Sugar Futures Advance on Bullish Brazil Report

By Carolyn Cui Features Dow Jones Newswires

Sugar futures rose Tuesday, buoyed by a supportive report from Brazil's cane crush industry.

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Raw sugar futures for March delivery added 2.2% to 14.19 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.

Brazilian sugar mills in the country's center-south region produced slightly less sugar than expected in the first half of October, according to industry group Unica, due to lower prices and wet weather during the period.

Mills produced two million tons of sugar, down 12.3%, while an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts showed that the region was expected to have produced 2.033 million metric tons.

Center-south mills crushed 32.4 million metric tons of cane in the first half of October, a rise of 0.7% from the same period a year earlier. Though the cane crush was higher than what was expected, it was down nearly 20% from the prior two weeks, when 40.31 million metric tons were crushed.

The decline in the crush was due to wet weather in the reporting period, with analysts expecting 3.2 days were lost to rain during the two weeks, hampering the pace of the crush and lowering the total recoverable sugar level, or ATR.

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"From now on, the ATR will only go down, a seasonal issue since we have entered the rainy period and crushing activities are about to stop in December," said Claudiu Covrig, senior sugar analyst at Platts Kingsman, a unit of S&P Global Platts. "The sugar mix will keep on decreasing as ethanol continues to provide a better return than sugar and as lower ATR levels favor ethanol logistics and its output," he said.

The production mix for the season through Oct. 16 was 47.9% sugar to 52.1% ethanol. A year earlier, the mix was 46.5% sugar and 53.5% ethanol.

Cocoa futures for December delivery fell 1.9% to $2,083 a ton, arabica coffee for December edged down 0.7% to $1.2355 a pound, frozen concentrated orange juice for November was down 0.6% to $1.5185 a pound, and December cotton was down 0.03% to 69.70 cents a pound.

Write to Carolyn Cui at carolyn.cui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 11:37 ET (15:37 GMT)