LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – Raw sugar futures on ICE hits their lowest since late December on Tuesday, down for the fifth consecutive session, weighed by risk-off sentiment in the wider financial markets and improved near term supply.
* May raw sugar was down 2.8% to 15.10 cents per lb at around 1400 GMT, having earlier hit a low of 15.05.
* Dealers said a combination of limited physical demand and adequate supply thanks to good Indian exports is putting sugar under pressure, as is the broad-based sell off in other risk assets.
* The premium for May sugar over July is at its narrowest since last September, indicating improved nearby sugar availability. <SB-1=R>
* May white sugar fell 3.1% to $435.60 a tonne – having hit its lowest since early January at $432.40.
* White sugar is benefitting relative to raws from the ongoing shortage of global shipping containers, dealers said.
* Russia’s government said on Monday it will discuss eliminating taxes on imports of up to 350,000 tonnes of white sugar between May 15 and Aug. 31.
* May arabica coffee fell 0.9% to $1.2925 per lb, heading back towards a one-month low hit late last week.
* Dealers said there are almost no rains forecast for the next week in top coffee producer Brazil’s growing regions. On the downside for prices, however, measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, also a key coffee consumer, are getting more severe.
* Uganda’s coffee exports surged 16% year-on-year in February, helped by good yields and favourable prices, the state-run sector regulator, UCDA, said.
* May robusta coffee fell 0.4% to $1,393 a tonne.
* May London cocoa was flat at 1,728 pounds per tonne.
* Dealers noted good rains are expected in West Africa this month, which should favour the tail end of the mid-crop. At the same time there are concerns over chocolate demand in Europe, which is grappling with rising COVID-19 infections.
* May New York cocoa fell 0.9% to $2,484 a tonne.
(Editing by Mark Potter)
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