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White-Sugar Premium Nears Seven-Month High as Iraq, Sudan Buy

White sugar’s premium over the raw variety climbed to the highest level in almost seven months on May 25 as Iraq, Sudan, Egypt and Syria stepped up purchases, according to Rolle, Switzerland-based Swiss Sugar Brokers.

White, or refined, sugar on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London was trading $125.15 a metric ton above the price of raw sweetener on ICE Futures U.S. in New York on May 25, the highest level since Oct. 28, data on Bloomberg show. U.S. markets are closed today for the Memorial Day holiday.

Iraq may have bought 125,000 tons of white sugar, while Sudan may have purchased more than that this month, Naim Beydoun, a broker at the company, said in a report dated yesterday. Syria’s imports of white sugar were about 140,000 tons in the last five months, while private traders in Egypt may have bought more than 50,000 tons from the European Union.

In the physical market, the premium buyers have to pay to obtain white sugar from Thailand increased to $30 a ton above the price of the August contract on NYSE Liffe for shipments in break bulk from $25 a ton on May 19, data from the broker showed. In the EU, the premium was unchanged at $35 a ton.

Thailand ranks second among world sugar exporters after Brazil.

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