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Softs mixed; Sugar edges higher on Brazil crop concerns

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Investing.com - U.S. soft futures were mixed on Wednesday, with sugar prices edging higher amid concerns over crop prospects in top grower Brazil.

On the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, sugar futures for March delivery traded at USD0.1667 a pound, up 0.25%. Prices of the sweetener held in a range between USD0.1662 a pound and USD0.1672 a pound.

The March contract fell to USD0.1645 a pound on Tuesday, the lowest since September 5, before turning higher to end at USD0.1662 a pound, up 0.42%.

Unica, Brazil's sugar industry association, said Tuesday that sugar output in the country's center-south region fell 26% to 1.44 million tonnes in the last half of November after declining 20% early in the first half of the month.

Adverse weather conditions in the region made crushing more difficult and costly during November.

Brazil's center-south region accounts for nearly 90% of Brazil's sugarcane output.

Brazil is the world's largest sugar producer and exporter, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimating the nation accounts for nearly 20% of global production and 39% of global sugar exports.

Elsewhere, Arabica coffee for March delivery traded at USD1.0973 a pound, down 0.65%. The March Arabica contract traded in a range between USD1.0963 a pound and USD1.1050 a pound.

The March contract soared 3.91% on Tuesday to end at USD1.1025 a pound.

Arabica prices tracked Robusta coffee futures higher, which surged 4% in London, due to tight supplies from top producer Vietnam.

Robusta beans are used to make instant coffee and espresso, while Arabica is grown mainly in Latin America and brewed by specialty companies.

Meanwhile, cotton futures for March delivery traded at USD0.8088 a pound, 0.25% higher. Cotton rose to a session high of USD0.8091 a pound earlier, the highest since October 23.

The March contract settled 0.41% higher on Tuesday to end at USD0.8069 a pound after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reaffirmed its expectations for tight supplies in the U.S.

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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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