Feb 24 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 21-24 February 2017 (WPB)
- The market continued to slow down this week. Except in Sri Lanka, local price of black pepper at sources decreased up to 6%. For white pepper, the decrease was relatively lower. FOB price also decreased, with exception of Sarawak which is reported to have remained stable as last week.
- In Vietnam, the harvest is on upswing trend. New material from initial harvest has started arrive in the market. Overseas demand however is sluggish. Local price of black pepper at HCMC decreased almost daily from VND 116,500 per Kg at the beginning of the week to VND 109,500 at the week's close. FOB price of Vietnamese black pepper decreased by 2%. In respect of white pepper, the local price of white pepper was reported stable at VND 157,500 per Kg throughout the week; but FOB price of Vietnamese white pepper decreased by 6%.
- In Lampung, the market was quiet in view of exhausted stock available at farm. The price however decreased following market trend prevailed in Vietnam. Up coming crop in Indonesia is expected to take place in July/August.

Feb 24 - Pepper's Import to the United States (WPB)
- In the last decade import of pepper into the United States of America was on average at the level of around 70,000 Mt. During 2015, import of pepper into the United States increased significantly from 68,800 Mt in 2014 to 80,360 Mt in 2015. A substantial increase of 45% was recorded for ground. Import of whole black increased by 10%, while for white the increase was only 3%.
- In 2016 the United States imported 75,360 Mt of pepper, recording a decrease of 5,000 Mt or 6% from 80,360 Mt in 2015. Viet Nam was the most important single source for the USA, supplying 52%. Other producing countries, such as Brazil, Indonesia and India supplied together around 42%. During the last ten years, import of black pepper into the USA fluctuated at the range of 43-53,000 Mt, but for white pepper was relatively stable. Import of ground pepper is consistently increasing from 7,500 in 2007 to 21,500 Mt in 2016, as shown in the following table and chart.

Feb 23 - Avocado Price Surge Can't Slow Guacamole Sales (Dow Jones)
Avocado prices are "historically high," but consumers' desire for guacamole hasn't flagged, according to Hormel Foods (HRL). The Spam maker's also a major marketer of premade guacamole following its 2011 acquisition of a Mexican food company, and CEO Jim Snee says shoppers continue to open their wallets for the more-expensive gooey green stuff. "Those prices have been in the marketplace for a little while now but consumer demand remains strong,"  Snee tells analysts, adding that there is "adequate supply" for avocadoes despite the drought in California and a farmworker strike in Mexico driving prices higher.

Feb 23 - Brazil's Temer reverses decision to import robusta coffee from Vietnam 

Brazilian President Michel Temer has provisionally suspended authorization for local coffee processors to import robusta beans from Vietnam, in a sudden reversal of this week's decree that marked the first time the world's largest producer would buy green coffee abroad. "Temer has decided to temporarily suspend the measure to better evaluate the situation with other government bodies," the president's office said in a statement on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 23 - British Sugar to expand output as EU quotas end, stocks fall 

Sugar production in Britain will expand significantly during the 2017/18 season, boosted by the abolition of European Union quotas and a decline in stocks, Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar, said on Wednesday. The drilling of the next sugar beet crop is due to start next month with the area seen about 30 percent higher, Kenward told Reuters on the sidelines of the National Farmers Union's annual conference. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 23 - Ivory Coast sells 350,000 T of cocoa defaults, excess production 

Ivory Coast sold at auction around 350,000 tonnes of cocoa from defaulted contracts and excess production, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday, adding support for exporters related to the sales was covered by the country's reserve fund. A wave of defaults by exporters who wrongly speculated world prices would continue a long rise has created a glut of beans that has jammed up ports and warehouses, leaving cocoa to rot on trees for lack of buyers. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 22 - Iran makes first raw sugar purchases in months to boost stocks – trade 

Importers in Iran have bought up to 250,000 tonnes of Brazilian raw sugar in the first purchases in months as the country looks to bolster strategic stocks, trade sources said on Tuesday. The sources said the cargoes were for February shipment, adding that the last time Iran tapped the international market was in the third quarter of last year. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 22 - Ivory Coast cocoa glut fuels cross-border smuggling 

A cocoa glut in top producer Ivory Coast that has driven down prices and paralysed buying is also fuelling a rise in the smuggling of beans to neighbouring countries, farmers and exporters said on Tuesday. Cocoa has been piling up at Ivorian ports and left rotting on trees after some exporters defaulted on export contracts, having wrongly speculated that prices would extend the gains seen over the previous five years.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 22 - ISO lowers 2016/17 global sugar deficit forecast 

The International Sugar Organization on Tuesday scaled back its global sugar deficit forecast for the 2016/17 season to 5.869 million tonnes, from a previous estimate of 6.19 million tonnes. The inter-governmental body also projected there would be a 5.359 million deficit in the 2015/2016 season. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 22 - Big Corn courts old foe Big Oil to combat electric car threat 

A U.S. biofuels lobbying group on Tuesday said it is seeking to work with longtime rival the oil industry to fight the threat to both from subsidies for electric vehicles. The two industries have been at loggerheads for years as they seek sway with Washington over how much biofuel should be included in gasoline and diesel. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 22 - Trump seeks to quell ethanol industry worry as Pruitt enters EPA 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday assured ethanol industry advocates of their importance in U.S. energy strategy in an apparent bid to quell concerns over potential changes to policies that mandate the use of such renewable fuels. The comments came as Scott Pruitt took over as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and after Trump picked Carl Icahn as a senior advisor. Both men in the past have criticized the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires biofuels like ethanol to be blended into gasoline. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 22 - Rwanda Coffee Exports Fall Slightly Amid Drought (Dow Jones)
A low-yielding crop cycle and inefficient rains hurt Rwanda's 2016 coffee exports, says the National Agricultural Export Board. Shipments from Rwanda, which grows premium Arabica coffee beans, dropped 0.8% to 18,640 tons and export earnings dropped 6% to $58 million. Around 60% of Rwanda's coffee output falls in the speciality category, quadruple east Africa's average, and bumper harvests are often preceded by a small crop.

Feb 22 - Tocom Rubber Ends Lower Amid Decline in China (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures fell amid a drop in Shanghai. Investors have been worried about oversupplies, resulting in light trading volume. Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji thinks it will "take a while for prices to stabilize." The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for July delivery dropped 0.9% to Y289.5/kilogram.

Feb 21 - Brazil publishes rules for robusta coffee imports 

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry published the rules companies should follow to bring into the country robusta coffee from Vietnam in its official gazette on Monday, marking the first time the world's largest producer will buy coffee abroad. The publication was the last step required for the local coffee industry to start buying Vietnamese robusta cargos to address a local supply tightness after two years of drought in the main robusta-producing state of Espirito Santo hurt output. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 21 - Ivory Coast weather to boost cocoa mid-crop, rain needed in east 

Rain last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions will help produce an abundant April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday, though dry, hot weather was damaging flowers in the east. The dry season in the world's top cocoa producer runs from mid-November to March. It has been less severe this year than last year and cocoa production is expected to hit a record high of nearly 2 million tonnes this season. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 21 - Ghana cocoa buyers say Cocobod financing delays hindering purchases

Licensed cocoa buyers in Ghana said on Monday that weeks-long delays in the release of financing by industry regulator Cocobod was hindering their ability to purchase the beans needed to fill their supply contracts. Ghana, the world's second biggest cocoa producer, has around 20 active Licensed Buying Companies (LBC), which sign rolling contracts to supply specific amounts to Cocobod. Many receive an advance which they repay when the cocoa is delivered under a schedule that includes the buyers margin, evacuation cost and a bonus. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 20 - Funds Reduce Bets on Gains in Robusta Coffee (Dow Jones)
Funds' chipped back their bullish bets on robusta coffee for the third-consecutive week in the week to Feb. 14, according to market data released by ICE on Monday. In that week, funds' pulled back on the net-long position by 8.8% to 39,682 lots. On the market that week, robusta prices traded in London fell by 1.9%. In New York, the speculative net-long position on arabica coffee fell by 11.9% to 17,511 lots in that week.

Feb 20 - Speculators Trim Bets on London Cocoa Prices Falling (Dow Jones)
Speculators cut back their bearish bet on the London-traded cocoa market in the week to Feb. 14, according to market data released on Monday by ICE. In that week, funds' pulled back bets on London cocoa falling still further by 0.3%, to 22,180 lots. On the London market, cocoa prices fell 5.1% in that week. In New York, speculators increased their bearish position on dollar-traded cocoa by 2.9% in that week, to 30,246 lots.

Feb 20 - Brazil sugar mills hedge record volume through New York futures

Brazilian sugar mills have sold forward through futures contracts in New York 45.8 percent of the exportable volume projected for the 2017/18 center-south crop, a record volume, Sao Paulo-based Archer Consulting said on Friday. The amount of sugar hedged is 12.1 million tonnes, said the consultancy in a report, adding that the average price on those derivatives was 17.54 cents per pound. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 20 - Speculators hike bullish cotton bet to record, up bearish cocoa stance

Speculators hiked their bullish stance in cotton contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to a record in the week to Feb. 14, as they raised a bearish stance in cocoa futures and options to a fresh near five-year high, U.S. data showed on Friday. Speculators reduced their net long positions in raw sugar and arabica coffee contracts, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 20 - India's Declining Sugar Output Might Lead to Higher Imports (Dow Jones)
India's sugar production has dropped 15% so far this year, hurt by lower cane production in top-growing states, raising the possibility of higher imports by the world's largest consumer of the sweetener. Sugar output in the current crop season, which began in October, stands at 14.67 million tons compared to 17.33 million tons in the same period a year ago, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, an industry body. The fall in output is attributed to lower production in the top sugar growing states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Consequently, India might need to import around 1.5 million tons of sugar this season, Angel Commodities, a Mumbai-based brokerage, said in a report. Sugar prices are expected to go "higher on anticipation of further increase in demand," it adds.

Feb 20 - China Almond Demand Seen Boosting US Exports (Dow Jones)
Increased demand from China for almonds is expected to boost US exports of the tree nut this season, says the USDA. Its forecast of Chinese imports has increased 30,000 metric tons to 100,000 as the baking and snack-food industry seek more product. Meanwhile, anticipated US exports overall rose 10,000 tons to 635,000.

Feb 17 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 13-17 February 2017 (WPB)
Pepper price in India and Vietnam has been reported to decrease during the week under review, while in other origins, prices were reported stable. The decline of prices in Vietnam and India is understood as the arrival of new materials from the current harvest take place in India to the market is now increasing. In Vietnam pepper harvest has also started. There have been reports that output of this year harvest would be more or less the same as last year output. Meanwhile production of pepper in Indonesia for this year harvest is anticipated to be lower than estimated earlier, mainly due to unfavourable weather condition. Prolonged wet weather with high intensity of rainfall has resulted less flowering. Pepper price in Lampung and Bangka were reported to remain stable. Stable price was also reported in Sri Lanka.

Feb 17 - Pepper's Import by France (WPB)
- Import of pepper into France, one of the main important consuming countries of pepper in Europe increased annually from around 8,000 Mt in 2012 to around 10,200 Mt in 2015 and is estimated a volume of more than 11,000 Mt has been imported into France in 2016.
- During January-November 2016, import of pepper by France has reached 10,513 Mt comprising of 7,724 Mt of whole pepper and 2,789 Mt of ground pepper, showing an increase of around 12% as against 9,417 Mt (6,923 Mt of whole and 2,494 Mt of ground pepper) in the same period of 2015. Up to December 2016, import of France is estimated to cross 11,000 Mt. Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia were traditionally the main sources of pepper for France. They together supplied more than 65% of pepper into France. During January-November 2016 Vietnam was the most important source of pepper for France, supplying 28% followed by Brazil (21%) and Indonesia (18%). This was possible, since production of Vietnam increased during the year; while in Brazil and Indonesia decreased. Germany also supplied significant quantity, mostly ground pepper to France.

Feb 17 - Brazil government approves first-ever robusta coffee imports

Brazil's government has authorized the country's first-ever imports of robusta coffee, at the request of the instant coffee industry, and it should soon start taking delivery of limited amounts from Vietnam, an agriculture ministry official said on Thursday. Silvio Farnesi, a director in the ministry's coffee department, said the government foreign trade agency known as Camex approved the imports at a meeting on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 16 - Vietnam Pepper Output Seen Rising 15% This Year (Dow Jones)
Vietnam's black pepper output will likely rise 15% this year to 180,000 metric tons, putting more downward pressure on prices, the government says Thursday. It says pepper supply is surpassing demand, adding that domestic prices have fallen by 30% since June last year. Vietnam is the world's largest black pepper exporter, accounting for half of global trade. It says Vietnam's black-pepper exports are expected to face difficulties this year as key markets, including the EU and the US, are applying stricter quality requirements.

Feb 16 - Brazil takes step closer to allow robusta coffee imports 

A technical group linked to Brazil's Foreign Trade Chamber (Camex) has approved the authorization to open robusta coffee imports at near zero tariff, the country's agriculture ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The decision by the Camex executive management committee, known as Gexec, still has to be ratified by the Camex board that is made up of the ministers of agriculture, finance and foreign relations among others. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 16 - Argentina could double percentage of ethanol in fuels -official 

Argentina in the next two to three years could double the proportion of ethanol used in gasoline from the current 12 percent of the blend, a government official told Reuters. If the government goes forward with the increase, the South American agricultural country's annual consumption of ethanol, composed of corn or sugar cane, would total about 2 million cubic meters (70.6 million cubic feet) annually. The move could help the country reduce its energy deficit. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 16 - Ivory Coast cocoa production expected to hit record - exporters 

Cocoa production in Ivory Coast is expected to hit a record high of nearly 2 million tonnes this season as good weather boosts crops, according to a forecast of exporters and pod counters. Output in the main harvest is forecast at 1.4 million tonnes, with the mid crop hitting 500,000-550,000 tonnes, they said. The right mix of rain and sun has helped crops across the growing regions of the West African country, a change from last year when strong, dusty harmattan winds off the Sahara devastated crops. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - I.Coast exporters ask cocoa regulator to reveal scale of defaults 

One of Ivory Coast's main cocoa exporters' associations on Tuesday called for the country's marketing board to declare the amount of defaulted export contracts it has resold, stating the information is needed to stop a free fall in world prices. Cocoa has piled up at Ivorian ports for weeks and has been left to rot on trees as exporters, having wrongly speculated that prices would extend years-long gains, declined to purchase beans to fill unprofitable contracts. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Olam Sees China Sugar Output Capped at 10.5M Tons (Dow Jones)
The gradual shift of China's increasingly wealthy population away from farming will lead the country's sugar production to stagnate, says Piero Carello, general manager at trade house Olam Europe, at an industry conference in Dubai. "What we feel moving forward is that production will be capped at around 10.5 million tons he says. That compares with the USDA's estimate of 9.53M tons for the 2016-17 crop. That will leave China reliant to some extent on imports, with a production deficit of around 6.5M tons "pretty much in perpetuity," he says.

Feb 14 - Brazil's Agriculture minister asks for coffee import approval 

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Monday he has asked the country's Foreign Trade Chamber (Camex) for authorization to open robusta coffee imports at near zero tariff, according to the ministry.If Camex board approves the request, it would be the first time in decades that Brazil imports coffee, amid a robusta supply crisis that threatens to sharply reduce instant coffee production. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Ghana's new cocoa industry regulator lowers output forecast 

Ghana will produce about 800,000 tonnes of cocoa in 2016/17, the new head of industry regulator Cocobod, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, told Reuters on Monday, slightly reducing a previous forecast of 850,000 to 900,000 tonnes.Aidoo, a former minister responsible for the cocoa-rich Western region and agricultural expert, replaced Stephen Opuni, who was fired by President Nana Akufo-Addo in one of his first acts upon taking office on Jan. 7. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - Cocoa rotting on trees after Ivory Coast exporter defaults 

Cocoa is rotting on plantations and jamming up warehouses in western Ivory Coast's growing heartland as a wave of defaults by exporters has left few buyers for what is shaping into a strong harvest, farmers and cooperative heads said on Friday. The top producer's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) acknowledged last week that some companies, having wrongly speculated that world cocoa prices would extend years-long gains, had defaulted on export contracts. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - EU Shouldn't Increase Tariff-Free Sugar Imports (Dow Jones)
- Markus Neundorfer, a director at German beet-sugar producer Sudzucker, calls on the EU not to allow any more sugar to enter the bloc tariff-free. Starting Oct. 1, when the EU gets rid of a system of production quotas and minimum prices which has protected its sugar producers, "the EU will have one of the most overall sugar-market regimes worldwide. We would ask others to follow us. As long as that is not done, the EU should not grant additional access [to other countries' sugar] so as not to undermine the sector," he tells a conference in Dubai. "We are asking for a level playing field."
- Kona Haque, head of research at trade house ED&F Man, says what the sugar market needs now is "less speculation and more facts." In particular, she points to 3 uncertainties which need resolution before the market can break decisively out of the 20-21c/pound range it's occupied for most of this year: whether China and--most importantly--India will change restrictions on sugar imports and how Brazil's upcoming harvest turns out.

Feb 13 - EU Sugar-Output Capacity Could Jump 40% (Dow Jones)
EU sugar production could jump by about 7 million tons to around 25 million tons, based on extrapolating current trends of improving yields from sugar beet, says Sudzucker director Markus Neundorfer. But if that happened, he doesn't think it would lead to big global surpluses. "In the medium term, there is a need for new sugar. The current capacity is not enough to meet demand for the next 5-10 years." Still, he concedes there's doubt about how much sugar is actually required as consumption figures are difficult to verify and there has been much anecdotal evidence of food producers using less sugar for health and PR reasons.

Feb 13 - Sugar Market Relying on Huge Brazilian Crop (Dow Jones)
Asked in an audience poll how much sugarcane will be harvested in center-south Brazil in 2017, 60% of conference participants in Dubai see output ranging from 590-610 million metric tons--large by historical standards. "We really need the Brazilian crop to be a big one," says Kona Haque at ED&F Man, anticipating that increased exports to India will likely tighten the market in a few months. "A lot of the balance sheets that the trade is looking at are best-case scenarios," adds Michael Gelchie of trade house Sucden, who's nervous that bad weather will upset things.

Feb 13 - Could Myanmar Sugar Smuggling go Into Reverse ? (Dow Jones)
Last year saw millions of tons of sugar smuggled through Myanmar into China to take advantage of higher prices there. As the industry debates the prospect of exports to India to ease a shortage, S&P Global Platts' Claudiu Covrig wonders whether extra supply may eventually be brought into India through a reversal of the so-called Myanmar trade. Instead of Thai and Indian sugar being smuggled into China, Thai sugar could be moved illicitly across the border into India.

Feb 13 - Sweet Prospect of Indian Panic Buying of Sugar (Dow Jones)
Traders at a Dubai sugar conference are excited by the prospect of big export sales to India, where a bad harvest is crimping supplies. But before that can happen, the government needs to revise an import tariff. Traders gathered express the hope that Delhi will defer action until it's almost too late as to avoid offending domestic sugar farmers who don't like imports. That way, panic-buying could result in India ultimately purchasing much-more sugar than it actually needs.

Feb 10 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 6-11 Feb17 (WPB)
The market showed a declining trend during the week. Arrival of new material from current harvest in India somehow has influenced market direction. In addition to the above, initial harvest in Vietnam has begun and prices at these sources have increased almost daily.  In Lampung and Bangka, the market was quiet with limited activity. It is reported that due to unfavourable weather, production of pepper in Indonesia for this year harvest is anticipated to be lower than estimated earlier. Current price however has decreased as the demand is low. In Sarawak, pepper price remained stable; while in Sri Lanka a marginal increase was recorded.

Feb 10 - Pepper's Import by Japan (WPB)
Japan is one of the important markets for pepper in East Asia. On average, Japan imports around 8-9,000 Mt of pepper annually. It is interesting to note that portion of whole pepper imported into Japan decreases year by year, but for ground pepper is increasing. In 2015, total pepper imported by Japan was 9,070 Mt. Out of this 5,250 Mt (58%) was whole pepper and 3,820 Mt (42%) was ground pepper, as against 7,520 Mt (82%) of whole pepper and 1,680 Mt (18%) of ground pepper imported in 2006. In 2016, total import of Japan is estimated to decrease marginally, as indicated by import performance realized up to November 2016. During January – November 2016, total import of pepper into Japan was 8,060 Mt (4,730 Mt of whole and 3,330 Mt of ground pepper). When compared to import in the same period last year, there was a decrease of around 4%. Malaysia remained the most important source of whole pepper for Japan, supplying 53%, followed by Indonesia 27%. While for ground pepper Indonesia was the top supplier supplying around 42% and followed by Vietnam shipped around 37% of ground pepper.

Feb 10 - Brazil coffee co-op sees tight supplies despite big crop

 Brazil's Cooxupé, the world's largest coffee cooperative, forecast tight supplies in the country around May, saying increased domestic demand for arabica beans is diminishing stocks from the record crop produced in 2016. Cooxupé officials said Brazilian coffee processors were buying and using more arabica beans due to the scarcity of robusta coffee. Two years of drought in the top robusta-producing state of Espírito Santo have reduced output to levels last seen in 2004. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 09 - Marex forecasts global coffee deficit in 2017/18 season

Marex Spectron on Wednesday forecast a global coffee deficit of 3.0 million 60-kg bags for the 2017/18 season as production in top grower Brazil declines. The broker estimated there had also been global deficits in the preceding three seasons. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 09 - Brazil's Cooxupé sees 2017 coffee crop below market estimates 

Brazil's Cooxupé, the world's largest coffee cooperative, said on Wednesday the country's 2017 coffee crop will miss market expectations due to adverse weather and trees stressed by a record crop last year. Cooxupé's chief trader Lucio Dias told Reuters the cooperative projects Brazil's coffee output at between 43 million and 47 million 60-kg bags, down sharply from last year's51.37 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - Cocoa futures to rebound as low prices boost demand

Cocoa prices should regain some ground by the end of 2017 following a prolonged slide fuelled by expectations for a global surplus in the current 2016/17 season, a Reuters poll of nine traders and analysts showed on Tuesday. The survey's median forecast for New York cocoa futures prices at the end of the year was $2,400 a tonne, up 17 percent from Monday's close. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - Brazil coffee growers say stocks adequate, oppose robusta imports

Coffee farmers in Brazil on Tuesday told government officials they hold around 4 million bags (60-kg) of robusta beans in stocks and that imports of the beans are not necessary. Farmers and politicians from top robusta-producing state Espirito Santo met Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi in Brasilia on Tuesday to discuss the robusta supply situation. The government is evaluating whether to import as two years of drought have produced smaller-than-normal local harvests. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - Bangladesh tea prices dip on higher supply of poor-grade leaf

Tea prices in Bangladesh fell about 9 percent at the weekly auction on Tuesday owing to higher supplies of inferior grade leaf despite a drop in volume on offer. Bangladesh tea fetched an average of 152.29 taka ($2.50) per kg at the auction, compared with 167.83 taka in the previous sale. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Raw sugar price rally seen stalling in 2017 as deficit fades 

A rally that took raw sugar prices to a more than four-year high in late 2016 is expected to run out of steam this year as Brazil's main producing region looked set for record output that will reduce a world supply deficit, a Reuters poll showed. The deficit will disappear in the upcoming 2017/18 crop year, according to the median estimate from Reuters' poll of 18 traders, analysts and industry experts, as last year's rally in prices raises production expectations. The global market shifted to a deficit last year after half a decade of surplus production. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Ivory Coast cocoa defaults sap confidence in marketing board 

Cocoa exporters and traders said on Monday that a lack of transparency surrounding a wave of export contract defaults in Ivory Coast has shaken their confidence in the top grower's marketing board. The Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) last week acknowledged that some exporters, having wrongly speculated that world cocoa prices would extend years-long gains, would default on loss-making contracts. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Brazil to reassess robusta coffee stocks, minister says 

The Brazilian government will make a new evaluation of robusta coffee stocks in the country after farmers complained about a previous assessment, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Monday. The government wants to have a reliable estimate of how much robusta coffee is still available in the domestic market before looking at a request by the instant coffee industry to allow imports. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Elastic band: Chinese speculators ping global rubber prices to 5-year high

First, Chinese speculators came for coking coal and iron ore, catapulting markets into orbit. Now, they're carpetbagging a different commodity, pushing it to its fastest price rise in more than a quarter of a century - rubber. Traders say Chinese investors are punting on global rubber demand surging on revived growth in China stoking the auto sector, allied with hope a President Trump stimulus will stoke the U.S.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - U.S. ethanol producers pump at record levels, policy clouds loom

U.S. ethanol producers pumped out the biofuel at a record pace last week, but higher output belies growing concern in the industry that policy changes in the United States and China could upend demand for their product. The ethanol industry in the United States has grown dramatically over the last decade as the biofuel volumes Washington required oil firms to blend into gasoline and diesel rose toward targets set by Congress in 2007. Demand for ethanol from China, Brazil and Mexico gave added momentum to industry expansion. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Coffee prices seen headed upward as global deficits loom

Coffee prices will extend gains throughout early 2017 amid bullish forecasts for fundamentals that see demand outstripping supply for two more years, a Reuters poll of 14 traders and analysts showed on Friday. The survey's median forecast saw spot arabica coffee futures prices rising to $1.545 per lb by the end of March, up 5.9 percent from Thursday's settlement. They were seen reaching $1.55 per lb by the end of 2017, up 13.1 percent from the end of 2016.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Speculators hike bearish cocoa bet to near 5-year high

Speculators brought their bearish stance in cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. to the highest level in nearly five years, as they increased a bullish stance in cotton futures and options in the week to Jan. 31, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The dealers reduced net long stances in arabica coffee and raw sugar futures and options, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 03 - Brazil agriculture minister backs robusta imports despite opposition

Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi is convinced that Brazil should allow its local coffee processing industry to import robusta beans following a poor harvest but says the move is strongly opposed by growers and the outcome is uncertain. In an interview with Reuters late Monday, Maggi said his ministry will send a positive recommendation regarding robusta imports to other senior departments of President Michel Temer's government, which will make the final decision. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 03 - Ivory Coast has funds to support cocoa sales despite defaults - CCC

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council marketing board has sufficient resources in its reserve fund to support continued cocoa sales despite a wave of defaults and falling world prices, its managing director said on Thursday. The CCC began cancelling cocoa contracts in default this week and informed exporters it planned to resell those volumes.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 03 - In avocado country, Mexicans not afraid of Trump tariff threats

Avocado farmers in the rolling hillsides of Mexico's Michoacan state are not worried for now by U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to tear up a trade deal which could make the favorite snack of Super Bowl viewers more expensive. Americans will chomp through huge amounts of avocados mashed into guacamole during the Super Bowl on Sunday, and 80 percent of those fruits will come from Mexico’s ever-larger expanse of orchards, thanks to a free market created by the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 03 - Itochu CFO says to exit from cocoa venture with Transmar

Japanese trading house Itochu Corp booked a loss on its investment in cocoa trader and processor Transmar Group in the October to December quarter and will exit from the venture, a senior executive said on Friday. "We will exit from the cocoa venture with Transmar although we will continue the cocoa business through other units," Itochu Chief Financial Officer Tsuyoshi Hachimura told Reuters after an earnings news conference. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 03 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 30 January - 3 February 2017 (WPB)
- The market showed a mixed response during the week. In India the price decreased since harvest in Kerala and Karnataka is on full swing. Compared to last week, an average of around 3% decrease was recorded in Kochi. In Indonesia, the price of black pepper in Lampung and white pepper in Bangka were reported stable. Similarly for Sarawak black in Kuching was also stable, but for white pepper increased marginally by 1%. FOB price in Indonesia and Malaysia were reported stable. In Sri Lanka, an increase of 2% for black pepper was recorded.
- In Vietnam and China, the market was quiet in view of Chinese new-year holiday mood continues until the end of the week. There was no price reported from Vietnam and China during the week.

Feb 03 - Pepper's Export from Brazil (WPB)
- In the last 44th Session of IPC held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 08 to 11 August 2016, it was reported that Brazil anticipating to harvest 45,000 Mt of pepper in 2016 crop season. Out of this a volume of around 39,000 Mt was estimated to be shipped from Brazil. Some source reported that real production of pepper in Brazil for the 2016 crop season was not as good as predicted earlier. This was reflected by the export realization achieved in 2016.
- During 2016 export of pepper from Brazil decreased by 7,000 Mt (18%) from 38,000 Mt in 2015 to 31,000 Mt in 2016. In terms of value, Brazil realized export earning from pepper of around US$ 247 million in 2016 as against US$ 348 million in 2015, a decrease of around 29%. It is interesting to note that main market of Brazilian pepper in 2016 was Germany, absorbing 9,250 Mt (30%) of Brazilian pepper exports followed by United States 24%. In 2016 export into USA decreased to only 7,300 Mt as against 12,500 Mt in 2015.

Feb 02 - Ivory Coast cancels defaulted cocoa, fines exporters

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) marketing board has begun cancelling cocoa contracts which are in default and plans to resell those volumes, exporters said on Wednesday, in a move that will saddle some companies with heavy penalties. The CCC auctioned the volumes before world prices fell last year and reselling them at current price levels will mean a loss of revenues for the world's top producer. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 02 - S&P Global Platts raises 2017/18 sugar surplus forecast

S&P Global Platts on Wednesday raised its forecast for a projected world sugar surplus in the 2017/18 season to 2.7 million tonnes from a previous projection of 1.2 million. The company said the increase mainly reflected higher output expected in Europe and Brazil as well as significant recoveries in production in India and Thailand. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Global coffee exports up more than 5 percent in 2016 - ICO

Global coffee exports rose 5.3 percent in the 2016 calendar year and 8.3 percent in the first quarter of the 2016/17 crop year, data from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) showed on Tuesday. Global coffee exports in the 2016 calendar year reached 118.42 million bags, up from 112.47 million bags in 2015, while they climbed to 29.77 million bags in the first three months of the marketing year that started in October. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Egypt to raise sugar prices at subsidised outlets

Egypt will raise the price of sugar by 14 percent at government outlets starting on Wednesday, a Ministry of Supply official said on Tuesday. Cooking oil will jump to 12 Egyptian pounds ($0.6417) per 800ml bottle from 10 pounds currently and sugar will increase to eight pounds per kilogram from seven. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Ivory Coast 2016 cashew output dips, new record expected for 2017

Ivory Coast's 2016 cashew output fell to about 650,000 tonnes from a record 702,000 tonnes the previous year, the general manager of national marketing board the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) said on Tuesday. However, good weather is expected to boost output in the world's largest exporter of raw cashews to a new record high in 2017, Adama Coulibaly said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Ivory Coast unrest makes cocoa grinders rethink investments

Cocoa grinders in Ivory Coast are holding off on new investments after military and social unrest this month, potentially denting government plans to boost processing of the commodity in the world's top grower. Ivory Coast has emerged from a 2002-2011 political crisis as one the world's fastest growing economies, attracting foreign investment into everything from the cocoa industry to breweries and shopping malls. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - TOCOM asks brokers to detail customers' rubber futures positions after price surge

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) said on Tuesday it has requested its member brokers to submit reports detailing their customers' positions on rubber futures contracts after prices rose sharply over the past weeks. TOCOM issued the notice on Monday and members are required to respond by Wednesday, a spokesman told Reuters by phone. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Thai rubber producers say can maintain exports despite floods

Thai rubber exporters say they have enough of the commodity in stockpiles to ensure only minimal disruption to scheduled shipments in the wake of deadly floods in key growing regions. Global rubber prices this week soared to five-year highs on worries over supply following floods that started in December, swamping plantations in the world's top producer at the height of the tapping season. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Brazil No 1 instant coffee exporter turns down new orders

Brazil's Cia Cacique de Café Solúvel SA, the country's number one exporter of instant coffee, is refraining from closing export deals for future delivery due to uncertainty over robusta coffee supplies, and fears it will lose market share to rivals in other countries. Cacique's export sales director Pedro Guimarães Fernandes told Reuters on Monday that Brazil's robusta supply crisis is 'very serious' and that without an opening to imports soluble shipments will start to plunge soon. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Ghana cocoa buying dips in first 16 weeks of season

Cocoa purchases declared to Ghana's industry regulator following the first 16 weeks of the 2016/17 season stood at 611,763 tonnes, Cocobod data seen by Reuters on Monday showed. This marked a dip from 621,661 tonnes of beans bought in the world's number two cocoa producer over the same period last season. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Robusta Rises to an All-Time High (Dow Jones)
Bets on rising robusta coffee prices edge higher to a historical high in the week to Tuesday, according to market data released by ICE. The funds' net-long position grew by 1.8% in that period to 47,058 lots, the fourth consecutive week the position has increased. On the London futures market, the price fell by 0.4% in that period. In New York, the net-long position on arabica coffee prices rose by 26% in that period to 25,281 lots.

Jan 30 - Oversupply Concerns Weigh on Cocoa Prices (Dow Jones)
Larger than expected stockpiles and expectations of a large West African crop continued to weigh on London-traded cocoa prices on Monday, pushing the bean down to a fresh 3 1/2 year low. Following the London close, cocoa was down 0.5% for the day at GBP1,688 per metric ton. On Thursday evening, a survey released by the International Cocoa Organization said stock draw downs for the previous season were only 13,000 tons, far lower than previously expected, suggesting that supplies of the bean are ample.

Jan 30 - Cocoa Bets Jump Higher (Dow Jones)
Bearish bets on London-traded cocoa prices jump higher in the week to Tuesday, according to ICE market data. Funds' net-short position expanded for the third consecutive week, to 17,678 lots, in that period. On the market, prices rose 2.6% in that period, as confusion following mutinies and port backlogs in Ivory Coast helped prices push higher. In New York, the net-short position on the dollar-traded cocoa market rose by 21% to 24,593 lots in that period.

Jan 30 - Uganda Coffee Exports Extending Rising Streak (Dow Jones)
Uganda's coffee exports continue to recover from output losses suffered last season, with exports having now increased for three straight months since the start of the 2016-17 season in October. Exports are now at 1 million tons - the highest level in five years - according to data from state regulator UCDA. The recovery of exports from Africa's number one exporter of the beans offers some relief amid concerns about supplies from world's top grower, Brazil, where main coffee growing regions have been ravaged by drought. Uganda's Arabica beans are aided by a high yielding harvest cycle, while Robustas are benefiting from favourable weather in the Northern hemisphere, "where the main harvest is peaking", UCDA says.

Jan 30 - Brazil's Clealco in talks to renegotiate debt, eyes sale -sources

Clealco Açúcar e Alcool SA is in talks with banks to renegotiate terms of about 1.5 billion reais ($473 million) in loans, the latest Brazilian sugar firm restructuring operations amid a heavy debt burden, three people with knowledge of the situation said. Shareholders of Clealco are considering resuming a process to look for a buyer, which could take place simultaneously with the loan renegotiation plan, said the first person, who is not allowed to discuss the plans publicly. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Speculators hike bearish cocoa stance, cut bullish cotton bet - CFTC

Speculators boosted a bearish stance in cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. to the highest since June 2012, as they continued to reduce a record bullish stance in cotton futures and options in the week to Jan. 24, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The dealers raised their net long stance in arabica coffee to a near three-month high and also upped a bullish position in raw sugar futures and options, theCommodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Ivory Coast exporters to default on 80,000 T of cocoa contracts

Members of an Ivory Coast cocoa exporters association will default on around 80,000 tonnes of export contracts after they failed to lock in prices with counterparties amid speculation global prices would rise, association officials said on Friday. "Our defaults aren't more than 80,000 tonnes. It's around there," Raymond Koffi - president of the GIE-PMIEX-COOPEX exporter group, which includes 16 local export companies - told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 27 - Cocoa Prices Hit Lowest Level Since 2013 (Dow Jones)
London-traded cocoa prices are trading at a three and a half year low on Friday morning, after a survey of traders and exporters said cocoa stocks in the last season fell far less than expected, implying the overall supply of beans is larger than initially believed. The front-month March contract was down 1.40% at GBP1,696 per metric ton around 1200 GMT. A survey of traders and analysts held by the International Cocoa Organization and released late Thursday concluded that cocoa stockpiles declined by just 13,000 tons on-year in the 2015-16 season, which ended in September, far lower than the official ICCO estimate that stocks declined by 150,000 tons. That official estimate is still in place, and the ICCO said it believes the true number will be higher than 13,000 tons. However, the official figure will be revised in February with the next release of the ICCO's statistical review.

Jan 27 - Tokyo Benchmark Rubber Futures Rally 6%; Highest Close in 4 Years (Dow Jones)
The Tokyo benchmark rubber futures contract rallied 6.0% during Friday's session, hitting its highest close since February 2013. Prices were supported by moves higher in the USD/JPY, which makes the yen-denominated commodity nominally cheaper. Rubber prices continue to rally, driven by concerns that supplies in the market have become tighter due to a fall in production and ongoing demand in China. The Tocom benchmark 6-month contract ended up Y331.3 per kilogram.

Jan 27 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 23-27 Jan 2017 (WPB)
Pepper market at sources again showed a mixed response, with limited activity. In Sarawak, local price increased, while in India and Sri Lanka decreased. A marginal decrease in India maybe influenced by the situation where pepper harvest in Kerala and Karnataka State which is now in upswing trend.  In Sarawak, local price of pepper stood at the level of MYR 21 and MYR 33 per Kg respectively for black and white pepper, increased from MYR 18.5 and MYR 30 per Kg recorded in the last week. A marginal increase was also recorded in domestic market in Lampung and Bangka. While FOB price, remained stable at these markets.  In Vietnam and China, the market was quiet, in view of anticipating Lunar / Chinese New Year celebration.

Jan 27 - Pepper's Export from Vietnam (WPB)
During 2016, Vietnam is estimated to harvest 170,000 Mt of pepper, increased from 122,000 Mt in 2015. Along with pepper imported from neighbouring countries, like Cambodia and Indonesia, Vietnam is estimated to have exported minimum 175,000 Mt in 2016. This estimation seems to be easily achieved, since export up to November has almost touched 170,000 Mt as shown in the flowing tables. During January – November 2016, Vietnam has exported 169,200 Mt valued at US$ 1.36 billion, an increase of 34% in quantity and 13% in value from 126,080 Mt worth US$ 1.2 billion in the same period of 2015.  Although pepper prices went down in 2016, Vietnam continued to enjoy excellent benefit from pepper industry, even better than previous year. During 2016 Vietnam held nearly 60% of global pepper market, followed by Indonesia, Brazil, India and Malaysia at much lower levels.

Jan 27 - ICCO survey points to smaller global 2015-16 cocoa deficit

World cocoa stocks in 2015-16 were higher than expected and point to a smaller deficit than forecast, an annual survey conducted by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) Expert Working Group on Stocks showed on Thursday. The Expert Working Group on Stocks' (EWGS) review of the survey also showed a lower estimate for global stocks at the end of September 2015, pegging them at 1.49 million tonnes, down from the ICCO's statistically derived estimate of 1.597 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 26 - India likely to need higher sugar imports, says leading refiner

India's sugar production is likely to be lower than government estimates this season, raising the possibility of higher imports by the world's biggest consumer of the sweetener, the chief executive of leading Indian refiner Shree Renuka Sugars told Reuters. The government has forecast production of 22.5 million tonnes for the 2016/17 season and lower output could force New Delhi to cut or axe the 40 percent import tax to facilitate cheaper purchases from the likes of Brazil, Thailand and Australia. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 26 - El Niño may return in 2017 - Braun

It is time to say goodbye to La Niña, and possibly hello to El Niño again later in the year.  Ever since the record-setting El Niño of late 2015 started winding down early last year, commodity markets have been fully focused on the La Niña that forecasters had predicted would dominate late 2016 and potentially much of 2017. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, is one of the most followed global climatic features, as its cool phase La Niña and warm phase El Niño have somewhat contrasting effects on weather patterns worldwide. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 26 - China commodity exchange to simulate sugar options trading on Feb.6

China's Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange will launch simulated trading of white sugar options on Feb. 6, it said on Thursday, in preparation for the formal launch of the new derivatives. The exchange has not yet announced when it will start trading sugar options for real. China's securities regulator approved the launch of both sugar and soymeal options in December, the first agricultural derivatives products to be offered in the world's biggest commodity market. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Cocoa backs up at Ivory Coast ports, exporters blame speculators

Cocoa is backing up at Ivory Coast's warehouses and ports, international exporters told Reuters, saying that domestic companies have been securing export rights at auction for beans they can no longer afford. Three exporters estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of cocoa were in trucks outside the top grower's ports of Abidjan and San Pedro. Another 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes, they said, were in merchants' warehouses in the interior waiting for buyers. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Glencore eyes more Brazil mills after recent acquisition - sources

Swiss commodities trader Glencore Plc is considering additional sugar and ethanol mills takeovers in Brazil, where it recently bought a second plant, to ramp up operations in the world's No. 1 sugar producer, three people familiar with the plan said on Tuesday. According to the first source, who asked for anonymity because the plans remain private, Glencore is seeking to add another mill to the portfolio of two it already has in order to expand its production cluster in Sao Paulo state. The person declined to elaborate on potential targets. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Ghana mulls liberalization of cocoa sector, output boost - government

Ghana's new government is pondering full liberalization of the cocoa sector in renewed efforts to significantly lift production above 1 million tonnes yearly, a minister designate said on Tuesday. The world's second largest cocoa producer with an average annual output of around 750,000 tonnes, only permits internal marketing of its beans with state-run regulator Cocobod as sole exporter. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - CME Group suspends trading in European cocoa contracts

CME Group Inc will suspend trading in all CME Europe cocoa contracts starting with the May 2017 contract, the company said on Monday. The CME euro-denominated cocoa contract was launched on March 30, 2015, but volumes and open interest remained low and the new market never mounted a serious challenge to the dominance of the IntercontinentalExchange, which operates both of the most actively traded markets in the commodity. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Cameroon cocoa farm-gate prices drop on pesticide ban, instability

Cameroonian farm-gate cocoa prices dropped in January by at least 10 percent from the previous month in most regions due to a government ban on a popular pesticide and political instability in the southwest, farmers said on Monday. Prices ranged from 750 CFA francs ($1.23) per kg of beans in one southwestern district to 1,000 CFA francs in parts of the central region, they said -- below the National Cocoa and Coffee Board's (NCCB) indicative price of 1,050 CFA francs/kg. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Ivory Coast rain improves outlook for cocoa mid-crop

Heavy rain last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa-growing regions came as a welcome surprise during the dry season and will boost the April-to-September cocoa mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. Downpours are rare during the November-to-March dry season in the world's top cocoa producer. Farmers said rain would boost growth of flowers and pods already on trees for the mid-crop. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Thai floods harm key region for world's rubber

First came drought, then came floods. Rubber farmers in Thailand's south are counting the cost of extreme weather in the world's top growing region. "From afar the trees look withered," said 67-year-old Reang Onnuan, a lifelong rubber grower, looking out at the sea of water from which her trees protruded. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - China 2016 sugar imports lowest in five years - customs

China imported 220,000 tonnes of sugar in December, down 56.7 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, after a spike in global prices early in October dented purchasing from overseas. Full-year purchases by the world's top buyer fell 36.8 percent to 3.06 million tonnes, the lowest level since 2011, when its imports were just under 3 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 20 - Colombian 2017 coffee output could hit 24-yr high-federation head

Colombia could produce 14.5 million 60-kg bags of coffee this year, the highest output in more than two decades, the head of the country's growers' federation said on Thursday, as it pushes productivity and fertilization improvements on farms. Coffee growers in the Andean nation, the world's top producer of high-quality washed arabica, reached output of 14.2 million bags, the previous high, last year despite drought and a truckers strike that stymied exports. If the country reaches output of 14.5 million 60-kg bags it would be the highest in 24 years. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 20 - N. American 4th-qtr cocoa grind falls to 4-1/2-year low

North American cocoa grindings fell below expectations to a 4-1/2-year low in the fourth quarter of 2016, but were up slightly for the full year, data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) showed on Thursday. Cocoa processors in the United States, Canada and Mexico reported grinding 117,588 tonnes of beans in the period from October to December, down 1.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, NCA data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 20 - India Government Dismisses Talk It Will Cut Sugar Import Tax (Dow Jones)
The Indian government has denied market speculation of trimming the import tax on overseas sugar purchases to encourage imports of the sweetener. "We have no plans to reduce the import duty at this point since we will have sufficient stocks," says a government official, who did not wish to be named. The import tax on sugar at present is 40%, which means that no imports are taking place. India's sugar production has dropped 5% to 10.4 million tons till January 15 in the current season that started in October last year, the Indian Sugar Mills Association, an industry body said this week. India's overall production in 2016/17 is likely to fall to 22 million metric tons, down 4.3% from an earlier estimate. The Indian government says it has enough sugar stocks to cater to local demand. The price of sugar has jumped almost 10% in a month.

Jan 20 - Tocom Closes Lower on Shanghai Rubber Weakness (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices end sharply lower Friday, pulled down by weaker Shanghai rubber futures. "The Shanghai market fell on concerns of trade friction between the United States and China," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. Trading was mostly "tepid" as investors took a cautious approach ahead of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's inaugural speech later today, Gokon adds. Profit-taking activities are expected ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays next week, he says. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for June delivery ends 13.2 yen lower at Y288.3 (US$2.51) per kilogram.

Jan 20 - Support Break Sent Sugar Futures Slumping (Dow Jones)
Thursday's late slump in US sugar futures came on huge volumes, "with some 35‑40K March contracts sold inside the last hour," notes Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It believes the most-logical explanation is the shrinking premium of the March contract compared with May, so after March broke support a wave of selling followed. "The scale of the move means others will have been dragged into move." CBA adds there are now signals that modest ongoing tightness this quarter is likely to be resolved. ICE March raw sugar fell 3.8% to 20.18c/pound.

Jan 20 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 16-20 January 2017 (WPB)
- Domestic market of pepper showed a mixed response during the week. In Vietnam, local price of pepper stood at the level of VND 128,500 pr Kg for black and VND 177,500 for white throughout the week. When compared to previous average price however, the price of black pepper decreased by 3%. In the case of white pepper, the price remained stable. Marginal decreases were also recorded in Lampung, Sri Lanka and India; while in Sarawak local price of black pepper increased by 6% and for white pepper 4%.
- Except in Vietnam, FOB price of pepper at most origins were recorded stable. In Vietnam fob rice of black pepper decreased by 3%; while for white pepper remained stable.

Jan 20 - Pepper's Import by South Korea (WPB)
- Import of pepper into South Korea increased year by year in the last five years from 4,300 Mt (4,000 Mt of whole pepper and 300 Mt of ground pepper) in 2011 to 5,400 Mt (4,975 Mt of whole pepper and 425 Mt of ground pepper) in 2015, recording an increase of 25% or 5% per year.
- It is expected that import of pepper by South Korea in 2016 will be remaining high as indicated by import performance in the last eleven months as shown in the following table and chart. During January-November 2016 South Korea imported 5,160 Mt of pepper (4,745 Mt of whole and 415 Mt of ground pepper), as against 5,220 Mt in 2015. Vietnam was the main source of pepper for South Korea, supplying more than 75%, replacing traditional supplier of Malaysia, supplying only 16% during January to November 2016.

Jan 19 - Ivory Coast's CCC denies it plans to cancel cocoa contracts 

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) marketing board denied on Wednesday that it plans to cancel around 300,000 tonnes of cocoa contracts on the verge of default and resell them.Reuters reported on the plan, revealed by a CCC official and finance ministry source, on Tuesday. "The Coffee and Cocoa Council would like to absolutely deny this information, which lacks any founding," the CCC said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 19 - Thailand set to sell 98,000 T of rubber from state stockpiles

Thailand will sell 98,000 tonnes of rubber from state stockpiles in the first state auction of the year, the country's rubber authority said on Thursday.The sale was worth over 6.64 billion baht ($187.57 million), said Titus Suksaard, governor of the Rubber Authority of Thailand. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 19 - Tokyo Rubber Futures Rise More on Worries (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures continue their upward march amid ongoing concerns about weak supplies from top-producer Thailand on flooding there. "The market has certainly got a boost from the floods, but a greater risk-on mood among investors has led to the rise in prices" today, says Kaname Gokon of the Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for June delivery rose 0.2% to  Y301.5/kilogram.

Jan 19 - India Sugar Output Less So Far This Season (Dow Jones)
India's sugar production has dropped 5% so far this season, hurt by reduced output in top-producing states, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association. In the western state of Maharashtra, production has slumped almost 30% while in the south, it's down nearly 10% for Karnataka. India's overall production this season, which runs through September, is likely to fall to 22M metric tons, down 4.3% from an earlier estimate. The Indian government says it has enough sugar inventories to cater to local demand.

Jan 19 - India Coffee Growers Positive on Rising Prices (Dow Jones)
Indian coffee growers are upbeat due to higher coffee prices as supplies tighten amid falling production both locally and overseas. Bean prices there are up at least 10% since early December, says Bose Mandanna, a coffee trader in the south Indian state of Karnataka. India's state-run Coffee Board estimates total output will drop 9% from last year's record. That as a potential double-digit digit looms in Brazil.

Jan 18 - Ivory Coast to cancel 300,000 tonnes of cocoa contracts - sources

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) marketing board plans to cancel around 300,000 tonnes of cocoa export contracts on the verge of default and resell them, CCC and finance ministry sources said on Tuesday. "The Council analysed all the options and possibilities but decided to cancel around 300,000 tonnes of contract that are potentially in default and put them back on the market as international contracts," the finance ministry source said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - New Zealand choppers save cherries for China in Lunar New Year rush

New Zealand cherry producers are flying helicopters low over their orchards to dry off raindrops and protect thousands of tonnes of their product headed to Asia to feed rapidly growing demand from Chinese New Year revellers. China has grown to become the second largest destination for New Zealand cherries after Taiwan in the past seven years. Together they take about 60 percent of cherry exports, which were worth about NZ$43 million ($31 million) last year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - Thai Floods Continue to Lift Tokyo Rubber (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures rebound from early softness to finish higher amid ongoing supply concerns stocked by Thailand's flooding. Support also came from stronger Shanghai futures and higher oil prices. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for June delivery rose 0.4% to Y300.9/kilogram.
- Tokyo rubber prices were slightly lower amid some likely profit-taking after big gains to start 2017 amid supply concerns. But the market today is likely to be supported by slide gains so far today in Shanghai futures. The Tocom benchmark 6-month contract is down 0.6% at Y298/kilogram.

Jan 18 - India Sugar Prices Jump as Demand Rebounds (Dow Jones)
India's sugar prices have climbed more than 10% the past month amid improved consumer demand with the easing of the cash crisis there. "Prices have recovered following brisk buying by retailers and consumers," a sugar trader notes. Then there's concerns of a production shortfall in top-producing Maharashtra state; sugar mills there have already put on hold crushing operations due to lower cane supplies. As a result, India's 2016-7 sugar production is likely to fall to 22M metric tons, down 4.3% from an earlier estimate. The Indian government has ruled out any move to remove the import tax, saying there are sufficient supplies to meet local demand. Shares of major sugar companies are down at least 1% today.

Jan 17 - Dry winds in Ivory Coast raise concerns for cocoa crops 

A lack of rainfall across most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions combined with Harmattan winds have raised concerns about the quality of new crops, farmers said on Monday.Ivory Coast is in the dry season which runs from mid-November to March, when downpours are scarce. Farmers said they are shifting their focus from the main crop to the April-to-September mid-crop.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Sarjanovic steps down as CEO of sugar merchant Alvean 

Geneva-based sugar merchant Alvean said on Monday that Ivo Sarjanovic was stepping down as chief executive officer. Cargill and Copesucar established the joint venture company in 2014, forming one of the world's largest sugar traders.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Thai sugar output to fall 3.1 pct in 2016/17, exports lower - official 

Sugar output for 2016/2017 in Thailand, second-biggest exporter of the sweetener, is expected to fall 3.1 percent due to a widespread drought last year that forced some cane farmers to switch crops, a government agency said on Tuesday. "For 2016/2017 we should get between 9.3 million to 9.4 million tonnes of sugar, lower than 2015/2016 because of drought and the bad price of sugar," Boontin Korsiri, an official at the Office of the Cane and Sugar Board, told Reuters.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Indonesia's Sugar Imports Seen Growing Further (Dow Jones)
Indonesia will cement its place as the world's second-largest importer of sugar the next 5 years as the country grows less of its own product and consumption continues to increase, says BMI Research. It notes farmers are moving to more-profitable crops such as rice and corn while some areas which have traditionally grown sugar are turned into residential or industrial areas. Set to benefit from even-more Indonesia sugar imports includes Thailand--the country's largest supplier--Brazil and Australia.

Jan 16 - Cross-Border Nigerian Buyers Lift Southwest Cameroon Cocoa Prices(Dow Jones)
  Cameroon-Cameroon's cocoa prices rose further this week as Nigerian traders made purchases in the country's Southwest Region, farmers and traders there said Monday.
  A kilogram of the beans sold for 1,000 to 1,100 Central African francs, ($1.61 to $1.77), up 14% from XAF850-XAF1,000 traders paid for the crop last week, traders and farmers said.
  Sales were made in the big cocoa-growing towns of Mamfe, Eyumojock and Kampong. All three flank Nigeria, easing transportation of cocoa beans by road and the Manyu River.
  "Nigerian traders are offering better prices than our Cameroonian countrymen," said cocoa trader James Oben in Mamfe, who said he had sold a metric ton of cocoa beans to a Nigerian buyer earlier Monday at XAF1,100/kg.
  Cameroonian traders are also motivated to sell their harvests to Nigerian traders because bad roads make it costly to move produce to the port of Douala.

Jan 16 - Asia Rubber Prices Keep Rising as Rain Persists (Dow Jones)
  Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures end sharply higher amid gains in Shanghai as supply concerns in major producer Thailand persist amid flooding there. The country is the world's biggest rubber producer and exporter, and supply concerns have let to surging prices. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for June delivery rose 3.9% to Y305/kilogram.
  Rubber prices jump sharply again as rains continue to fall in Thailand, increasing concerns that supply will tighten as production there continues to be hampered by wet weather and floods. The Rubber Authority of Thailand preliminarily put out an estimate that flooding is likely to shave out at least 360K metric tons from the country's expected natural-rubber output of 4.4M for 2017. The Tocom benchmark 6-month contract is up 3.4% at Y303.4/kilogram, hitting fresh 4-year highs.

Jan 16 - Major 2017 Asia Sugar-Import Demand Anticipated (Dow Jones)
  Asia sugar-import demand will be particularly strong this year after 2 years of local production declines and a partial recovery in the 2016-7 season, says BMI Research. "The stronger Asian demand will contribute significantly to global-market tightness in the short term as the region is the world's largest consumer." It also reminds that China's sugar production is under pressure amid low prices, declining output and increasing production costs. "We forecast the country's deficit to be 10.1 million metric tons in 2021, compared with the 3.9 million metric tons in the previous five years."

Jan 13 - USDA trims forecast for 2016/17 domestic sugar supplies 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday slightly lowered its outlook for domestic sugar supplies on lower cane production in Louisiana.The USDA pegged the closely watched stocks-to-use ratio stood at 15.4, down from 15.7 last month and also lower than 17.0 in the previous marketing year. The outlook, little-changed from December's, still puts total U.S. supplies above the 13.5 targeted by the U.S. government to keep the market in balance.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 13 - Storms ease California drought as reservoirs fill up 

Several months of wet weather have dramatically eased California's years-long drought, replenishing reservoirs and parched aquifers and forcing state water officials to switch - at least temporarily - from managing shortages to avoiding floods. With rain continuing to fall following a deluge that brought 20 inches (50 cm) of precipitation to some areas this week, the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains - crucial for storing water needed in the state's long, hot summers - is deeper and wetter than normal. Reservoirs were well above normal levels, state and federal drought experts said on Thursday.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 13 - U.S. farmers ask Trump to stay the course on Cuba 

Dozens of U.S. farm and agri-business groups on Thursday urged President-elect Donald Trump to build upon progress made by the Obama administration in relations with Cuba, calling trade with the former Cold War foe particularly important at a time of a severe downturn in farm incomes.The agricultural trade groups stated their views in a letter sent to Trump, who is to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 13 - World food prices fall in 2016 for fifth straight year - UN FAO

World food prices fell for a fifth straight year in 2016 as losses in cereals, meat and dairy outweighed rises in sugar and vegetable oils, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.Prices remained stable in December from the month before, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) main food price index, which has edged up steadily after hitting a seven-year low in January.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 13 - Cadbury owner Mondelez raises some prices on weak pound, higher cocoa cost 

Cadbury chocolate owner Mondelez International said it is taking selective price increases across its brands, as it grapples with higher commodity costs and a weaker British pound.Mondelez in November attracted consumer criticism when it changed the shape of its Toblerone bars, putting more space between its distinctive jagged peaks, in order to recoup some higher costs.Click here to read full stories.

Jan 13 - ANRPC Rubber Production Likely to Rise 4.0% in 2017 (Dow Jones)
Rubber production from members of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries, which accounts for 90% of global output, is expected to rise 4.0% in 2017 to 11.2 million metric tons, according to the association's quarterly report. "Global supply of natural rubber during 2017 will be short of demand by 350,000 metric tons." This will likely support rubber prices as recent concerns about availability has driven up prices of rubber. ANRPC notes that floods in Thailand at the moment mean the world's largest rubber producer is expected to produce just 4.381 million tons of rubber in 2017, down from a previous forecast of 4.741 million tons.

Jan 13 - Thailand Flooding Increases Rubber Speculation (Dow Jones)
The flooding in Thailand has had a very-strong influence in boosting speculative trading of natural rubber on both the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the TOCOM, says Prachaya Jumpasut at industry consultancy Rubber Economist. "It is not the fundamentals or shortage in the rubber market but the nominal factors of speculation, currency, etc. which have caused the recent increase in rubber prices." After hitting near-4-year highs yesterday, the Tocom benchmark 6-month contract is down 0.6% at Y297/kilogram.

Jan 13 - India Sugar Prices Hit 7-Year High (Dow Jones)
Sugar prices in India -- the world's second-biggest producer behind Brazil -- touched a seven-year high this week, aided by improved demand and dwindling supplies. India's sugar production in the October 2016-September 2017 period will likely fall to 22 million metric tons, down 4.3% from an earlier estimate, as mills in the country's main producing Maharashtra state are closing early due to cane shortage, analysts at Angel Commodities brokerage say in a report. Sugar production in Maharashtra will likely fall 40% to 5 million tons this season, which started in October. The Indian government has said there are sufficient stocks to cater to local demand and has ruled out any move to remove import taxes. Shares of Dhampur Sugar Mills Ltd are up 1%, while Mawana Sugars Ltd gain 1.5% in early trade.

Jan 12 - Global 2016/17 arabica coffee output to reach record - ICO 

Global arabica production could reach a record in 2016/17 but total coffee consumption is on track to exceed output for the third straight year, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Wednesday.Global robusta was forecast to fall 6 percent as Brazil's crop remained hampered by drought, the ICO said in its monthly newsletter. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 12 - Cocoa Prices Set to Tread Water for a While (Dow Jones)
BMI Research says global cocoa prices will likely trade sideways in 1H after late 2016's slide amid improved fundamentals and bearish sentiment. "Although a good 2016-7 West African season will improve global supply over 2017, we believe this is already priced in at spot levels of GBP1798/metric ton and see limited room for further downside over the coming months." It sees prices gradually trending higher as the year progresses and says the market will remain balanced until recording a larger deficit in 2021.

Jan 12 - India Sugar Prices Escalate on Supply Worries; Shares Slip (Dow Jones)
India's sugar prices have jumped over 10% in a month over concerns of a fall in production from back-to-back droughts in the top-growing state, Maharashtra. Production in 2016/17 is likely to fall to 22 million metric tons, down 4.3% from an earlier estimate, as mills in Maharashtra close early due to cane shortage, analysts at Angel Commodities brokerage said this week. The Indian government for now has ruled out pruning the tax on sugar imports, currently 40%, saying stocks are adequate. No sugar is being imported. Shares of major sugar companies edge lower in early trade -- Mawana Sugars (523371.BY) down 2%, Shree Renuka Sugars (532670.BY) 0.5% and Dhampur Sugar Mills (500119.BY) 1%.

Jan 10 - Heavy rains trigger evacuations in California and Nevada

Heavy rains and flooding along rivers forced the evacuation of thousands of people in a California wine making region and an area of Nevada east of Lake Tahoe on Monday, officials said, with more storms on the way. Regions of California and Nevada, two states which have suffered from drought for years, were walloped by storms over the past week from a weather system called the "Pineapple Express" that sent moisture streaming from Hawaii.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 10 - Thai Flooding Impact Seen as Limited (Dow Jones)
Thailand's rubber prices are expected to stage a short-term rise due to ongoing heavy flooding in the country's south, which is a major rubber growing area. Tocom 6-month benchmark futures jumped 4.4% today and the Thai Agriculture Ministry has reported the inundation has damaged around 4.6% of the country's total rubber-growing area. Thailand's Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking has predicted the damage-related costs shouldn't top THB15B ($421.6M), or about 0.1% of GDP.

Jan 10 - Tokyo Rubber Futures Helped by China, Thailand (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures jumped 4.4% amid stronger Shanghai futures and concerns about weak supply from Thailand in the wake of serious floods there. This as improved demand from automobile companies in China has created a positive sentiment. Prices are likely to stay firmer in the near-future, analysts say. June TCE futures rose to Y279.4/kilogram.

Jan 09 - Speculators raise bullish ICE raw sugar, cotton bets 

Speculators upped their bullish stance in raw sugar for the first time in four weeks in the week to Jan. 3 as they raised their bullish bet in cotton contracts back toward last month's record highs, U.S. government data showed on Friday.The traders cut their net long position in arabica coffee to the lowest since mid-June and slightly reduced a bearish stance in cocoa futures and options on ICE Futures U.S., the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 09 - Thai floods kill 21 and hit rubber production 

Widespread flooding in Thailand's south has killed 21 people, hit rubber production in the region and shut down infrastructure, officials said on Monday, as the military government increased aid to flood-affected areas.Thailand's wet season usually ends in late November and heavy rain and flooding are rare in January. Unseasonably heavy rain has hit 12 out of 67 provinces, officials said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 06 - India to produce less sugar than expected as drought wilts cane crop 

India's sugar production in 2016/17 is likely to fall to 22 million tonnes, down 4.3 percent from an earlier estimate, as mills in its key producing state are closing early due to a cane shortage, industry officials told Reuters.A drop in production below India's consumption of around 25 million tonnes could lift local prices and prompt the world's second-biggest consumer to allow duty-free imports of the sweetener, supporting global prices that are trading near their highest level in 1-1/2 months. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 05 - Top Glove Keeps Having to Raise Prices (Dow Jones)
Malaysia's Top Glove has raised average selling prices of natural rubber gloves 4 times since September, partly due to higher natural rubber latex prices. The raw material makes up 48% of the company's cost to produce those gloves, and Executive Director Lim Cheong Guan says the latest changes were 3-5% increases. Founder and Executive Chairman Lim Wee Chai notes natural rubber prices have doubled the past year, and if they rise furth er "we have to increase the selling price." But if the dollar keeps rising, "we will reduce the selling price." Top Glove is the world's largest rubber-glove maker by volume.

Jan 05 - SGX Rubber Volumes More Than Doubled in 2016 (Dow Jones)
Growth last year for Sicom SGX rubber futures came on the back of higher participation from financial traders, which in turn led to deeper liquidity and allowed physical traders to hedge in larger sizes and with reduced slippage costs, says the SGX. Volume more than doubled to 7.1M tons. The exchange adds increased market volatility also brought new participants in.

Jan 05 - Transmar's U.S. cocoa unit files for bankruptcy 

The U.S. unit of Transmar Group Ltd has filed for bankruptcy protection just weeks after the parent company's European operation declared insolvency following "unfavorable" cocoa contracts and British pound fluctuations, court filings showed. Transmar Commodity Group Ltd, which sells cocoa products to major chocolate makers including Hershey Co and Nestle, voluntarily filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy to the Southern District of New York United States Bankruptcy Court on Dec. 31. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - India sugar mills shut early as drought hits cane crop - trade body 

More than two dozen mills in India's top sugar producing western state of Maharashtra have stopped crushing due to cane shortage while many more mills are likely to shut before February end, a producers' body said on Tuesday. Sugar mills in Maharashtra typically operate between November to April, but this year cane supplies have fallen due to back-to-back droughts. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - Vietnam coffee prices stable in dull post-holiday market 

Vietnamese coffee prices remained stable as the market continued to soak in the holiday spirit, leading to a subdued first trading day in the new year, traders said on Tuesday. Traders quoted robusta grade 2, 5 pct black and broken at $60-$70 per tonne below the ICE March contract, same as a week ago, while bids were heard at $70-$80 a tonne. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 03 - Weather good for Ivory Coast mid crop, despite price worries 

Favourable weather in Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions bode well for the April-September mid-crop harvest, farmers said, even though low international prices continued to dent demand.The Harmattan, a northerly wind that blows dust off the Sahara between December and March, damaging crops to the south, so far remained mild, farmers said. Last season, strong winds caused severe damage. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 03 - Egypt's GASC seeks 50,000 tonnes of raw sugar 

Egypt's main state buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Saturday it was seeking at least 50,000 tonnes of raw sugar in a tender.The deadline for offers is January 8, GASC said. It earlier put the deadline at January 7, but this clashes with the Coptic Christmas. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 30 - Our best wishes for a serene (and decisively less turbulent) New Year 2017 to all friends, tweeps, readers, followers and clients.

Dec 30 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, 26-30 December 2016 (WPB)
  The market has not shown much activity due to holidays at the end of the year end and New Year celebration mood. The prices in India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka have decreased, while in Malaysia the price of black and white pepper are stable. Except in Malaysia, pepper prices reported to be decreased over the previous week and in India local Pepper price is reported to reduce by 2.3%, while in Vietnam and in Sri Lanka black pepper price decline by 2.8% and 6.3%, respectively. FOB price of black pepper has decreased by around 2.3% and 3.8% in India and Vietnam, respectively. Pepper harvest expected from Vietnam, India and a part of Sri Lanka seems to be the reason behind that, in addition to the poor market activities all over the world.  Price of white pepper was not seems to be affected much but FOB price of white pepper has reduced by 4.6% in Vietnam. Stability of the white pepper price is observed in China.

Dec 30 - Pepper's Import by India (WPB)
  During the last six years since 2010, importation of pepper by India seems to increase by around 64% up to 2014, from 14,009Mt to 22,997Mt. The marginal decrease of 7% in the year 2015 was seen because of good production of Pepper in India. In the year 2016 from January to September 2016, India has imported around 17,701Mt of Pepper and expected to import further to the extent of 2014 import or even more to meet its demand for value addition of Pepper. From the import figures it is seen that India imports major quantity of pepper from Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia to the extent of 96% of its needs and lesser quantities from Brazil, Madagascar, Singapore, Ethiopia, UAE and Ecuador.  

 Dec 27 - Cameroon Coffee Prices Plummet on Traders' Recess (Dow Jones)
Arabica :
  Ample crop supplies and absence of buyers at Cameroon's major arabica coffee-producing region have forced prices paid down by 10% on week, several farmers and traders said Monday. One kilogram of arabica coffee was selling at the farmgates in the Northwest and West regions (provinces) at 1,100 to 1,150 Central African francs ($1.75 - $1.83), down 10% from XAF1,200 and XAF1,100 last week, the farmers and traders said.
  Traders had started leaving farmgates markets three weeks ago, with most of them deserting the West African notion's second main arabica coffee-growing area of the North-West region, which witnessed deadly political protests early December. Arabica Coffee prices were expected to rise as the crop's harvests nears its end.
Robusta :
  Robusta coffee prices in Cameroon have plunged by 16% in two weeks, owing to the departure of traders for the Christmas and New Year's break and reversing months of price hikes triggered by strong demand for the crop, several farmers and traders told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday. Farmers said they were offering coffee per kilogram between 500 and 700 Central African francs ($0.79-$1.11), down 16.08% from the XAF660 and XAF830 the crop sold two weeks back.
  Robusta prices have risen steeply since September, with production dwindling as the season draws to an end, according to farmers and traders, who cited robusta coffee's global markets' prices skyrocketing as well. "We're selling our coffee at low prices to secure money for end of year feasts and to buy school needs for children when schools resume in January," said farmer Edward Mesumbe.

Dec 23 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 19-23 December 2016 (WPB)
  The market has slowed down with limited activity in view of long year end holiday mode has come. Prices in India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka decreased; while in Lampung the price of black pepper increased. In Sarawak, local price of black and white pepper also increased, but for FOB price was reported stable. In Bangka, price of white pepper remained stable at the level of IDR 124,000 per Kg. But in dollar terms decreased marginally by 1% due to weakening of local currency against US Dollar. Stable price was also recorded in China.

Dec 23 - Pepper's Import by Russia (WPB)
  During the decade 2004-2013, Russia imported pepper around 9,000 Mt annually, but in the last two years decreased to 7,900 Mt in 2014 and 6,800 Mt in 2015. The decrease was due to significant decrease of pepper imported from main sources of Vietnam, Indonesia and India during the last two years. Extremely high price prevailing during these years and economic situation is likely the main factor influencing the decrease in import. In 2016, import of Russia is estimated to increase following lower price prevailed during the year and higher supply of pepper from Vietnam as indicated by import performance in the first nine months.  During January-September 2016, import into Russia increased by 15% from 4,930 Mt in January-September 2015 to 5,645 Mt in January-September 2016. Vietnam supplied more than 70% of pepper into Russia this year.

Dec 23 - India cuts coffee output estimate on poor monsoon rains - Board 

India is likely to produce 316,700 tonnes of coffee in 2016/17, down 1 percent from an earlier estimate, as production of arabica has been revised downward due to poor monsoon rains, the state-run Coffee Board said in a statement on Thursday.The country is likely to produce 96,200 tonnes of arabica coffee in the 2016/17 marketing year that started on Oct. 1, down from the earlier estimate of 100,000 tonnes, while production of robusta is pegged at 220,500 tonnes, the Board said. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 22 - Hershey names COO Michele Buck as chief executive 

U.S. chocolate maker Hershey Co named Chief Operating Officer Michele Buck as its chief executive and president, pinning its hopes on a company veteran to build on a recovery in demand in North America. Buck, whose appointment is effective March 1, will succeed John Bilbrey, who said in October he would retire as CEO and president.

Dec 21 - Argentina lemon producers to regain access to U.S. market - USDA 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday it would lift a ban on imports of lemons from Argentina, allowing growers in the world's top producer to access the largest consuming market for the first time in 15 years.The ban was instituted in 2001 amid concerns from citrus farmers in California, which produces 90 percent of U.S. lemons, that the Argentine fruit carried diseases that could hurt their crops. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 21 - China Nov sugar imports down 48.0 pct y/y at 140,000 tonnes - customs 

China imported 140,000 tonnes of sugar in November, down 48 percent from a year ago, as firmer global prices hurt purchases, customs data showed on Wednesday.China, the world's largest sugar consumer, has been buying less from overseas markets as global supplies tighten. Benchmark prices shot to nearly 24 cents a pound in early October, more than double the levels in the third quarter of 2015, but have since given up some gains. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 21 - Talks underway to save insolvent German cocoa grinder Euromar 

Talks continue between creditors and other interested parties to save German cocoa grinder Euromar Commodities GmbH which declared insolvency earlier in December, a spokesman for its interim administrator said on Tuesday. Negotiations are underway focusing on efforts to restart production, the spokesman for interim administrator Rolf Rattunde told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 20 - Incoming Ghana government gives cocoa sector chance of fresh start 

Ghana's incoming government could give the country's $2 billion cocoa industry a boost if it installs a more transparent executive at industry regulator Cocobod and implements reforms, industry sources said.The New Patriotic Party (NPP) said its priority is to push annual cocoa output in the world's second-biggest producer above 1 million tonnes when it takes power in January under President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo using a series of fresh measures. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 20 - India to produce surplus sugar in 2017/18-industry body 

India is likely to produce surplus sugar in 2017/18 as farmers have increased cane-growing area, a leading industry body said on Monday.The world's biggest consumer of sugar is unlikely to import the sweetener in the 2016/17 marketing year that started on Oct. 1, as the country have ample carry forward stocks from the last year, Abinash Verma, director general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association told reporters on the sidelines of a conference. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 20 - Mild Harmattan wind and scattered rainfall help Ivorian cocoa 

Scattered rainfall in Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions last week should lead to ample, healthy main crop beans, farmers said on Monday, dispelling concerns about the impact of the seasonal Harmattan wind.The world's top cocoa producer is officially in its dry season and the Harmattan - a dusty wind from the Sahara - is blowing south from the north and centre of the country. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 19 - USDA says world 2016-17 coffee output to rise on record Brazil arabica 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday it forecast global 2016-17 coffee production up 2.4 percent from a year ago, with a record arabica crop in top grower Brazil more than offsetting smaller robusta harvests. Global output for the current crop year was pegged at 156.6 million 60-kg bags, up from the USDA's June estimate of 155.7 and up from 2015-16 at 152.9 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 19 - Midwest ethanol prices soar as inventories move to coast -traders 

In a rare move, prompt cash ethanol prices in the Midwest hub of Argo, Illinois, this week soared above prices in other key U.S. regions like New York Harbor due to strong demand and short inventories, traders said on Friday. Prices for prompt delivery of ethanol in Argo jumped as high as $1.98 per gallon this week before paring gains to finish on Friday around $1.84, according to traders and brokers. Those are the highest levels in two years. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 19 - Bangladesh expects record tea output in 2016 - minister 

Bangladesh's tea output in 2016 is expected to hit a record 80 million kg from 66 million a year earlier, the commerce minister said on Sunday, a volume that may be big enough to make imports unnecessary. The country became a net importer of tea after ranking as the world's fifth-largest exporter in 1990s, due to a big increase in domestic consumption. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 16 - Indonesia cocoa bean exports seen down 29 pct in 2016 

Indonesia cocoa bean exports are expected to fall by as much as 29 percent this year to 27,000-28,000 tonnes, Zulhefi Sikumbang, chairman of Indonesian Cocoa Association said on Friday. That compares with 39,622 tonnes of exports in 2015. The latest exports estimate is higher than the previous projection of 25,000 tonnes export made late last year. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 15 - Brazil to allow robusta coffee imports - Agriculture Minister 

The Brazilian government is expected to allow coffee processors to import robusta beans for the first time in decades after drought hurt local robusta production, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Wednesday. "Considering the data we have regarding robusta stocks, it is recommended that we allow imports during a specific period," said Maggi. Brazilian coffee processors would be entitled to buy the beans abroad from January to May. Orders would be limited to 200,000 60-kg bags per month. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 15 - Petrobras to sell stake in Nova Fronteira ethanol venture - source 

State-controlled Petróleo Brasileiro SA on Thursday will sign a deal to sell its 49 percent stake in Nova Fronteira Bioenergia SA to partner Sao Martinho SA for up to 500 million reais ($150 million), a person directly involved in the transaction said on Wednesday. Sao Martinho, one of Brazil's top-five sugar and ethanol producers, currently owns 51 percent of Nova Fronteira, which was founded six years ago and has a state-of-the-art mill in the center-west state of Goiás. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 15 - Brazil center-south produces 1.13 mln tns of sugar in late Nov 

Brazil's main center-south cane belt produced 1.13 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of November compared with 1.37 million tonnes in the previous two-week period, as mills approached the end of the 2016/17 crushing season, sugar industry group Unica said on Wednesday. Its data showed mills crushed 19.68 million tonnes of cane late in November versus 21.76 million tonnes earlier in the month. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 14 - Ivory Coast rain to lift cocoa crop, dry spell worries in some areas 

Rain in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions last week should boost next year's crop, although hot, dry conditions in some areas ahead of the potentially damaging Harmattan seasonal wind have worried some farmers. The world's top cocoa producer is officially in its dry season, which runs from mid-November to March, and the Harmattan is now blowing south from the north and centre of the country, analysts told Reuters on Tuesday. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 14 - Sucden sees small global sugar surplus, record crop in 2017/18 

Sugar production may rise to a record level in 2017/18 leading to a small global surplus following two deficit seasons, commodity trader Groupe Sucres et Denrees said on Tuesday. "It is still early and highly uncertain to discuss 2017/18. It seems, however, that (except in CS Brazil) many key crops are on course for a decent increase, particularly India," Sucden said in a quarterly report. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 13 - Brazil's 2016 coffee crop seen at 54.9 mln bags 

Brazil's coffee crop that wrapped up harvest in September is estimated at 54.9 million 60-kg bags, according to the median of 11 forecasts in a Reuters survey. Most analysts and traders surveyed said it was still too early to call the next crop in the world's biggest coffee exporter, but some had rough estimates. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 13 - Ghana cocoa purchases at 392,532 tonnes by Nov. 28 - Cocobod data 

Cocoa purchases declared to Ghana's industry regulator, Cocobod, stood at 392,532 tonnes by Nov. 28 following the first nine weeks of the 2016/17 season, according to Cocobod data seen by Reuters on Monday. The figure marked a slight increase from 380,662 tonnes of beans purchased in the world's number 2 cocoa producer in the first nine weeks of last season. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - Cameroon cocoa exports down 33 pct to end-Oct -NCCB 

Cameroon exported 39,157 tonnes of cocoa to end-October since the season's start in August, down more than 33 percent from 58,868 tonnes shipped in the same period last year, data from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (NCCB) showed on Saturday. Cameroon shipped 8,676 tonnes of beans in September, down from 16,229 tonnes the previous year, and 25,586 tonnes in October compared with 30,583 tonnes the previous year. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - USDA cuts forecast for 2016-17 imports from Mexico 

U.S. sugar imports from Mexico will drop again in the 2016-17 marketing year, the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) said on Friday. In the USDA's monthly supply/demand report, sugar imports from Mexico were estimated at 972,000 short tons, down from the November estimate of 1.02 million short tons. This was also down from 1.3 million short tons the prior year and 1.5 million short tons in 2014-15. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - Insolvent German cocoa grinder Euromar set to resume output

German cocoa grinder Euromar Commodities GmbH is set to resume normal production in the near future after declaring insolvency this week, its interim administrator Rolf Rattunde said on Friday. Euromar had suffered financial liquidity problems, Rattunde told Reuters, but added he was confident that Euromar could be restructured and returned to long-term operations. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - Peet's expanding roasting capacity amid premium coffee boom 

Peet's Coffee & Tea, a longtime rival to Starbucks Corp, said on Friday it will invest $58 million to open a new coffee roasting facility in Suffolk, Virginia, to support its expanding business in an increasingly competitive environment. The move from Peet's comes as Starbucks is making significant investment to stave off competition from upscale, independent coffee shops, such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee. Peet's owns Stumptown and has a majority stake in Intelligentsia. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 09 - Europe, U.S. trade officials lobby China on food safety rule

European and U.S. government and trade officials say they have been lobbying hard against a draft Chinese regulation on food imports, worried it would hamper billions of dollars of shipments to the world's No.2 economy of everything from pasta to coffee and biscuits. The rule, part of a drive by China to boost oversight of its sprawling food supply chain, requires all food imports to carry health certificates from October next year, even if the product is deemed low-risk. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 09 - Brazil mills hedge more than 35 pct of new crop sugar-report 

Brazilian cane mills hedged more than a third of exportable new crop sugar on the ICE in New York, as a weaker currency despite the recent retreat by futures maintained the outlook as favorable for prices, Archer Consulting said on Thursday. Brazilian mills sold forward in New York 9.4 million tonnes of 2017-18 sugar by the end of November, or 35.6 percent of estimated exports, Archer said. It is the highest volume of fixation for the period on record, surpassing last year's 31 percent volume at this time. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 09 - Sudzucker weighs entry into Brazil sugar milling industry - paper 

Germany's Sudzucker, Europe's largest sugar producer, said it was considering potential acquisitions in Brazil's cane milling industry but had no deal to announce, local newspaper Valor Economico reported on Thursday. Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Heer said Sudzucker wanted a greater presence in Brazil, according to Valor. Although he gave no details, Heer said the company had been in discussions with local mills. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 09 - World food prices edge down 0.4 pct in November - UN FAO

World food prices edged lower in November, interrupting an almost continuous trend higher this year, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. Except for a downward tick in July, the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index had been rising steadily this year after hitting a seven-year low in January. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 09 - U.S. renewable fuel credit prices drop after news of Trump's EPA pick 

U.S. renewable fuel credits used to comply with the country's biofuels requirements slumped on Thursday, continuing the previous session's decline on news that President-elect Donald Trump had picked a critic of environmental regulation to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Renewable fuel (D6) Renewable Identification Number credits for the current year traded at roughly 90 cents each, down from 99 cents each on Wednesday, traders said. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 09 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, 5-9 Dec 2016 (WPB)
  The market has firmed up this week with limited activities. Buyers have filled up sufficient stocks in anticipation of long new yearend holidays. Except Sri-Lanka, the price of black Pepper in most of the origins has increased. In Vietnam and India the price has increased almost daily. On an average the increase reached 4% in Vietnam. In Lampung and Sarawak the black Pepper prices were reported stable. In dollar terms however, local price of Lampung and Sarawak black increased marginally by 1% due to strengthening of local currencies against US dollar.  
  The market for white Pepper also showed similar trends. In Bangka however, local price decreased marginally, but FOB price remained stable. In Vietnam local price of white Pepper increased by 8%.

Dec 09 -  Pepper's Import by United Kingdom (WPB)
  During the last three years import of pepper into United Kingdom was around 11,500 Mt annually. In 2015 a volume of 12,000 Mt (4,000 Mt of whole and 8,000 Mt of ground pepper) was imported by United Kingdom, an increase of 10% from 10,900 Mt (3,200 Mt of whole and 7,700 Mt of ground pepper) in 2014. Major share of pepper imported into United Kingdom is ground pepper. In 2015, import of whole pepper increased by 25% and for ground pepper 4%.
  During January - September 2016, total import of pepper into United Kingdom was 9,500 Mt, registering an increase of 14% from import in the same period last year (8,300 Mt). Import of whole pepper increased by 44%, while import of ground pepper decreased marginally by 3%. Netherlands as the trading countries in European countries supplied 28% of pepper into the United Kingdom. Vietnam and India supplied directly 25% and 16% respectively during the first nine months of the year 2016. It’s estimated that total import of United Kingdom in 2016 will be exceeding the import which is achieved in 2015.

Dec 08 - Brazil exports 2.78 mln bags green coffee in Nov - Cecafe 

Brazil exported 2.78 million 60-kg bags of green coffee in November, down from 3.24 million a year ago and 3.01 million bags in October, coffee export association Cecafe said on Wednesday.Arabica beans made up the bulk of the month's shipments at 2.75 million bags, down from 2.99 million in October and 2.95 million a year ago. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 08 - Ivory Coast sets coffee farmer price at 750 CFA/kg for 2016/17 season 

Ivory Coast announced a guaranteed minimum price for coffee farmers of 750 CFA francs ($1.23) per kilogramme for the 2016/17 season, government spokesman Affoussiata Bamba said on Wednesday.The price was announced on the first day of the new coffee season and is an increase on the 2015/16 price of 670 CFA francs/kg. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 08 - Rubber prices to stay firm on higher oil, rising demand - producers 

Global natural rubber prices are likely to remain firm in the short term due to stronger crude oil prices and as consumption growth outpaces production, a group of producers said on Wednesday.Consumption of natural rubber among members of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) rose 4.3 percent to 7.387 million tonnes in January-November while production increased only 0.4 percent, Nguyen Ngoc Bich, secretary-general of ANRPC, said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 08 -  Fin des quotas sucre : les betteraviers veulent des outils de gestion de risque (France Agricole)
  À l’approche de la fin des quotas sucre, les producteurs de betteraves s’inquiètent de la volatilité des prix qui les touchera prochainement. À l’occasion du congrès de la CGB ce mardi 6 décembre, une réflexion sur les assurances, les marchés à terme et la Pac a été menée.
  Ce mardi 6 décembre s’est tenu le dernier congrès de la CGB (confédération générale des planteurs de betteraves) avec une production de betteraves françaises encore sous le régime des quotas. La filière s’est ainsi penchée sur l’accroissement de la volatilité des prix qui touchera très bientôt les producteurs et s’est interrogée sur la question des outils de gestion de risques.
  « Le régime d’aide directe de la Pac est nécessaire mais non suffisant pour faire face à la volatilité des marchés », a affirmé Yves Madre, directeur de Farm Europe. L’économiste Jean Cordier a poursuivi en expliquant que « les aides directes n’ont jamais été construites pour faire de la gestion de risque ».
L’outil marché à terme
  Dans ce sens, Jean Loïc Begué-Turon, responsable des clients matières premières Caceis, groupe Crédit agricole, a présenté l’outil marché à terme et la possibilité de transposer son utilisation dans la filière céréalière à celle de la betterave. « Cela ne sera possible que si la filière entière le souhaite et le décide », a-t-il précisé. Il rappelle d’ailleurs que souvent les producteurs de betteraves utilisent déjà les marchés à terme pour leurs céréales et qu’ils connaissent leurs coûts de production, ce qui facilitera le lancement. « La réussite d’un marché à terme sur la betterave en France sera facilitée par le lancement d’un contrat à proximité », précise Jean Cordier.
Intervention de l’État
  Ricardo Ramon, de la DG AGRI à la Commission européenne a présenté la proposition d’un instrument de stabilisation de revenu (ISR), qui fonctionnerait secteur par secteur (lait, betteraves, céréales…). Ce fonds, qui existait déjà sans être très utilisé par les États Membres, pourrait être relancé en 2017 ou 2018, sous une autre forme dans le cadre du texte « omnibus » de la Pac.
L’ISR se déclencherait lorsque le revenu des agriculteurs diminuerait de 20 % (la version existante était de 30 %). Il serait financé pour un tiers par les agriculteurs (individuellement ou collectivement), un tiers par l’Union européenne, et un tiers par l’État français (via le deuxième pilier de la Pac). Éric Lainé, président de la CGB, a affirmé que la CGB y était très favorable collectivement et demande que cet instrument soit utilisable dès 2018. Le ministère de l’Agriculture a indiqué regarder de près cette possibilité.
Suite à la présentation de l’exemple de politique assurantielle canadien, Franck Sander, président de la Commission économie de la CGB, a insisté sur l’importance d’une assurance récolte qui couvre les agriculteurs dès 20 % de pertes et non 30 % comme c’est actuellement le cas. « Il ne faut pas que l’assurance devienne obligatoire mais il faut qu’elle soit accessible », a-t-il poursuivi. Jean Cordier a ajouté que le système assurantiel devait être plus largement utilisé en France (comme c’est le cas au Canada) pour qu’il puisse être réellement efficace.

Dec 07 - Vietnam's Sliding Coffee Production Supports Prices (Dow Jones)
Vietnam's overall coffee production is estimated to come down to 26.6 million bags in the year to 30 September 2017, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a report. The fall in production in the world's largest robusta producer will add to already tight supplies in the market, which have supported prices over recent months. The USDA says that coffee stocks in Vietnam at the end of the 2015-16 year were just 3.8 million bags, down 40.4% on year and these are expected to contract further over the current year to around 3.09 million bags, due to the fall in production.

Dec 07 - Ivory Coast to raise foreign cocoa buying permits to 400,000 T 

Ivory Coast will increase the volume of cocoa that can be sold to foreign buyers with no presence in the country to 400,000 tonnes a year from 220,000 tonnes, three senior government sources told Reuters on Tuesday. The move by the state Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) will increase direct access to Ivorian cocoa for foreign buyers such as Mars and Hershey, companies that do not have exporting operations in the West African country. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 06 - Cocoa Faces Tough Road Back to Prior Highs (Dow Jones)
It won't be easy for cocoa to claw its way back to the six-year highs it saw this summer, according to Commerzbank. The recent gains in the pound, after the weakness over the summer following Brexit, have put pressure on the price, the bank says, while speculators have moved to record-high net short positions, and traders widely agree that this season will see a surplus. "Many factors reported that have a negative impact on prices have thus already
been factored in," the bank says, but the price could fall still further if the net-short speculative positionincreases. London-traded cocoa is currently at a two and a half year low.

Dec 06 - FCStone cuts global sugar supply deficit view by 2.2 mln tonnes 

Broker and consultancy INTL FCStone cut its forecast for the global sugar supply deficit in the 2016/17 crop year (Oct-Sept) by 2.2 million tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes. In a report on Monday, the firm said it expects a drop in worldwide sugar demand as higher prices drive some food and beverage producers to alternative sweeteners such as corn syrup. Another factor in reducing the forecast shortage was greater sugar output from Brazil and Central America. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 06 - Nicaragua expands growing area for robusta coffee crops - industry 

Nicaragua has passed a resolution expanding the area where robusta coffee can be grown, allowing it to be planted in several Pacific and Caribbean states where only the arabica crop was previously authorized, industry officials said on Monday. Nicaragua's Coffee Exporters' Association said the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday took a decision to expand the cultivation area to include eight Pacific states and nearly all regions of the country's Caribbean coastline. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 06 - Britain publishes draft sugar tax 

Britain moved forward with its planned sugar tax on Monday, publishing draft legislation confirming a two-band levy for sugar-added soft drinks aimed at fighting obesity. In opting for a sugar tax, Britain joins Belgium, France, Hungary and Mexico, all of which have imposed some form of tax on drinks with added sugar. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 06 - Ivory Coast rain helps cocoa while hot wind raises concerns 

Light rain last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions bodes well for the development of the October-to-March main crop despite concerns about hot weather and incoming seasonal winds, farmers said on Monday. The world's top cocoa producer is at the start of the dry season, when downpours are rare. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 06 - China aims to double ethanol output to 4 mln tonnes by 2020 - agency 

China is aiming to produce 4 million tonnes of ethanol by 2020, doubling output from the current level, even as it keeps tight control over the use of food grains to make the biofuel, a government plan showed on Monday. The world's largest energy consumer plans to raise the non-fossil fuel portion of primary energy consumption to 15 percent from 12 percent by the end of its current five-year plan in 2020. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 05 - China to add more commodity futures, options products - regulator 

China will add products such as crude oil futures and white sugar and soybean meal options to meet market demand for commodity trading, a senior official from China's security regulator said on Saturday according to a statement posted on the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) website. China also plans to add iron ore and natural rubber to futures markets before gradually expanding to other products, in a push for further internationalisation and to attract more overseas investors, vice chairman Fang Xinghai said at a conference in Shenzhen. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 02 - EU sugar output to rise by 10 pct in 2017-18 - S&P Global Platts 

European Union sugar production is expected to rise 10 percent in the 2017-18 season, the first following the abolition of output quotas, but the bloc could remain a net sugar importer, S&P Global Platts analysts said on Friday.France and Britain were expected to account for 70 percent of the increase in production to 18.32 million tonnes in 2017-18 (October/September), the analysts said, which would still be below the record EU crop of 19.4 million tonnes in 2014-15. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 02 - Starbucks CEO steps down to focus on high-end coffee, shares fall 

Starbucks Corp co-founder Howard Schultz will step down as chief executive to focus on new high-end coffee shops, handing the top job to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson, a long-time technology executive.Schultz, who will become executive chairman in April 2017, said he would focus on building ultra-premium Reserve stores and showcase Roastery and Tasting Rooms around the world as well as setting the brand's "social impact agenda" that includes sending employees to college and recruiting veterans. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 02 - Death of Castro could free Cuba to produce biofuels 

The death of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, a fierce critic of biofuels like ethanol, has raised hopes among industry experts that some of Cuba's vast tracts of fallow land may soon be used to ease its dependence on fuel imports.Castro branded the use of food crops to produce ethanol "a sinister idea" that would result in millions more humans dying of "thirst and starvation." Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - World sugar market balance shifts, adds pressure to prices 

Sugar's two-year global supply short-fall, a key factor behind blistering price rises, is expected to end in 2017/18, with rain returning to major Asian producers while European Union reforms will boost production in the trading bloc."The end of the deficit period is already clearly visible," F.O. Licht analyst Stefan Uhlenbrock told a two-day seminar hosted by the International Sugar Organization which concluded on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - Global coffee exports fall 1.9 pct in October - ICO 

Global coffee exports fell 1.9 percent in October from the same month last year to total 9.13 million 60kg bags, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Wednesday.Robusta coffee exports in October, the first month of the 2016/17 season, were down 12.9 percent year on year at 3.02 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - California seeks long-term water savings as drought lingers 

California water regulators on Wednesday recommended tighter oversight of agricultural irrigation and a permanent ban on over-watering urban lawns, a first step toward developing a long-term conservation plan amid ongoing drought.The proposal comes as nearly two-thirds of the state heads into a fifth year of severe drought despite a wet fall and heavy rains last winter that have ameliorated conditions in many areas Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - Vietnam's Dec coffee exports seen up at 150,000 T - traders 

Coffee exports from Vietnam, the world's largest robusta producer, are forecast to jump to 150,000 tonnes (2.5 million 60-kg bags) this month as the harvest nears its end, traders said, up from 120,000 tonnes estimated for November."Along with the harvest ending early, the export volume will rise this month," a trader at a foreign firm in Ho Chi Minh City said on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.