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Sugar Prices Rise as Thailand Makes First Purchase in 30 Years

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar prices rose for the second straight day as Thailand, the world’s second-biggest exporter, made a purchase for the first time 30 years, bolstering demand.

Thailand bought back 74,350 metric tons of domestic sugar from traders today to meet local consumption. Global inventories probably will be 33 percent of use, equal to 119 days, in the year ending Sept. 30, down from 139 days last year and 170 days in the year before, said Stefan Uhlenbrock, an analyst F.O. Licht, a research company in Ratzeburg, Germany

“Thailand’s purchase in tandem with those of Asian countries has supported prices,” Sudakshina Unnikrishnan, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London, said in a report.

Raw sugar for October delivery climbed 0.07 cent, or 0.4 percent, to 17.17 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price has climbed 6.9 percent this month.

Refined-sugar futures for October delivery rose $1.90, or 0.4 percent, to $520.50 a ton on the Liffe exchange in London.

“The market sentiment is bullish,” said Marius Sonnen, the president of Sonnen & Co., a New York-based sugar trader.

Loading at the port of Santos in Brazil, the top exporter, was halted today because of rain, which may increase a record backlog of vessels, according to Copersucar SA, the owner of the second-biggest sugar terminal.

The nation ships 54 percent of the world’s sugar. The Santos Port has the capacity to ship 2 million tons a month.

Sugar futures more than doubled last year after excess rain in Brazil and a weak monsoon in India, the second-biggest producer, crimped output.

India’s monsoon, the main source of irrigation for the nation’s 235 million farmers, was 12 percent below normal as of today, the weather office said.

To contact the reporter on this story: M. Shankar in London at mshankar@bloomberg.net; Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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