SOFTS-Arabica coffee gains over 4% to hit almost a decade high

Arabica coffee futures on ICE increased by more than 4% to their highest level in nearly a decade on Wednesday, boosted by tightening supplies in major consuming markets, while sugar and cocoa prices also increased.

* March arabica coffee KCc2 increased 4.4 percent to $2.3475 per pound after reaching a record high of $2.3580 in January 2012.

* Dealers indicated that delays in shipments from South America, as well as adverse crop weather in Colombia and Asia, contributed to the price surge.

* “High freight costs and shipping delays from South America to Asia are supporting coffee prices,” asset manager WisdomTree said in a report on Wednesday, adding that excessive rains caused by La Nina have also impacted yields in Colombia, the world’s second largest producer of arabica coffee.

* January robusta coffee LRCc2 prices increased by 0.7% to $2,256 per tonne.

SUGAR * March raw sugar SBc1 increased 2.3 percent to 20.42 cents per pound after peaking at 20.51 cents, the contract’s highest level in more than a month.

* Dealers noted that India’s sugar season is off to a strong start, with upside potential remaining constrained by the possibility of a pickup in exports from the South Asian country if prices rise to around 20.50 cents.

* Sugar mill output in India increased by nearly a quarter year on year to 2.09 million tonnes from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15, a trade body said Wednesday. Many operations began crushing earlier than usual.

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