(Updates prices, adds details)
LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – futures on ICE (NYSE:) hit their lowest in six weeks on Wednesday as the premium for nearby cocoa weakened, though available stocks remained tight overall, especially in Europe.
* July London cocoa LCCc2 were up 2 pounds, or 0.1%, to 1,682 pounds a tonne by 1347 GMT, after hitting a six-week low earlier.
* The front month May’s premium to July LCCK9-N9 weakened to around 90 pounds from a near record high of 159 pounds hit on Monday.
* Dealers said a shortage of good quality cocoa in Europe had helped to drive up the May contract’s premium recently, and this shortage persisted even though the premium has eased.
* “There’s very little uncommitted stock right now in Europe. It doesn’t mean you have a big (global) deficit but it certainly means you don’t have a big surplus,” said a dealer.
* July New York cocoa CCc2 was down $13, or 0.6%, at $2,280 a tonne, having hit a six-week low earlier.
* July raw sugar rose 0.03 cents, or 0.25%, to 11.97 cents per lb, as the market continued to consolidate after falling to its lowest since October 2018 last week.
* A global sugar supply deficit of 2.1 million tonnes is seen in the 2019/20 season, according to S&P Global (NYSE:) Platts. Broker INTL FC Stone sees a global sugar deficit of 5.7 million tonnes in 2019/20, but sees stocks at 74 million tonnes, limiting price upside. “All this talk about global production deficits probably means the lows of last week may prove to be the lows for the longer term,” said a dealer.
* However, he added: “Any push above 13 cents will find good producer selling so that is likely to put a ceiling on prices in the short term.”
* India is set to see a 3-million tonne drop in production in the 2019/20 season while production in Thailand is expected to fall by 2 million tonnes, according to the International Sugar Organization. India’s monsoon rains will arrive on its southern coast on June 4 and deliver less rain than average this year, a private weather forecaster said. ICE August white sugar was up $0.7, or 0.2%, at $329 a tonne.
* July arabica coffee futures KCc2 were 0.3 cents, or 0.3%, higher at 91.25 cents per lb, pulling away from a 13-year low of 87.60 cents set earlier this month.
* Dealers said low prices were beginning to impact production and that prices may rise in the short term following a prolonged decline driven by excess Brazilian supplies.
* July robusta coffee LRCc2 fell $5, or 0.4%, to $1,387 a tonne, extending its rebound from a nine-year low of $1,267 set earlier this month.
(Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Susan Fenton)