PRINTABLE VERSION   EMAIL TO A FRIEND   RSS FEEDS 19:54 GMT, Tuesday, 11th Apr 2017, by William Clarke
PM markets: sugar finds support, as markets mull El Nino

Grain futures bounced back rapidly after a bearish wasde, while sugar found some support after an early sell-off.

Cotton futures eased, as the US Department of Agriculture lifted ideas of world production.

As expected, the USDA lifted its forecast for US cotton exports in response to strong export sales last month.

Export were seen at 14.0m bales, up 800,000 tonnes from last month.

As a consequence, ideas of ending stocks for 2016-17 were raised by 3.7m bales.

But the USDA lifted its idea of world cotton production and ending stocks, with ideas of the Chinese and Brazilian crops lifted.

Ideas of world ending stocks were lifted by some 400,000 bales, to 90.9m bales.

May cotton futures finished down 0.2%, at 75.01 cents a pound.

Sugar finds support

Sugar markets found some support, after May raw sugar futures reached down 2.5% early in the session.

Markets are weighing the possibility of an El Nino year, which could potentially disrupt the Indian Monsoon.

"The sugar bulls will point out there is still a predicted 50/50 chance of an El Nino pattern in the second half of the year and betting short on benign weather so heavily across ags is 'brave'," noted Tom Kujawa, at Price Futures Group.

Downplaying rain effect

There are also some concerns over cane crushing delays due to rains in Brazil.

But Tobin Gorey, at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, downplayed the effect of the rains.

"Brazilian mills might have less sugar available in the May window but that can only be minor," the said.

"The northern parts of the region should be able to crush as planned." "

And Mr Gorey noted that the delay "might well increase sugar production given rainfall takes a more seasonable turn because more crushing might be done when sugar recoveries are higher".

May raw sugar finished up 0.5%, at 16.72 cents a pound.

Cocoa markets bounce

Cocoa futures bounced back, as markets wait for European crush data to be released on Wednesday.

Still, supplies remain heavy, as cocoa arrivals at ports in Cote D'Ivoire since the start of the season on October 1 were reported at 1.411m tonnes, up some 15% year-on-year.

July New York cocoa settled up 1.2%, at $1,988 per tonne.

Coffee prices also rose, as broker Marex Spectron forecast a global coffee deficit of 4.3m bags in 2017-18, due largely to lower production in Brazil.

May arabica coffee settled up 0.3%, at 140.20 cents a pound.

May robusta coffee futures settled up 1.0%, at $2,176 per tonne.

Grains bounce back

Grain futures slumped after a bearish wasde revealed heavy world stocks.

But some late session bargain buying trimmed losses sharply, with May soybean futures finished down 0.3%, at $9.39 a bushel, after hitting one-year lows of $9.29 a bushel.

May corn futures finished down 0.1%, at $3.66 a bushel.

 And May Chicago wheat futures bounced even harder, finishing up 1.0%, at $4.33 a bushel.

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