Will increasing sugarcane exports boost cocoa prices?

August 22, 2017 09:45 AM

General Comments:  Futures in London and New York were a little higher in consolidation trading. Both markets failed to overcome nearby resistance, but held well and might try again later in the week.  Most view the rally as just a short term correction of the recent down trend.  Prices have fallen a lot so some type of correction trading is possible.  The big harvest in Brazil continues, and ideas of big offers from there have been a reason for prices to stay pinned near 1300 New York October. An increasing part of the Sugarcane production will likely shift to ethanol due to recent tax changes there. Production potential in Thailand seems improved for now as monsoon rains have been better than last year.  It is raining in much of India now as the monsoon is active, but rains have been uneven.  Some northwest areas have been flooded due to big rains.  Other areas are too dry, but rains are forecast for dry areas this week. Thailand is getting rains and production ideas are high. The rest of Southeast Asia is seeing average to above average rains so far this year. 

Chart Trends: Trends in New York are mixed. Support is at 1310, 1290, and 1240 October, and resistance is at 1360, 1370, and 1390 October.  Trends in London are mixed to down with objectives of 344.00 and 335.00 October.  Support is at 368.00, 360.00, and 357.00 October, and resistance is at 375.00, 378.00, and 381.00 October.

General Comments:  Futures closed a little higher in quiet trading. The market is holding in a big trading range and is now at the lower end of the range.  There does not seem to be a good reason to push prices to new lows, but there is no real reason for prices to go much higher, either.  Overall, the market is between harvests and no one seems to expect much to happen for another few weeks  It is warmer and drier in Ivory Coast, but rains are in the forecast.  The rest of West Africa is still getting showers and moderate temperatures.  Chocolate manufacturers, in general, have reported improved sales volumes and ideas are that the better sales can continue as chocolate and cocoa are relatively cheap.  Ivory Coast is expected to have a big crop starting harvest this Fall, but it should be smaller than last year.  Ghana also expects a good crop this year.  The growing conditions in other parts of the world are generally good.  East African conditions are now called good.  Good conditions are still seen in Southeast Asia. 

Overnight News:  Scattered showers and storms are expected in West Africa.  Temperatures will average near to above normal.  Malaysia and Indonesia should see scattered showers in all areas.  Temperatures should average near to above normal.  Brazil will get mostly dry conditions or light showers and near to above normal temperatures. ICE certified stocks are lower today at 5.119 million bags.  ICE said that 3 notices were posted against September contracts today and those total deliveries for the month are now 577 contracts.      

Chart Trends:  Trends in New York are mixed.  Support is at 1850, 1830, and 1810 December, with resistance at 1920, 1950, and 2010 December.  Trends in London are mixed to down with objectives of 1420 December.  Support is at 1460, 1450, and 1430 December, with resistance at 1520, 1550, and 1590 December.

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About the Author

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.