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Robusta Coffee Rises on Expectation of Demand Gain; Sugar Climbs

Robusta coffee rose for a second day on speculation that demand is picking up after prices earlier declined to the lowest in almost two weeks. Sugar also gained.

Robusta coffee stockpiles in warehouses monitored by NYSE Liffe were 122,400 metric tons on March 18, down 2.7 percent from two weeks earlier, the exchange said yesterday. Futures have rebounded about 1 percent since falling as low as $2,139 a metric ton in intraday trade on March 20. Vietnam, the world’s biggest robusta producer, may harvest the smallest crop in eight years because of drought, a Bloomberg survey showed.

“The relief in prices did help coax some better demand back into the market,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in Chicago, said in a report e-mailed yesterday. “The Vietnamese crop is likely smaller than anticipated, and this is supportive to price.”

Robusta coffee for delivery in May gained 0.2 percent to $2,158 a ton by 10:18 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Arabica coffee for delivery in May fell 0.1 percent to $1.3355 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Vietnam’s main coffee growing region may receive between 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) and 20 millimeters of rain through the end of March, helping to ease some dry conditions, the Dak Lak Meteorology and Hydrology Department said yesterday.

White sugar for May delivery was up 0.3 percent to $530 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Raw sugar for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to 18.30 cents a pound on ICE.

Cocoa for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to 1,461 pounds ($2,221) a ton in London. Cocoa for May delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $2,178 a ton in New York.

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