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Sugar May Trade at 22.50 to 26 Cents in April, FCStone Says

Raw sugar prices may trade at 22.50 cents to 26 cents a pound in New York this month on uncertainty over the size of the crop in Brazil, the world’s top producer, according to broker INTL FCStone Inc.

Sugar climbed 2.2 percent in the first quarter on speculation Brazil’s output would be smaller than initially anticipated and the start of the harvests would be delayed. Archer Consulting in Sao Paulo lowered its sugar-cane crop estimate for the country’s main producing region to 512 million metric tons on March 31 from 521 million tons a month earlier.

FCStone expects “to see a bit more clarity set in once Brazilian uncertainties start to lift,” the New York-based company said in a monthly report e-mailed yesterday.

Coffee prices may ease “over the weeks ahead” on improved supplies from Brazil and Vietnam, the world’s biggest producers, according to the report. The coffee season in Brazil usually starts in July and harvesting may begin in May.

“The robusta complex is not awash with coffee and, indeed, the market’s supply and demand numbers are expected to be in a rough cumulative balance for both this year and next,” FCStone said in the report. The variety is grown mainly in Asia and parts of Africa and is used to make instant drinks.

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