SOFTS-Raw sugar hits highest in nearly a month
Updates prices, adds details
LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE hit their highest in nearly a month on Thursday as commodities and global equities steadied at lofty levels and investors remained nervous about harvest prospects in top producer Brazil. MKTS/GLOBO/RGRA/
* May raw sugar SBc1 rose 0.8% to 15.98 cents per lb by 1356 GMT, having hit the highest price since mid-March at 16.03 cents.
* Dealers cited growing expectations that sugar production in Brazil will struggle to reach the previously predicted 36 million tonnes.
* They said sugar is likely to continue to push higher in the near term, though strong exports out of India will eventually cap gains.
* Egypt's state sugar buyer ESIIC set a tender on Thursday for 100,000 tonnes of Brazilian raw cane sugar with a deadline for offers of April 24, a tender document seen by Reuters showed.
* May white sugar LSUc1 rose 1.8% to $449.40 a tonne in low volumes ahead of its expiry later in the session.
* May arabica coffee KCc1 rose 0.2% to $1.3250 per lb, having hit its highest since mid-March in the previous session.
* Investors are eyeing a looming arabica deficit as top producer Brazil enters an off-year in its biennial production cycle. The deficit is overshadowing pressure from a generally weak Brazilian real BRL=.
* "The drop in the coming Brazil crop is fully in the market in our opinion, and the pressure will likely be felt in the physical market (more) than in the futures market, which has a bulky volume of certified stocks," Rabobank said in a note this week.
* May robusta coffee LRCc1 fell 0.3% to $1,361 a tonne.
* Domestic coffee prices in top robusta producer Vietnam edged higher this week, as a potential decline in Brazilian production stoked trader concerns over global supply.
* May London cocoa LCCc1 rose 0.2% to 1,609 pounds per tonne, having hit a five-month low on Monday on surplus supplies.
* Europe's first-quarter cocoa grind, a measure of demand, fell 3% from a year earlier to 357,815 tonnes, the European Cocoa Association said on Wednesday.
* May New York cocoa CCc1 rose 0.5% to $2,433 a tonne.
* North American grind data is expected later in the session.
(Editing by David Goodman)
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