Sugar Falls to Two-Week Low as Investors Sell After Brazil Fire

Sugar fell to a two-week low in New York as investors sold futures and traders judged a fire at the port of Santos in Brazil, the world’s top producer, will have limited impact on supplies. Coffee retreated.

Small and large speculators excluding index funds held a net-long position of 164,104 contracts in the week ended Oct. 8, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said yesterday, updating its reports after a government shutdown. That was more than traders forecast, said INTL FCStone do Brasil. Slower Chinese imports and rising exports from India, the world’s second-biggest producer, will more than offset the Santos fire that damaged six warehouses owned by Copersucar SA and destroyed 180,000 metric tons of the sweetener.

“Some could be surprised speculators’ net-long positions were already so high on Oct. 8,” Bruno Zaneti, a consultant at FCStone do Brasil, said by phone from Campinas. “Net-long positions probably got around 200,000 contracts at about the time of the Copersucar event. In the short-term, the market became more technical and entered a profit-taking lower trend.”

Raw sugar for delivery in March declined 1.3 percent to 18.66 cents a pound by 8:04 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price touched 18.61 cents a pound, the lowest for a most-active contract since Oct. 15. Refined, or white, sugar for December delivery retreated 1.4 percent to $492.60 a ton on NYSE Liffe in London.

After Copersucar

While Brazil’s center south, the largest producing region, may ship 500,000 tons less than a year earlier at the peak of its production cycle in the third quarter, that will still leave a global export glut of 1.5 million tons in the period, according to Kingsman SA, a Lausanne, Switzerland-based research company. As Brazil is at the end of its 2013-14 harvest, other terminals than Copersucar’s can be used to handle the nation’s sugar exports.

Arabica coffee for delivery in December retreated 0.2 percent to $1.073 a pound in New York. Prices touched $1.066 a pound, the lowest for a most-active contract since March 2009. Futures trading volumes were 84 percent higher than the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. In London, robusta coffee for delivery in January fell 0.3 percent to $1,496 a ton.

“Abundant supply coming from Latin America, coupled with continued weakness of the Brazilian real against the dollar, is weighing on arabica coffee prices,” Simona Gambarini, an associate director at ETF Securities Ltd., said in a report e-mailed today. “With prices this low, investor interest in coffee has risen, attracting over $100 million of inflows into ETFS ETPs since the beginning of 2013.”

Cocoa for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to $2,686 a ton on ICE. Cocoa for March delivery gained 0.4 percent to 1,707 pounds ($2,743) a ton on NYSE Liffe.

Bean deliveries to ports in Ivory Coast, the world’s leading cocoa producer, almost doubled from the start of the season on Oct. 1 through to Oct. 27, according to data on the website of KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Arrivals amounted to 163,000 tons from 85,000 tons in the same period a year earlier.

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