Coffee Boosted by Year-End Profit Taking

By Julie WernauFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Coffee futures rose Wednesday as money managers covered positions, taking profits and squaring losses before year-end.

Arabica coffee futures for March rose 1.2% to end at $1.2315 a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.

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"The funds and other speculators were buying to cover shorts before end of the year," said Jack Scoville, vice president at Price Futures Group.

Some market watchers think futures could move below $1 a pound in the next several weeks, he said. Meanwhile, the market will need to wait longer before it is clear what the outlook will be for the next arabica coffee crop in Brazil, the world's largest producer of coffee.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting world coffee production for 2017/18 to be at 159.9 million bags, down 600,000 bags compared with the previous year, as lower output in Brazil offsets record production in Vietnam. A bag is 60 kilograms.

The agency placed global consumption at 158.5 million bags, with stockpiles of beans dropping to a five-year low of 29.3 million bags. World exports are expected to slip primarily due to lower shipments from Brazil.

In other markets, raw sugar for March rose 1.1% to end at 14.57 cents a pound, March cocoa ended up 1% at $1,931 a ton, March frozen concentrated orange juice lost 1.2% to settle at $1.3835 a pound, and March cotton closed up 0.9% at 75.71 cents a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 20, 2017 17:32 ET (22:32 GMT)