Coffee traders contemplate Central America crop losses

FCOJ

General Comments: Futures closed higher on speculative buying as Florida weather has turned warmer, but remains too dry. Temperatures will turn warmer in the state, and conditions are dry again, and talk about the potential for more fruit drop and poor development of the crop for next year returned. Recent dry weather is creating ideas that more fruit can be lost, but USDA did not really show that in its reports earlier in the month. Fruit is holding for now, and irrigation is being used by producers to hold crop condition. Harvest in Florida of mid and early oranges is continuing, and the Valencia harvest is underway. Bloom has been reported in groves in all production areas of the state. Weather in Brazil is reported to be good. Brazil is seeing near to above normal temperatures and mostly dry conditions. Harvest is continuing, so an increase in supplies should be expected at this time of year.

Overnight News: Florida weather forecasts call for mostly dry conditions. Temperatures will average above normal.

Chart Trends: Trends in FCOJ are mixed. Support is at 123.50, 122.00, and 119.00 March, with resistance at 129.00, 132.00, and 135.00 March.

SUGAR

General Comments: Futures closed higher again on demand ideas. Iraq has been in the market and has been a big buyer in the last week or so with 250,000 tons of White Sugar reported to be bought. It is about the only demand news the market has seen in recent months. The lack of demand news had hurt the bull case and made it hard to sustain rallies given big production ideas. However, some are looking for a short covering rally in the short term as a short squeeze is said to be possible in New York March contracts. Brazil said it will increase the ethanol in its gasoline blends in May, and this could help work off a lot of the surplus production in Brazil and could tighten world balance sheets. Production has been strong in Brazil so far this year, and reports say that the new crop production looks to be strong as well, so the diversion into more domestic ethanol use will help. Exports from Brazil continue to be very strong. Chart patterns now show that a rally is possible, with London likely to be the leader in any rally attempt.

Overnight News: Mostly dry weather expected in Brazil. Temperatures should be near to above normal. USDA said it does not expect to raise import quotas for Sugar into the US this year.

Chart Trends: Trends in New York are mixed. Support is at 1825, 1790, and 1760 May, and resistance is at 1850, 1875, and 1900 May. Trends in London are mixed. Support is at 494.00, 489.00, and 486.00 May, and resistance is at 502.00, 508.00, and 512.00 May.

COCOA

General Comments: Futures closed lower again yesterday on ideas of increasing harvest selling pressure from Ivory Coast against forecasts for stressful weather for developing crops in West Africa. There were also reports of Ghana selling. Chart patterns are very weak and market trends are still down. The weather was warm and dry in West Africa over the weekend and is expected to stay that way this week. Hot and dry winds now could hurt the mid-crop production and also hurt some development of the crops for next year. Speculators seemed to be the best buyers as trends started to turn up on the charts. Malaysia and Indonesia crops appear to be in good condition and weather is called favorable. Overall weather patterns in West Africa production areas are good for harvest progress. Traders are starting to look ahead and past the midcrop harvest and note that the market could move to a production deficit next year. More buying is being noted in deferred months at this time due to smaller production ideas for the coming crops.

Overnight News: Mostly dry conditions are expected in West Africa. Temperatures will average above normal. Malaysia and Indonesia should see episodes of scattered showers, but Malaysia will be drier this weekend. Temperatures should average near normal. Brazil will get scattered showers and warm temperatures. ICE said that 0 contracts were delivered today against March contracts and that total deliveries for the month are now 811 contracts. ICE certified stocks are higher today at 4.046 million bags.

Chart Trends: Trends in New York are down with objectives of 2110 and 2030 May. Support is at 2085, 2050, and 2020 May, with resistance at 2150, 2190, and 2210 May. Trends in London are mixed to down with objectives of 1390 and 1365 May. Support is at 1405, 1390, and 1370 May, with resistance at 1420, 1440, and 1450 May.

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About the Author
Jack Scoville

Jack Scoville is a veteran futures market analyst specializing in grains, softs, rice, oilseeds, and tropical products such as coffee and sugar. His industry contacts in South America, Europe, Asia, and North America provide him with a unique and comprehensive view of these markets. Jack began working in the futures industry over 30 years ago and spent 10 years working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade in various roles, starting with The PRICE Futures Group since it was established in 1988. Jack writes daily commentaries - Morning Grains and Softs, in both English and Spanish and is regularly quoted around the world by news & wire services including Dow Jones, AP, Bloomberg, and Reuters. You can contact Jack by phone at (312) 264-4322 or by email at jscoville@pricegroup.com. Learn even more on our website at www.pricegroup.com.

Futures and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone. The information presented by The PRICE Futures Group is from sources believed to be reliable and all information reported is subject to change without notice.

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