Sugar Slumps Most in Four Months; Coffee, Cotton Fall

Sugar futures fell the most in four months as commodities slumped after Europe’s plan to tax Cyprian bank savings renewed regional-debt concerns. Coffee, cotton, cocoa and orange juice also slid.

Seventeen of 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index declined, led by the drop in sugar, while the euro fell to a three-month low against the dollar. An estimate of the sweetener waiting to be shipped from ports in Brazil, the world’s top exporter, more than tripled from a year earlier.

“There’s plenty of bearish fundamentals in sugar, namely a big forecast in surplus from Brazil’s crop, but in the meantime, we’ve been influenced by macroeconomics, and Cyprus added to macro weakness,” James Cassidy, the head of sugar trading at Newedge USA LLC in New York, said in a telephone interview.

Raw sugar for May delivery plunged 3.2 percent to settle at 18.29 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since Nov. 7. In the past 12 months, the price has tumbled 28 percent, the most among GSCI components

Finance ministers in the euro area agreed on March 16 to force depositors in Cypriot banks to share in the cost of the latest bailout. A vote by the Cypriot parliament on the tax was postponed until tomorrow.

Sugar waiting at Brazilian ports rose to 1.37 million metric tons from 530,767 tons a year earlier, data from SA Commodities and Unimar Agenciamentos Maritimos in Santos, Brazil, showed.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery tumbled 2.3 percent to $1.3435 a pound in New York. Earlier, the price touched $1.3405, the lowest since June 2010. The premium versus robusta futures on NYSE Liffe in London fell to 35.65 cents a pound, the lowest since December 2008.

Cotton futures for May delivery fell 1.8 percent to 90.83 cents a pound on ICE, the biggest drop since Jan. 25. Cocoa futures for May delivery slumped 1.3 percent to $2,088 a ton. Orange-juice futures for May delivery dropped 0.1 percent to $1.3905 a pound.

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