Arabica coffee plunges 4% on demand concerns; sugar also down
Arabica coffee futures on ICE closed 4% lower on Monday as concerns about future demand after the new COVID variant led funds to reduce exposure to soft commodities, driving sugar and cocoa down as well.
* March arabica coffee (KCc2) fell 4% to $2.33 per lb. The market had climbed to a 10-year high of $2.4820 last week.
* Dealers said a pullback in prices was to be expected after the market's recent strong advance, and fears regarding future demand as researchers evaluate the possible impacts of the new COVID variant provided the trigger for fund liquidation.
* Prices remain underpinned, however, by tightening supplies following delays to shipments from Brazil driven partly by a shortage of container shipping capacity.
* January robusta coffee () fell 2.1% to $2,258 a tonne.
* Vietnam's coffee exports in the first 11 months of this year are expected to show a 4.4% drop from a year earlier to 1.36 million tonnes.
* March raw sugar () closed 0.9% down at 19.19 cents per lb with prices far below a 4-1/2 year high of 20.69 cents set earlier this month.
* Dealers said there remained significant concerns the new Omicron coronavirus variant could lead to a global economic slowdown and curb demand for sugar.
* "Sugar wasn't immune for sure from either the drop in crude or flight to safety and exit by speculators," said one U.S.-based broker.
* Oil prices recovered a bit on Monday, but have lost heavily late last week. Weaker energy prices could boost sugar production in top grower Brazil.
* March white sugar (LSUc1) fell 0.7% to $497.70 a tonne.
* March London cocoa (LCCc2) closed 0.6% lower at 1,648 pounds a tonne, hitting a four-month low of 1,646 pounds during the session.
* Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast had reached 667,000 tonnes by Nov. 28 since the start of the season on Oct. 1, exporters estimated on Monday, down 9.9% from 740,000 tonnes over the same period last season.
* March New York cocoa (CCc2) closed 0.7% lower at $2,378 a tonne, having also hit a four-month low of $2,372.