SOFTS-Cocoa plunges on profit taking, demand concerns; sugar recovers

Credit: REUTERS/ANGE ABOA

By Maytaal Angel and Marcelo Teixeira

NEW YORK, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures fell sharply on Friday as speculators decided to liquidate part of their long position after strong gains this year, while sugar futures recovered from one-month lows.

COCOA

* May London cocoa LCCc2 ​​settled down 171 pounds, or 3.6%, to 4,524 pounds per metric ton.

* May New York cocoa CCc2 fell more, losing 4.7% to $5,341 a ton.

* Dealers said speculators decided to sell after the market failed to continue the recent rise to all-time highs.

* "It was profit taking, along with some concerns about demand as retail prices rise," said a U.S.-based cocoa broker, adding that the market remains supported in the medium term.

* "From a S&D point of view, nothing has changed," he said, stressing that price cover by the industry will get smaller towards next quarters.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar SBc1 ​settled up 0.26 cents, or 1.1%, at 23.08 cents per lb, having earlier hit its lowest since mid-January at 22.71. It lost 3.9% in the week.

* Dealers said output in top producer Brazil will remain strong close to the record current crop, and that poor crops in India and Thailand are mostly priced in.

* There was chat among traders of a better end of crop in India, with some wondering if the government would allow limited exports.

* May white sugar LSUc1 rose 1.2% at $638.30 a ton.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee KCc2settled up 1.55 cents, or 0.8%, at $1.867 per lb, but the contract lost 2.5% in the week.

* Rains in top producer Brazil are boosting the outlook for coffee crops, while rising ICE-certified stocks are also weighing on prices.

* ICE arabica stocks rose to 307,262 bags on Friday, and there are 65,717 bags pending grading.

* May robusta coffee LRCc2 rose 1.1% at $3,141 a ton. It lost 2% in the week.

(Reporting by Maytaal Angel and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jane Merriman; Editing by Alan Barona)

((marcelo.teixeira@tr.com; +1 332 220 8062; Reuters Messaging: marcelo.teixeira.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net - https://twitter.com/tx_marcelo))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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