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Thai Sugar Premiums Slide as Flood Concerns Ease, Broker Says

The premium buyers are prepared to pay for raw sugar from Thailand, the second-largest shipper, slid over the past week on speculation floods won’t delay the crop “too much,” according to Swiss Sugar Brokers.

Bids for Thailand’s raw sugar for loading in January were at 1 cent a pound above the price of the March contract on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the broker said in a report dated yesterday. That compares with bids at 1.1 cents a pound and offers at 1.3 cents a pound above the New York price on Oct. 28, data from the Rolle, Switzerland-based company show.

“News that flood would not be delaying too much the crushing persuaded the buyers to wait,” Naim Beydoun, a broker at the company wrote in the report, adding that damages to the nation’s sugar cane crop won’t be “too significant.”

Sugar for shipment from Thailand in February was bid at 0.75 cent a pound above the New York price and the last trade was registered at a 0.95-cent-a-pound premium to ICE, the broker said. That compares with a bid at 0.95 cent a pound and an offer at 1.1 cents a pound above the New York price on Oct. 28, it said.

Floods in the country have prompted the Bank of Thailand to slash its 2011 economic growth forecast to 2.6 percent from 4.1 percent last month. The bank expects expansion to slow as the global economy weakens and the impact of the flood crisis increases, according to the minutes of its Oct. 19 meeting.

Floodwaters edged closer to Bangkok’s central business district over the weekend, reaching the northernmost station on the city’s elevated rail system.

White, or refined, sugar for December delivery rose 0.2 percent to $655 a ton by 9:43 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Raw sugar for March delivery climbed 0.3 percent to 25.65 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

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