Markets join commods sell-off on demand woes

LONDON - Soft commodity futures fell along with the wider commodity complex on Friday as evidence mounted that slowing economic growth was hitting global demand.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Fri 15 Aug 2008, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:53 AM

Fund and investor selling pushed London robusta coffee, cocoa and sugar futures lower, as the dollar gained on gloomy economic data from Europe.

"It's across the board (selling)," said Lars Steffensen, managing director of London-based commodities fund Ebullio Capital Management.

"Some passive, long investors in the Far East cracked overnight when the dollar put in that 6-month high," he added.

"There's been a slow realisation creep that all is not well in the world, and that China cannot carry the world on its shoulders."

London November robustas traded at around 2-month lows, basis second month, and were down 33 pounds or 1.47 percent to 2,205 pounds a tonne in modest turnover of 5,757 lots at 1408 GMT.

ICE December arabicas were down 2.8 cents to $1.3625 a lb.

Dealers said the fundamental market outlook for coffee was mildly bearish due to expectations of ample global supplies and steady demand.

London sugar futures joined the sell-off, breaking below key nearby support of 13.00 cents in ICE October raws.

ICE October stood at 12.88 cents a lb, down 0.51 cent or 3.8 percent, at 1409 GMT, having dropped to an intra-day low of 12.81 cents, a 2-week trough basis front month.

London October white sugar futures broke below key support of $380.0 a tonne to stand at $373.90 a tonne, down $12.00 or 3.1 percent, in low volume of 1,536 lots.

Steffensen said benchmark raw sugar could fall to 10 or 8 cents a lb if crude oil fails to hold above $100 a barrel.

Some traders see a link between sugar and crude because of the use of cane to manufacture ethanol biofuel.

Mirroring the trend across the softs complex, cocoa futures fell in moderate turnover, with position rolling wrapping up in U.S. futures ahead of first notice day on Monday, dealers said.

Fundamentally, the main issue for the trade is bean quality out of top grower Ivory Coast.

ICE December cocoa was down $81 to $2,597 a tonne at 1412 GMT, while London December was trading at around 10-day lows, down 30 pounds to 1,457 pounds a tonne in low volume of 2,271 lots.

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