Sugar prices on the ICE futures market were higher on Wednesday, boosted partly by demand from Myanmar, while New York cocoa extended its slide and fell to the lowest level in more than eight years.
Raw sugar futures were higher with March up 0.21 cents, or 1.0 percent, to 20.68 cents per lb at 1228 GMT.
Dealers said sugar had been boosted by the strength of the whites market, noting the whites premium had risen significantly in the last few days.
Supportive factors include talk of demand from Myanmar, seen as a gateway for China, and the prospect of Indian imports later in the season.
“I think people are positioning themselves for Indian imports, although nothing has happened yet. There are also others who believe the Myanmar gateway for smuggled white sugar is opening again,” one dealer said.
The May whites contract was up $3.00 or 0.55 percent at $551.80 per tonne.
New York May cocoa fell $6, or 0.3 percent, to $1,899 a tonne after dipping to a low of $1,890, the weakest for the second month since October 2008.
Dealers said the market remained under pressure from concerns there could be significant volumes of unsold cocoa in Ivory Coast following recent defaults.
One of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa exporters’ associations on Tuesday called for the country’s marketing board to declare the amount of defaulted export contracts it has resold, stating the information is needed to stop a free fall in world prices.
May London cocoa fell 1 pound, or 0.1 percent, to 1,552 pounds a tonne.
Robusta coffee was lower with May down $4 or 0.2 percent at $2,124 a tonne after touching a low of $2,116, the weakest for the front month since early January.
Dealers said the market recent weakness had prompted funds to scale back long positions built up during a prolonged rise in prices driven by tight supplies.
They noted supplies of robusta remained very tight in Brazil.
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Monday he has asked the country’s Foreign Trade Chamber (Camex) for authorization to open robusta coffee imports at near zero tariff, according to the ministry.
If Camex board approves the request, it would be the first time in decades that Brazil imports coffee, amid a robusta supply crisis that threatens to sharply reduce instant coffee production.
May arabica coffee fell 0.25 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $1.4570 per lb.