to grade on the exchange at the moment, meaning the market could be skewed to the upside as falling stocks would be a buy signal to the funds.
* Cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast said on Thursday they would withdraw from chocolate industry sustainability programs if companies try to avoid paying a premium aimed at combating farmer poverty. Ivory Coast and Ghana have banned all such programs that Hershey runs in their countries.
* March London cocoa settled down 9 pounds, or 0.5%, at 1,780 pounds per tonne.
* March raw sugar rose 0.11 cent to 14.71 cents per pound, having hit a three-week low in the prior session.
* The dollar index hit its lowest in more than two years, making dollar-priced commodities like sugar and coffee cheaper for non-U.S. investors.
* Dealers said sugar is consolidating within range, though recent upside momentum has been lost.
* Egypt has extended an import ban on white and raw sugar for three months.
* March white sugar rose $2.5 to $403.60 a tonne.
* March arabica coffee settled up 0.95 cent, or 0.8%, at $1.2005 per lb.
* Massimiliano Pogliani, chief executive at Italian coffee processor illycaffe, does not see supply tightness next year as a result of a possible reduction in Brazilian production. He said, however, that the company is well supplied after a bumper crop in Brazil this year, as the country provides around half of the company's coffee.
* March robusta coffee settled up $7, or 0.5%, at $1,371 a tonne.
* Domestic coffee prices in Vietnam, the world's top robusta producer, narrowed this week on rising supplies as the 2020-2021 harvest picked up pace.- Reuters
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