Sugar Futures Melt on Large Supplies

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Sugar futures tumbled amid broader sluggishness in commodity markets.

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Prices for the sweetener rose to a two-month high earlier this week, spurred by an ethanol tax cut in Brazil. But sugar futures have since tracked lower on supply pressure. Futures fell sharply on Thursday as they slid through technical support indicators.

"It's a very bad environment," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of investment firm 50 Park Investments. "You have a lot of supply, and demand is tepid at best."

A harvest in Brazil, the world's largest producer of sugar, was exacerbating the supply situation, said Peter Mooses, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

Raw sugar for October delivery closed 3.3% lower at 14.31 cents a pound on Thursday at the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, falling as low as 13.92 cents a pound earlier in the session.

Analysts said technical factors were largely behind Thursday's moves. Otherwise positive indicators were starting to soften on the back of cooler buying interest, Sucden Financial Research said in a note to clients.

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A prolonged slide in the dollar, meanwhile, has given some support to sugar and other commodities, analysts say. The dollar traded sideways on Thursday, however, rising in the morning before turning lower.

That pause encouraged some funds to sell their positions, said David Martin, founder of hedge fund Martin Fund Management. Crude oil futures also fell on Thursday.

In other markets, September frozen concentrated orange juice futures fell 0.5% to $1.333 a pound. September cocoa contracts climbed 0.3% to $2,061 a ton, while September arabica coffee fell 0.1% to $1.402 a pound. December cotton dropped 0.3% to 70.16 cents a pound.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 03, 2017 15:24 ET (19:24 GMT)