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Arabica coffee prices fall sharply; sugar climbs

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LONDON — Arabica coffee futures on ICE slumped to their lowest level in more than 1-1/2 years on Wednesday, extending the market’s recent slide, as favorable crop weather in Brazil and rising exchange stocks continued to weigh on prices.

COFFEE

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* March arabica coffee fell 4.7% to $1.4385 per lb by 1439 GMT after touching $1.4345, the weakest level since May 2021.

* Dealers said rains in Brazil and forecasts for more showers had boosted the outlook for the arabica crop in the world’s top producer.

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* Rising exchange stocks have added to the bearish mood.

* Dealers noted that ICE certified coffee stocks stood at a six-month high of 842,771 bags on Jan. 10. There were 186,283 bags pending grading.

* March robusta coffee fell 2% to $1,803 a tonne.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar rose 1.1% to 19.85 cents per lb.

* Dealers said short-term supply tightness remained the key supportive factor, with March’s premium to May widening to about 1.40 cents from 1.29 cents at Tuesday’s close.

* Brazil’s center-south sugarcane crushing totalled 2.63 million tonnes in the second half of December, industry group Unica said on Wednesday, soaring from the same period last year when processing had virtually ended by this time.

* March white sugar was up 1% at $551.40 a tonne.

COCOA

* March London cocoa rose 0.4% to 2,039 pounds a tonne.

* Ivory Coast’s cocoa grind was up 8.9% year on year in December at 172,357 tonnes, data from exporters’ association GEPEX showed on Wednesday.

* March New York cocoa rose 0.5% to $2,617 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman )

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