(Updates with comments and closing prices)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) –
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Raw sugar futures on ICE hit their highest levels in nearly six years on Thursday, before turning negative near the close, as flows dwindle from No. 2 exporter India.
* March raw sugar settled down 0.31 cent, or 1.5%, at 19.98 cents per lb, having earlier hit its highest since February 2017 at 20.73 cents.
* Dealers said mills in India are producing almost no raw sugar at the moment because whites are currently more lucrative, leaving the global market short at a time when top exporter Brazil is in between harvests.
* They added Indian refiners who sometimes buy raw locally are mostly importing them now from the world market, namely from Brazil.
* India would consider allowing additional sugar exports under the quota system in January after assessing local production, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said.
* Pakistan has lifted a ban on sugar exports, the finance ministry said, aiming to allow up to 100,000 tonnes of shipments in fiscal year 2022/23.
* March white sugar fell $9.80, or 1.8%, to $545.00 a tonne.
* March arabica coffee rose 3.6 cents, or 2.1%, to $1.7175 per lb.
* Dealers said coffee futures became oversold and cheap after the recent slide, attracting investor buying. There was also support from slow farmer selling in top grower Brazil.
Brazil’s government revised
upwards its estimate for this year’s crop to 50.9 million bags on Thursday.
* March robusta coffee rose $1, or 0.1%, to $1,878 a tonne.
* Coffee markets in top robusta producer Vietnam were subdued this week, with buyers lacking interest and bulk supplies not reaching traders as beans were still in the drying process.
* Dealers said buying should pick up ahead of the Tet New Year holidays on Jan. 22.
* March London cocoa settled up 25 pounds, or 1.3%, at 1,975 pounds per tonne.
* Ghana’s annual consumer inflation accelerated to a 21-year high of 50.3% in November, a day after the world’s no. 2 cocoa producer secured a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $3 billion, three-year support package.
* March New York cocoa fell $7, or 0.3%, to $2,517 a tonne. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Maytaal Angel; Editing by Jan Harvey, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shinjini Ganguli)