SOFTS-Raw sugar prices slide as the March contract expires

Credit: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

(Adds comments on sugar delivery, includes closing prices)

NEW YORK, Feb 29 (Reuters) -

Raw sugar futures on ICE fell sharply on Thursday with the focus on the expiry of the March contract, while cocoa regained some ground after the prior session's steep fall.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar , which expired on Thursday, fell 1.43 cent, or 6%, at 22.58 cents per lb.

* Dealers said that some traders seemed to have changed their minds about the amount of sugar they were willing to receive, one reason for the large sell-off in the session.

*

March deliveries

were seen at 25,751 lots, or around 1.3 million metric tons, according to preliminary information from traders, with Wilmar seen as the largest deliverer.

* Talk that India's crop could be slightly larger than expected contributed to the decline in prices and has prompted some to expect a global surplus in the 2023/24 season. * The International Sugar Organization (ISO) on Wednesday, however, forecast a small global deficit in 2023/24.

* May white sugar fell 3.1% at $615.10 a ton.

COCOA

* May London cocoa ​settled up 28 pounds, or 0.5%, to 5,162 pounds a metric ton although prices remained well below a record high of 5,605 pounds set on Monday.

* Dealers said the market had suffered an expected setback after climbing by more than 50% in one month but fundamentals remain supportive following poor crops in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top two producers.

* The International Cocoa Organization on Thursday forecast an increased global cocoa deficit in the current 2023/24 season as aged trees and disease contribute to a drop in production in top growers Ivory Coast and Ghana.

* May New York cocoa rose 0.9% to $6,049 a ton.

COFFEE

* May robusta coffee settled up $51, or 1.7%, at $3,095 a ton.

* Prices for futures of arabica and robusta coffees at the ICE exchange are expected to end 2024 below current levels, as well as lower than where they ended last year, a Reuters poll of 10 traders and analysts showed on Thursday.

* May arabica coffee rose 1.4% at $1.8435 per lb. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Shailesh Kuber) ((marcelo.teixeira@tr.com; +1 332 220 8062; Reuters Messaging: marcelo.teixeira.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net - https://twitter.com/tx_marcelo)) Keywords: GLOBAL SOFTS/ (UPDATE 2)

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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