Sugar Extends Recent Declines

By Amrith RamkumarFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Sugar prices extended Friday's declines, after failing to reach its November highs during last week's rally.

Sugar for March delivery fell 2% to 14.78 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange. Prices went as high as 15.37 cents last week before dropping 1.1% Friday.

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Some traders were likely nervous because last week's rally didn't break through highs sugar had hit in November, said James Liddiard, an analyst at Agrilion Commodity Advisers.

"I think the general feeling seems to have been last week's rally was more about outside markets in the face of still-heavy fundamentals," he said, noting that the sugar market is still well supplied.

Sugar prices and fuel prices are closely linked because producers can turn cane into fuel, but Monday's drop in sugar prices came with oil prices little changed.

Mr. Liddiard noted that the lack of market consensus about Friday's Commodity Futures Trading Commission report showing a surprising drop in net short contracts in sugar and a stronger dollar could have also been weighing on sugar prices.

ING analysts said in a note to clients that sugar mills in India produced 10.3 million tons of sugar from October to December, a 26% increase from the same period a year earlier.

In other markets, March cocoa was up 1% at $1,914 a ton, arabica coffee for March shed 2.6% to $1.2515 a pound, frozen concentrated orange juice for March added 0.5% to $1.3865 a pound and March cotton closed up 0.2% at 78.14 cents a pound.

--Write to Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 08, 2018 16:17 ET (21:17 GMT)