Raw sugar steadies after 6pc tumble, arabica near highs

LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE edged higher on Friday, steadying after computer-generated selling sent prices tumbling nearly 6 percent in the previous session, while arabica hovered just below 3-1/2 month highs and cocoa eased.
October raw sugar rose 0.09 cent, or 0.63 percent, to 14.40 cents per lb by 1041 GMT, having slipped to 14.31 cents in early trade.
Dealers said the market was in consolidation mode, a day after a sell-stop prompted a wave of automatic selling by funds, sending prices tumbling and triggering a circuit breaker in the market.
The October contract plunged 5.9 percent before partially recovering to close down 3.3 percent. Dealers said this weakened the chart outlook as prices closed below the 10-day moving average.
"It was a technical move without any relation to fundamentals," said one dealer. "Part of the losses have been offset now. But the market is in a phase where it's subject to a lot of technical activity because it has risen quite significantly lately."
However, a recovery to the 2-month highs touched early this week were seen as unlikely, with dealers noting speculators will hesitate to cover more shorts with prices below 15 cents. Any climb would also likely run up against producer hedging.
October white sugar also fell $2.30, or 0.59 percent, to $391.10 a tonne.
September arabica coffee rose 0.30 cents, or 0.21 percent, to $1.405 per lb, hovering just below a $1.4155 high touched on Thursday.
The market has been lifted recently by growing expectations for tighter supplies.
"Farmers have been holding on to the current crop, expecting a price recovery later. Lower exports from Brazil are likely to tighten supplies in global market," ING said in a note, adding exports from the top grower hit a 12-year low in July.