Arabica coffee sinks 3 pct as real falls; robusta at 2-year low

Arabica coffee futures on ICE tumbled more than 3 percent in heavy volume on Monday, pressured by a sharply lower currency in top grower Brazil and weak global exports, while robusta dropped to a two-year low.

Cocoa futures moved in the opposite direction, buoyed by estimates for lower weekly bean arrivals at No. 1 producer Ivory Coast, but closed November higher for the third straight month.

Sugar prices fell, also pressured by the weak real while wet weather in Brazil’s main growing region slowed cane harvesting, helping the market to pare losses. The weak currency attracts producer and speculative selling into the dollar-denominated commodity.

Brazil’s currency dropped after its top court agreed to keep influential banker André Esteves under arrest indefinitely, sparking concerns about the extent of a sweeping political corruption scandal.

ICE March arabica coffee futures settled down 3.95 cents, or 3.2 percent, at $1.1965 per lb, closing November down 3.7 percent, their fifth straight monthly loss.

anuary robusta coffee futures ended down $36, or 2.4 percent, at $1,478 per tonne, the lowest since November 2013.

“There’s a strong dollar, weak real and exports are down 3.6 percent,” said one U.S. trader, referring to data that showed global coffee exports fell in October.

“Roasters are only buying hand-to-mouth here and there.”

London March cocoa finished up 8 pounds, or 0.4 percent, at 2,281 pounds a tonne, while New York March cocoa futures closed up $29, or 0.9 percent, at $3,339 per tonne.

“The bean arrivals data gave the market a bit of a tonic this morning,” a London-based cocoa futures broker said.

“The stronger dollar boosted arbitrage between the London and New York markets – selling New York and buying London.”

Raw sugar futures pared earlier losses, with traders adding that expectations of raw sugar exports from No. 2 producer India also helped lift prices off their lows.

“The market is rangebound, between 14.50-15.50 cents a pound,” said Michael Liddiard, a consultant with Agrilion.

ICE March raw sugar futures ended down 0.04 cent, or 0.3 percent, at 14.93 cents a lb, after falling 1.3 percent to the session low at 14.73 cents. They closed November up 2.8 percent, rising for the third straight month, supported by a shift in the global market into deficit after years of surpluses.

ICE March white sugar futures closed down $1.60, or 0.4 percent, at $403 per tonne.

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters