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Raw sugar prices rise, coffee consolidates after climb

Raw sugar futures were higher on Tuesday with technical buying helping the commodity to test a recent band of resistance, though news of a rise in production in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh helped to stall the advance.

March raws were up 0.25 cents, or 1.2 percent, at 20.89 cents per lb at 1242 GMT, having peaked earlier at 20.99 cents. The market had been boosted by technically driven buying after finding support at 20.05 cents on both Thursday and Friday last week.

One dealer said that “21 cents would seem to be a key area”, adding: “Most bulls would want to see the other side of that today to see if there are any (buy) stops resting.”

The market has been supported by a diminishing outlook for India’s crop, particularly in Maharashtra and Karnataka, where output has fallen sharply because of drought.

There continues to be talk that India will need to import, but news on Tuesday that prodocution has risen in the state of Uttar Pradesh could reduce the urgency, dealers said.

Sugar output in the state is expected at 8.1 million tonnes in the year to September 2017, up from 6.8 million tonnes in the previous year, two government officials told reporters on Tuesday.

Analysts at Green Pool recently estimated that the state would produce 7.7 million tonnes. Dealers said that the main focus remains drought-ravaged Maharashtra, with news on its production expected soon. March white sugar was up $6.20, or 1.15 percent, at $547.20 a tonne.

Robusta coffee futures were lower as the market extended its retreat from last week’s 4-1/2 year high.

March robusta coffee was down $14, or 0.6 percent, at $2,234 a tonne. The second position had risen to a peak of $2,268 on Friday, its highest since May 2012.

March arabica coffee was off 0.1 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $1.5530 per lb.

The front month had risen to a two-month high of $1.5675 on Monday.

London cocoa futuers rose as sterling fell in response to a UK Supreme Court ruling that the British government must go through parliament, but not its regional assemblies, to trigger talks on leaving the European Union.

March cocoa in London was up 8 pounds, or 0.5 percent, at 1,754 pounds a tonne.

March New York cocoa was unchanged at $2,165 a tonne.

Reuters

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