Sugar Falls as Sweetener's Future Is Clouded

Sugar futures fell lower Friday, unable to maintain earlier gains.

Raw sugar for March closed down 0.7% at 14.98 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.

Sucden Financial said it is "left to wonder what the objectives remain for sugar" going into the new year, with bears eyeing a sizable surplus next year and bulls looking to news from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries about favorable pricing for ethanol production over sugar production.

Oil prices rose Friday after OPEC and other big producers--including Russia--agreed to keep limiting their output through the end of 2018. Markets have been supported by a continued reduction in sugar produced in Brazil due to a price advantage of ethanol over sugar, both of which can be produced from cane.

The idea is that higher gasoline prices would drive demand for ethanol.

In other markets, cotton futures rose 0.7%, to end at 73.28 cents a pound. Cotlook released its November estimates Friday, implying lower production and a smaller addition to world ending stocks for 2017/2018, a net change of 789,000 tons at the end of the 2017/18 season, compared with 841,000 estimated in their assessment last month.

Cocoa for March was off 0.4%, at $2,041 a ton; arabica coffee for March rose 0.8%, to end at $1.2955 a pound; and frozen concentrated orange juice for January was up 1.6%, at $1.627 a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 01, 2017 16:27 ET (21:27 GMT)