Sugar Ends at Four-Month Low

By Julie WernauFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Sugar futures continued their recent slide Friday, ending at the lowest level in four months.

Raw sugar for March lost 0.8% to end at 13.66 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, the lowest close since Aug. 22.

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"We are all wondering if we are now near the year end bottom or have the funds only just started," Nick Penney, senior trader at Sucden Financial said.

Recent weakness in the Brazilian real hasn't help sugar bears as it encourages sales of sugar from the world's largest sugar producer, says Michael McDougall, senior vice president of sale at ED&F Man Capital Markets.

He said other factors have also contributed to the selloff.

The market has seen an increase of 77,000 lots of new open interest overall since Thanksgiving Day, he said, which means the market has absorbed 3.9 million tons of new selling.

"It does not help as well when every trade house analyst is also anticipating a supply surplus for the 17/18 crop year," he said.

The average surplus out of 14 different trade houses is almost 6 million tons, he said, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture anticipating a surplus of 10.7 million tons.

In other markets, cocoa for March was off 0.9% at $1,877 a ton, arabica coffee for March rose 0.4% at $1.2075 a pound, frozen concentrated orange juice for January was off 1.6% at $1.446 a pound and March cotton rose 0.8% to end at 75.92 cents a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 15, 2017 16:27 ET (21:27 GMT)