Softs

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.
Assurance
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.

Nov 30 - Sucden sees small global sugar surplus in 2017/18 

A global sugar surplus of about two million tonnes is expected in the 2017/18 season as production rises after two years of deficit, Sucden head of research Emmanuel Jayet said on Tuesday."We are already seeing within about a year the switch to surplus," Jayet said at the International Sugar Organization's annual seminar.Jayet put the global sugar deficits in 2015/16 and 2016/17 at around five million tonnes for each season. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - U.S. says Mexico sugar trade pact may not be working 

A U.S.-Mexico sugar trade deal signed just under two years ago may not be working as intended, the U.S. Department of Commerce said in notices on Tuesday after conducting a months-long review.The United States and Mexico hammered out the trade deal in 2014 to end a months-long probe of cheap, subsidized sugar that the U.S. government decided was harming the American market. The review was requested by U.S. sugar companies, which last month asked the deal be terminated. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Brazil robusta exporter offsets volume loss with domestic sales 

Coffee exporter Tristao based in Espirito Santo, Brazil's largest robusta state where trees were hurt by drought this year, is offsetting losses in exports with high price sales on the domestic market.Marcio Candido Ferreira, sales director for Tristao, one of Brazil's top 10 robusta exporters, said the trader moved roughly 900,000 bags of coffee in 2015, with 20 percent of that going to the domestic market. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Dollar shortage to cut Sudan's white sugar imports - sugar official 

White sugar imports into Sudan are set to drop in the coming year as higher prices and a hard currency crunch hit demand, a Sudanese sugar industry official said on Tuesday.Sudan's economy has struggled since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output, a key source of foreign currency and government revenue.A dollar shortage and a ballooning black market for hard currency has made imports more costly, raising prices generally. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Glencore highest bidder in auction for distressed Brazil sugar mill - source 

Commodities trader Glencore Plc presented the highest bid in an auction for the sale of a distressed Brazilian sugar mill and is well positioned to take control of the plant, a source with direct knowledge of the process said on Monday.The Swiss commodities powerhouse offered around 350 million reais ($103 million) for the unit, topping bids by five companies that took part in the auction for the Guararapes mill currently controlled by local firm Unialco, which has filed for bankruptcy and is under court protection against creditors. Click here to read full stories. 

Nov 29 - Gunvor to pull out of agricultural futures trading 

Global commodity trading group Gunvor is set to withdraw from agricultural futures trading which the group does not view as a core activity, the company said on Monday.Gunvor's head of agriculture Oliver Abela is retiring and the agricultural desk, which trades grains and oilseeds futures contracts, will be phased out as it is regarded as a minor activity compared to Gunvor's massive crude oil, oil products and energy trading operations. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Marex sees minimal global coffee surplus in 2016/17 

Marex Spectron has forecast a marginal global surplus of 0.3 million (60-kg) bags in the 2016/17 season compared with a deficit of 2.0 million bags in 2015/16.The broker said in a report on Monday that it anticipated a surplus of 5.8 million bags of arabica coffee largely offset by a deficit of 5.6 million bags of robusta. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Brazil weighs new ethanol policy as mills focus on sugar 

The Brazilian government is preparing a program to stimulate ethanol production with the aim of curbing the country's gasoline imports, the energy minister said on Monday, at a time when local refining capacity is expected to plateau.The move comes at a moment when cane mills are maximizing sugar output at the expense of ethanol. The sweetener is giving mills better returns than ethanol as the world's sugar supplies have tightened. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Brazil cocoa output to recover in 2016/17, industry eyes expansion 

Brazil's new-crop cocoa production is poised for a recovery after a steep fall in the previous season due to drought, according to estimates from an analyst and the main local industry association.The recovery will lead local processors next year to pare back the large volume of imports that they booked this year to supply the local industry. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Brazil launches campaign to lower tariffs on instant coffee 

Brazil's instant coffee industry launched a campaign on Friday to lower tariffs in importing countries with the aim of boosting sales abroad by the world's largest exporter of soluble coffee by 50 percent over the next decade.The country's soluble coffee industry association, Abics, and Brazil's export promotion agency Apex are running the project that will have investments of 1.3 million reais ($380,000). Click here to read full stories.

Nov 25 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin for Week 21-25 November 2016 (WPB)
  Except in Sarawak, pepper price in most producing countries increased this week. After continuous decrease in the last few months pepper price in Indonesia showed an increasing trend. Last week local price of pepper in Indonesia increased marginally and this week the price increased further by 9% for black in Lampung and 2% for white in Bangka. FOB price at the sources also increased. In Vietnam, the price increased by 2-3%. Only white pepper at domestic market reported to remain unchanged. In dollar term however the price decreased marginally due to weakening of Vietnam Dong against US Dollar. In India, price increased was also recorded and In Sri Lanka the price was relatively stable. In China, the price tended to increase also. On an average however, this week’s price is still slightly lower.
  Incredible price changes were reported in Sarawak. During last week, local price of black and white pepper decreased by 14% and 11% respectively, whereas price at other source tended to increase. This week the price decreased further by 10% for black and 4% for white. Pepper prices in Sarawak also expected to be increasing trend because no crop from any producing country is expected until January next year. In addition to the real decrease a weakening of Malaysian Ringgit against US Dollar is also contribute to the decrease in pepper prices.

Nov 25 - Pepper's Import by France (WPB)
  Pepper imported by France is increasing year by year. In 2015 France imported 10,200 Mt of pepper (7,520 Mt of whole and 2,680 Mt of ground pepper), an increase of around 600 Mt (7%) from 9,600 Mt in 2014. In 2016 import by France is estimated to increase further as indicated by total pepper imported up to September 2016.
  During January - September 2016, France has imported 9,170 Mt (6,863 Mt of whole and 2,307 Mt of ground pepper), recording an increase of 19% when compared with import of 7,674 Mt (5,549 Mt of whole and 2,125 Mt of ground pepper) during same period in 2015. Vietnam was the main supplier of pepper for France, replacing Brazil to the second position. Out of 9,170 Mt of pepper imported by France a volume of 2,320 Mt (25%) was from Vietnam; while Brazil supplied 1,980 Mt (22%). Indonesia also supplied a significant quantity of 1,700 Mt (19%) into France during the first nine months of this year.

Nov 24 - Green Pool lowers 2016/17 global sugar deficit forecast 

The global sugar market faces a deficit in the 2016/17 season of 5.28 million tonnes, Green Pool Commodity Specialists said on Wednesday, smaller than the 5.80 million tonne shortfall they forecast in September.Green Pool said the revision was driven largely by a lower estimate for consumption due to high global prices. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - U.S. again postpones decision on U.S.-Mexico sugar trade pact review 

The U.S. Department of Commerce has again extended the deadline to issue preliminary results of its review of a sugar trade agreement with Mexico from 2014, according to a notice published on Wednesday.The Department has extended the time period for issuing the preliminary results by six days until Nov. 29, according to a memo posted on its website. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - China Oct sugar imports drop 70 pct on high international prices 

China's October sugar imports dropped around 70 percent from the year before to their lowest level since February at 110,000 tonnes, as high global prices curbed purchases.That was also down sharply on arrivals of 500,000 tonnes in the previous month, customs data showed on Thursday.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - EU considering halving crop-based biofuels by 2030 - draft 

The European Commission is considering halving the maximum amount of crop-based biofuels used in transport after 2020 over concerns they increase rather than reduce carbon emissions, according to a draft seen by Reuters.While they reduce reliance on fossil fuels, crop-based biofuels are made from agricultural products such as sugar or rapeseed oil that could otherwise be used for human consumption or animal feed, leading to criticism that they cause indirect changes in land use. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Euronext pushes back EU sugar futures launch to Q1 2017 

Euronext  is planning to launch its European Union sugar futures contract in the first quarter of 2017, the financial market operator said on Tuesday, after previously targeting a launch towards the end of this year.The new launch period, indicated on its website, fitted Euronext's intention to have a launch close to the abolition of the EU's sugar quota system at the end of September 2017, a spokeswoman told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Ivory Coast includes Nestle in new cocoa, coffee export licences 

Ivory Coast has granted cocoa and coffee export licences for the 2016/17 season to 12 additional companies and cooperatives including Nestle, a document from the Coffee and Cocoa Council regulator showed on Tuesday.The new cocoa season in the world's top cocoa grower opened on Oct. 1 and 93 companies, including other foreign firms, and cooperatives already had licences for this season. The licences do not specify volumes, with exporters bidding on these in a separate auction system. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Spice of life: Saffron harvest offers jobs, opportunity in Afghanistan 

It is early morning in a saffron field outside the western Afghan city of Herat and dozens of women are harvesting the delicate purple flowers, working quickly to gather as many as they can before the sun gets too hot. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, selling for as much as $1,200-$1,800 a kilogram, and has long been seen as an alternative crop to opium poppies for poor farmers in a country struggling with the legacy of decades of war and lawlessness.

Nov 22 - Light rain and sun in Ivory Coast strengthen cocoa crop 

Light rain and hot weather in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions last week will strengthen the October to March main crop and help produce large, good quality beans through the beginning of next year, farmers said on Monday.The dry season has just begun in the world's top cocoa producer. Farmers are closely watching for the arrival of the dry harmattan wind, which sweeps down from the Sahara some time between December and March and can sharply reduce crop yields. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - ISO trims 2016/17 global sugar deficit forecast 

The International Sugar Organization on Friday trimmed its forecast for an anticipated global sugar deficit in the 2016/17 season to 6.19 million tonnes from a previous projection of 7.05 million tonnes.The inter-governmental body, in a quarterly update, also estimated there would be a deficit of 4.83 million tonnes in 2015/16. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Tax breaks to spur Ivory Coast exporters to process cashews 

Ivory Coast, the world's leading producer of cashew nuts, has added bonus payments to existing tax breaks to drive a rapid expansion in local processing of the crop, company and government officials said on Friday.Already the world's top cocoa grower, Ivory Coast more than doubled its cashew output from 350,000 tonnes in 2009 to over 702,000 tonnes last year when it surpassed India in terms of raw production. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Speculators switch to bearish ICE cocoa stance - CFTC 

Speculators switched to a bearish stance in cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Nov. 15 and reduced their record bullish arabica coffee position, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The dealers cut their net long position in raw sugar contracts to the lowest since May and upped a bullish stance in cotton futures and options, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 18 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 14-18 November 2016 (WPB)
The market showed a mixed response. In India and Sri Lanka, prices decreased; while in Lampung and Bangka were stable.  In India, Malabar black decreased by INR 5 per kg. I dollar terms the price decreased by 2%. It is understood that harvesting season in India is coming soon and this likely one of the factor influencing price trend In India. In Sri Lanka the price decreased marginally by 1%. Significant decrease was recorded in Sarawak. Local price of Sarawak pepper decreased by 14% and 11% respectively for black and white pepper. FOB price decreased by 5 and 4% respectively. In addition to the real decrease of Sarawak pepper a weakening of Malaysian Ringgit against US Dollar was contributing for the sharp decrease.

Nov 18 - Pepper's Export from Indonesia (WPB)
  In 2015 Indonesia exported 58,075 Mt. of pepper (37,869 Mt. of black and 20,206 Mt of white pepper). The export recorded a substantial increase of around 67% from the export of 34,730 Mt in 2014. The significant increase was possible due to good harvest resulted in 2015. Export of black pepper recorded a fantastic increase of 94% from 19,500 Mt in 2014; while for white pepper an increase of 33% was recorded, from 15,233 Mt in 2014.
  In 2016, export of pepper from Indonesia is estimated to decrease significantly, following a significant decrease of production this year, particularly black pepper in Lampung. Indication of the decrease is shown in table below. During January July 2016, Indonesia exported 17,400 Mt of pepper (10,550 Mt of black and 6,850 Mt of white pepper) as against 20,900 Mt (12,700 Mt of black and 8,200 Mt of white pepper) recording a decrease of 17%. Substantial decrease of export was recorded in July 2016, where pepper exported from Indonesia was only 1,741 Mt as against 6,198 Mt. This reflected supply of pepper from recent crop is not as good as expected earlier. Some source reported that that export in August, September and October is also significantly lower from last year.  
  It is interesting to note that in 2015 Vietnam was the main destination for Indonesia, replacing the traditional market, the United States to the second position. Around 40% (22,700 Mt) of pepper from Indonesia was exported to Vietnam in 2015. In 2016 export of pepper from Indonesia to Vietnam decreased significantly. Up to July only 19% was exported to Vietnam.

Nov 18 - World sugar deficit seen narrowing, stocks at 6-yr low -USDA 

The U.S. government on Thursday sharply reduced its projection for a global sugar supply shortfall in the current 2016/17 year, but said prices are still likely to continue to be high as inventories fall to a six-year low and demand hits a record high. The world sugar supply deficit will narrow in the current 2016/17 crop year to 2.6 million tonnes from 6.7 million tonnes a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its biannual sugar report on Thursday. That was down from a May projection of a deficit of 4.3 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 18 - EU sugar beet harvest going well, larger output expected

The European Union's sugar beet harvest is progressing well and a sharp rise in sugar production is expected, experts said on Thursday. German commodity analysts F.O. Licht estimate EU refined sugar production in the current 2016-17 season will be 15.3 million tonnes, up from 13.8 million tonnes last year and excluding sugar beet used for bioethanol. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - ICE December white sugar delivery largest in nine years 

The expiry of the ICE December white sugar contract saw the largest delivery in more than nine years with 535,850 tonnes tendered, exchange data showed on Wednesday. The bulk of the sugar, 404,250 tonnes, was tendered with a load port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - Late-October sugar output in Brazil meets expectations

Brazilian mills in the main center-south region produced 2.05 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of October, slightly below the previous fortnight's volume but in line with market expectations. Sugar companies in the region crushed 31.75 million tonnes of cane in late October, compared with 32 million tonnes early in the month, according to figures that cane industry group Unica released on Wednesday. Ethanol output fell to 1.3 billion liters from 1.4 billion liters. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - India acts to help farmers hit by black money crackdown

India's government on Thursday announced immediate steps to ease a cash crunch for farmers amid widespread criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's shock decision to withdraw high-value bills in the middle of the sowing and wedding season. Farmers have been left stranded as traders have no cash to pay for their produce, while millions of Indians lined up outside banks and post offices for the ninth day to exchange old banknotes or withdraw rationed money from their accounts. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - Ivory Coast allows cocoa exporters to roll over 2015/16 contracts 

Ivory Coast will allow cocoa exporters to roll over last season's unexecuted export contracts into the current 2016/17 season, according to a document from the marketing board, the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC), seen by Reuters. Exporters said the measure was intended to help companies avoid defaulting on contracts and could involve between 60,000 and 120,000 tonnes of beans. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - La Niña cycle halfway complete - what's next? –Braun

According to the latest forecasts, 2016/17 should be stamped in history as an official La Niña season. And although its relative weakness has somewhat downplayed its existence, La Niña is already halfway through its run. La Niña is the cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which is very closely monitored by commodity markets as ENSO is one of the most reliable long-term indicators of weather patterns on the global scale. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Vietnam Coffee Supply Delayed But Ample (Dow Jones)
The new Vietnamese coffee harvest is arriving in ports late -- but there is no shortage of coffee, say European coffee traders. Beans typically begin arriving in ports for shipment by early November, but the beans have been delayed by up to two weeks, say traders, after heavy rainfall during the rainy season made transport difficult. However, "fundamentally, there's coffee everywhere,"  says one trader, while another says roaster's old stocks in Ho Chi Minh City remain ample. The intensity of the rainfall had initially caused worries that the crop could be damaged, but traders say it is simply delayed.

Nov 16 - Robusta Shortage Pushes Up Whole Coffee Market (Dow Jones)
A shortage of robusta coffee is pushing up the coffee market as a whole and keeping traders in Brazil bullish, according to a European coffee roaster. Brazilian roasters will be short at least four million bags of robusta coffee this season, according to the roaster, and because of an import ban on robusta beans in the country, they are forced to buy lower-grades of arabica, which is typically a higher priced coffee. That demand is pushing up prices for every grade of coffee domestically, the roaster says. "There's this contagion effect from what appears to be an impact only on the robusta," the roaster says.

Nov 16 - Cocoa Hits 9-Month Low (Dow Jones)
London-traded cocoa closes at a fresh 9-month low, as expectations of a surplus crop this season continued to drag prices down. The March cocoa contract closed down 0.05% at GBP1,991 per metric ton, at a GBP2 per ton premium to the May contract. The contract is now down nearly 10% in the last month. However, some traders warned they felt the market had been oversold and that the industry wasn't yet well covered, and could provide some support to the market in the coming days.

Nov 16 - Will Ivory Coast Cocoa Exporters Default? (Dow Jones)
Cocoa traders are still waiting for signs of if or when local exporters in Ivory Coast will default, as the market sinks further and widens their expected losses. London cocoa prices have been falling swiftly, and are now trading at a fresh nine-month low. This is bad news for many local Ivorian traders, who set their prices late last year, when prices were at substantial highs in euros, and did not hedge. Now, they are forced to accept enormous losses or default, and if they default, the country's cocoa board, known as the CCC, must reissue those beans on the market again -- likely forcing prices even further down on the sudden supply, and potentially worsening the losses for the local industry. "The CCC is really between a rock and a hard place," says one European trader.

Nov 15 - Cuban sugar industry plays catch-up as first mills open 

The first of 54 Cuban sugar mills open this week as the industry aims to recover its former output of 1.9 million tonnes of raw sugar, provincial media reported, after a disastrous 2015-2016 harvest of 1.5 million tonnes to 1.6 million tonnes. “The 2016-2017 harvest will begin in Matanzas with the Jesus Rabi sugar mill this Tuesday,” said the province’s Communist Party weekly, Giron. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - Speculators lift bullish arabica stance to record - CFTC

Speculators raised their bullish arabica coffee stance to a record in the week to Nov. 8, but sharply reduced it in cocoa to a 3-1/2-year low, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Monday. Traders trimmed their net long position in cotton futures and options, but boosted it in sugar for the first time in six weeks, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - Rain in late Nov may slow Vietnam's coffee harvest - forecast 

Light rain is still expected in most of Vietnam's key coffee growing provinces in the next two weeks before the dry season begins, which could slow the ongoing coffee harvest, a state forecaster said on Tuesday. "In the provinces of Daklak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong scattered rain is still forecast as the dry season arrives this year later than usual," said Pham Vu Tuan, an official at the weather centre for the Central Highlands. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - Nigerian cocoa farmgate prices surge on weak naira - farmers 

Nigerian cocoa farmgate prices have jumped 39 percent since April hitting an all-time high of 1.25 million naira ($4,111) per tonne this month due to a weak naira and panic buying caused by fears of a drier weather, farmers said on Friday. The main crop in the world's fourth-largest grower traditionally runs from October to March, but this year's harvest started late in November as farmers struggled with drier weather affecting the size of their pods. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 11 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin for Week 7-11 Nov 2016 (WPB)
  The market showed a mixed response during the week, with limited activity. In Vietnam the price has shown an increase both in local and as well as in FOB price after continuous decrease in the last few months. An increase is also recorded in Sri Lanka and Bangka. The price increase prevailed during the week reflected limited supply at the sources.
  In India the price has decreased during the week by 2% after reaching at a high level for the last few months in 2016. Pepper harvest in India which will take place soon in upcoming months, may be one of reason for the decrease. In Sarawak and Lampung, the price had also decreased at different levels.  In addition to the real price decrease prevailed during the week, a weakening of local currencies in these countries have also contributed to the decrease in price. In Sarawak, local price of black and white pepper decreased by 11% and 9% respectively; while in Lampung local price decreased by 2%

Nov 11 - Pepper's Import by Japan (WPB)
  Japan, one of the most important consuming countries for pepper in East Asia, imported pepper at a volume of around 8,000 to 9,000 Mt annually. During 2015 Japan imported 9,100 Mt of pepper, comprising of 5,300 Mt of whole pepper and 3,800 Mt of ground pepper, as against 8,800 Mt (5,200 Mt of whole and 3,600 Mt of ground pepper) imported during the year 2014. During January - September 2016, total import of pepper into Japan was 6,500 Mt (3,800 Mt of whole and 2,700 Mt of ground pepper). When compared to import in the same period last year, a decrease of around 310 Mt (5%) was recorded. Malaysia remained the most important source of whole pepper for Japan in 2016, supplying 38%, followed by Indonesia 33%. Vietnam also supplied significant quantity of 21% into Japan in the first nine months of the year.

Nov 10 - U.S. biofuels credit prices whipsaw after surprise Trump victory 

The niche market for paper credits to comply with the U.S. biofuels program jerked lower on Wednesday in response to the surprise presidential victory of Republican Donald Trump, perceived to be favorable to oil companies. A Trump administration could signify change for the country's controversial Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the more than decade-old policy that's been a bedrock of two presidential administrations. Though he expressed support for ethanol along the campaign trail, the Republican is seen as being heavily in favor of fossil fuels and reduced regulation. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 10 - Ivory Coast 2016/17 cocoa grinding up 2.5 pct by end Oct 

Ivory Coast cocoa grinders had processed 41,000 tonnes of beans by the end of October since the 2016/17 season began on Oct. 1, up from 40,000 tonnes in the same period last season, GEPEX exporters' association data showed on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 10 - Brazilian firm idles ethanol plant to divert cane to sugar output 

Brazilian energy company Usaçúcar will suspend operations at its ethanol unit São Tomé in southern Paraná state and divert the cane from the fields around the installation to other mills that can produce sugar as well as ethanol, the company said on Wednesday. Usaçúcar, a private company that owns 10 mills in Paraná and is building a new plant in neighboring Mato Grosso do Sul state, said the superior returns the company was getting from sugar production was behind the shutdown of the plant. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 09 - Ivory Coast holds off on 2017/18 cocoa sales as prices slide

Ivory Coast's cocoa marketing board, the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC), is holding off on further forward sales of the 2017/18 harvest in the world's top grower amid a slide in world prices, CCC and finance ministry sources said on Tuesday. London  and New York  cocoa futures have been in decline since August and have fallen sharply since the beginning of November. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - COFCO plans expansion in Brazil's sugar cane industry 

Chinese food processor and commodities trader COFCO Agri is looking at opportunities to expand in the Brazilian cane milling industry, Marcelo de Andrade, the company's global head for sugar, told reporters on Monday. COFCO is not the only Chinese company investing heavily in Brazil. State Grid and Three Gorges have been extremely active in recent years, buying local assets in the electricity sector. Chinese companies have also snapped up Brazilian miners and grain processors. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - Brazil says Thailand's proposal on sugar might avoid WTO case

Thai sugar and cane producers are working on a proposal to change government policies for the sector, seeking to eliminate the risk of a trade dispute with Brazil, a Brazilian sugar industry representative said on Monday. Government officials and sugar industry representatives from both countries met Thursday in Brasilia to discuss the case. A formal proposal for changes in Thai policies for the sector should be ready this month, said Pedro Mizutani, chairman of cane industry group Unica. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers welcome rain and sun 

Plentiful sun and rain last week in Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions will improve the quality and size of the main crop, farmers said on Monday. Harvesting and marketing of the October to March main crop is underway in the world's top cocoa producer, with large quantities of beans being harvested and delivered to port. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 07 - Wet spring revives Brazil's parched coffee, soy, sugar cane crops

Brazil's soy, coffee and sugar cane crops are off to a good start to the season that will harvest in 2017, after wet spring weather breathed life into farms that have struggled with drought over the past few years. The early start to the rainy season could boost shipments by Brazil, the world's largest exporter of soybeans, coffee and sugar, as well as the No. 2 exporter of corn. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 07 - U.S. again delays preliminary decision on Mexico sugar trade pact 

The U.S. government has again extended its deadline to issue preliminary results of a review of a 2014 sugar trade pact with Mexico, it said on Friday, as uncertainty over flows between the two countries continues to roil the market. The Department of Commerce said in a notice it is extending its deadline by 2-1/2 weeks to Nov. 23 to issue its preliminary decision on a review of the agreements, which ended a trade battle with Mexico. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 07 - Speculators raise bullish coffee stance to near record – CFTC

Speculators upped a bullish position in coffee to just below February 2008's record high in the week to Nov. 1, as they cut a net long stance in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. for a fifth straight week, government data showed on Friday. The dealers raised a bullish position in cocoa futures and options andreduced a cotton net long position, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.Click here to read full stories.

Nov 07 - Egypt sets local wheat price, slashes sugar import tariffs

Egypt's Supply Minister said on Friday his government would buy local wheat in the 2017 season at a set price of 450 Egyptian pounds ($30.00) per ardeb (150 kilos), ending speculation that a reform of the subsidy it gives wheat growers would take place. The decision to fix local wheat purchasing prices comes one day after Egypt's Central Bank floated the Egyptian pound as the government seeks to secure a $12 billion loan from the IMF. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 07 - Ghana's cocoa purchases totalled 200,000 tonnes in October

Cocoa purchases declared to Ghana's industry regulator Cocobod amounted to around 200,000 tonnes in October, the first month of the 2016/17 season, two senior government sources in the cocoa sector said on Friday. The officials gave no comparative figure from the previous season. However, the pace of the harvest, which opened on Oct. 1 with a 12 percent increase in the farmers' price, was roughly on a par with the estimated output in neighbouring Ivory Coast, the world's leading grower. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 04 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, 31 Oct/4 November 2016 - WPB
The market of pepper was very quiet during the week and price decreased further at almost all origins. A significant decrease of black pepper prices were recorded in local market in Lampung and Vietnam by 8% and 7%, respectively. Trading activities however was very limited, since farmers in Lampung continued to hold onto their limited stock, expecting a better price. In Sarawak, local price of black and white pepper decreased by 5% and for FOB price decreased by 2%.  In Sri Lanka a marginal decrease of 1% was also recorded this week. White pepper prices in Bangka and China were relatively stable.

Nov 04 - Pepper's Import by the UNITED STATES - WPB
The United States of America imported 80,000 Mt of pepper in 2015 valued at US$ 752 million, consisting of 53,000 Mt black, 5,500 Mt white and 21,500 Mt of ground pepper, recording an increase of 17% in quantity from 69,000 Mt worth US$ 563 million ( 49,000 Mt black, 5,000 Mt white and 15,000 Mt of ground pepper) in 2014. A substantial increase of 45% was recorded in ground pepper imports. Unit value of pepper imported by the United States in 2015 was US$ 9,400 per Mt as against US$ 8,200 per Mt in 2014. High import while high prices prevail reflected the high real demand for pepper in the country.  In 2016, the import is estimated to remain high with a marginal decrease as indicated by total import achieved during January to August this year. During the first eight month of the year United States has imported 52,340 Mt as against 53,700 Mt of pepper in the same period last year, showing a marginal decrease of 3%. Vietnam was the main source, supplying 55% of total pepper import into the United States in January to August 2016.

Nov 04 - Rain, flooding expected to hit Vietnam coffee belt 

Torrential rain is forecast to continue in Vietnam's biggest coffee growing provinces in coming days, government reports said on Friday, potentially further disrupting harvesting of the 2016/2017 crop. That has been stoking worries about supply from the world's top producer of the robusta variety of coffee, with rain already hitting harvests earlier this week, while drought earlier in the season could also crimp output.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 03 - Kenya coffee output likely to rise 4.4 pct in 2016/17 crop year

Kenya is likely to produce 47,000 metric tonnes of coffee in the 2016/17 (Oct-Sept) crop year, a rise of 4.4 percent on a year earlier as harvests from newly planted areas in the west offset the impact of dry conditions, the regulator said on Wednesday. Kenya is a small coffee producer, accounting for just 1 percent of the world's annual crop, but roasters seek out its quality arabica beans to blend them with coffee from other regions. Coffee is one of Kenya's main foreign exchange earners. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 03 - Egypt's sugar shortage a window on economic policy confusion

Cairo grocer Bakr Atef has stopped selling sugar since authorities seized his stocks last month, accusing him of hoarding as a growing economic crisis angers Egyptians and raises fears of street protests. "They are coming and taking any quantity they find. Even if you are selling just 10 kilos, they'll take it ... if they do this again and I lose my goods, it will shut my shop," said Atef, who insists he has done nothing wrong. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - China sells first batch of sugar reserves at bumper prices – sources

China sold its first batch of state sugar reserves in five years on Friday at a 15 percent premium to the minimum price set by the government on buoyant demand from buyers, two sources who took part in the auction said. Prices were higher than market participants had expected as food manufacturers snapped up shipments from the reserve because of falling domestic output in the world's top consumer of sugar, analysts said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - Ivory Coast to reserve 400,000 T from cocoa mid-crop for grinders 

Ivory Coast will sell 400,000 tonnes of its 2016/17 cocoa mid-crop harvest exclusively to locally based grinders via special auctions beginning in January, marketing board and finance ministry sources said on Tuesday. The world's top cocoa grower typically produces around 400,000 tonnes of cocoa during the April-to-September mid-crop, but it saw output drop to around 316,000 tonnes last season due to poor weather.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - Honduras coffee exports up sharply in October on leftover sales 

Honduran coffee exports rose more than three-fold in October compared to the same month last year, largely due to shipments of leftover beans from the previous season, top coffee exporters association AHDECAFE said on Tuesday. Exports from Central America's top producer reached 84,088 60-kg bags in October, the first month of the new 2016-17 season, compared to 19,734 bags during the year-ago period, according to data from national coffee institute IHCAFE. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - Ivory Coast weather good in cocoa regions ahead of dry season 

Good rainfall across most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions will help trees remain healthy through the upcoming dry season and ensure good bean quality into February, farmers said on Monday. The world's top cocoa producer is wrapping up the first month of its October-to-March main crop. And while harvesting got off to a slow start, volumes are now picking up. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - Brazil center-south cane crush, sugar output falls as crop wanes 

Brazil's center-south cane crush fell to 32 million tonnes in the first half of October versus 42.26 million tonnes in the previous fortnight as more mills finish operations for the 2016/17 crop, cane industry group Unica said on Monday. Mills in the main Brazil cane belt produced 2.24 million tonnes of sugar in the first half of October compared with 2.95 million tonnes late in September. Ethanol production fell to 1.4 billion liters from 1.8 billion previously. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - Global coffee exports rise 1.1 pct in September – ICO 

Global coffee exports rose 1.1 percent in September from the same month last year to total 8.99 million 60kg bags, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Monday. For the full 2015/16 season, which began on Oct. 1 last year, coffee exports were down 0.7 percent at 111.83 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - Speculators raise bullish coffee stance to 8-1/2-year high 

Speculators raised their net long position in arabica coffee contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to the highest in 8-1/2 years in the week to Oct. 25 as prices rallied to a 1-1/2-year top, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. They reduced their bullish sugar position for the fourth straight week, cut their net long stance in cotton, but raised it in cocoa futures and options, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - South Africa reports first Tomato Leaf Miner outbreak

Africa has detected its first outbreak of Tomato Leaf Miner, a pest originally from South America which can ruin tomato and potato crops, the department of agriculture said on Friday. The highly destructive insect feeds on leaves, stems and fruits of plants and can cause widespread crop infection. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 28 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 24-28 Oct16 - WPB
- Except in Sri Lanka, price at most producing countries decreased with relatively stable price reported in India and Malaysia. In Indonesia and Vietnam, the prices were reported to have further decreased.  
- Market in Lampung and Bangka is very quiet during the week, since farmers are not interested to bring pepper to market at current prevailing low price level. They release a minimum quantity only to meet immediate cash needs. It was reported that currently heavy rains accompanied with strong winds occur almost every day in Lampung and Bangka. It is estimated that this situation will continue until November, even until end of the year. If this climate continues, 2017 pepper crop in Indonesia is estimated to be significantly lower than projected earlier. In the last 44th IPC Session, overall production of pepper in Indonesia in 2017 was projected at the level of 74,500 Mt.

Oct 28 - Pepper Export from Vietnam - WPB
Production and export of pepper in Vietnam would be higher this year. In the last 44th Session of IPC held in August 2016, it was reported that production of pepper in Vietnam in 2016 would be 140,000 Mt. Together with import from other sources, it is estimated a volume of 150,000 Mt of pepper will be exported from Vietnam. During January to August 2016 Vietnam has shipped 136,000Mt valued at US$ US$ 1.1 billion as against 105,000 Mt worth US$ 987.7 million in the same period lat year, recording an increase of 30% in quantity and 12% in value. Highest exports achieved this year were in March and April 2015. Observing the situation, it is estimated that total export of pepper from Vietnam this year would be easily exceed the volume estimated earlier.

Oct 28 - Brazil crystal sugar touches new all-time high 

A 50-kg bag of crystal sugar reached 100.68 reais ($32.12) at the close of business in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, an all-time high as the cane harvest ends earlier than expected and the world heads into the second year of deficit in the sweetener. According to Cepea/Esalq, a University of Sao Paulo price discovery center, the bag of crystal sugar rose 0.3 percent from Tuesday's value of 100.37, the previous record and the first time a bag surpassed the 100-real mark since the institution started to collect prices in May, 2003. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 28 - Ivory Coast main cocoa crop seen at 1.27 mln-1.3 mln T - exporters 

Top cocoa producer Ivory Coast's main crop is set to increase in the 2016-2017 season to between 1.27 million and 1.3 million tonnes, four exporters said on Thursday. The previous main crop was 1.25 million tonnes according to the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC). Click here to read full stories.

Oct 28 - Asia coffee quotations unchanged; Concerns over rain in Vietnam

Discounts of Vietnamese and Indonesian coffee were steady on Thursday, as rain continued to pose a threat to Vietnam's harvest, while dwindling stocks kept Indonesian coffee trade dull, traders said. Rain in recent weeks have delayed the maturing process of coffee cherries in the Central Highlands of the world's biggest robusta producer, raising concerns over supply in the next few weeks. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 27 - China to auction 200,000 tonnes of sugar from reserves on Oct 28 

China will hold the first sale of sugar from its reserves this year on Friday,said a commerce ministry notice. The notice, posted on the website of the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center on Thursday, said the government would auction 200,000 tonnes of white sugar, processed this year, in the first sale. Beijing had previously said the floor price for the sugar would be 6,000 yuan ($885.33) per tonne.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 27 - Egypt's Edita says confiscated sugar released, factory to resume operations 

Edita Food Industries, Egypt's maker of Twinkies and one of the country's largest food producers, said on Wednesday sugar seized at one of its plants by government authorities had been released and operations would resume within hours. The company said on Monday its sweet factory in Beni Suef had been shut for three days after authorities seized its sugar.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 27 - Ivory Coast cocoa output to recover on better weather 

Ivory Coast's cocoa output should recover to its normal level this season thanks to more favourable weather, the directer general of the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said on Wednesday. "Ivory Coast should regain its normal level of production this year," Massandje Toure-Litse said, after dry weather last year lowered production to 1.565 million tonnes, from an annual average of 1.8 million. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 27 - El Salvador coffee exports fall 17.3 pct during 2015/16 harvest

Coffee exports from El Salvador fell 17.3 percent during the 2015/16 harvest due to a prolonged drought that has affected production, the Salvadoran Coffee Council said on Tuesday. Shipments abroad totaled 485,046 60-kilo bags of coffee, down from 586,661 bags in the previous harvest. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 27 - Tocom Rubber Futures End Higher on Shanghai Gains, Weaker Yen (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices rebound from losses to end higher, supported by gains in Shanghai rubber futures and a weaker yen. "An overnight gain in Shanghai markets prompted investors to unwind some short positions," says Kaname Gokon, an analyst at Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. A rise in crude-oil prices after overnight losses on a surprise decline in U.S. inventories also lent support to prices, he adds. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for the new April delivery ends up 2.9 yen at Y181.9/kg ($1.74).

Oct 25 - EU crop monitor trims maize yield again, lifts sugar beet 

The European Union's crop monitoring service on Monday lowered its yield forecast for this year's EU maize harvest for the third month in a row due to the impact of summer drought which also disrupted rapeseed sowing for next year's harvest. Other crops, however, were less affected by dryness, the MARS service said, raising its yield estimates for the sugar beet and sunflower harvests and pointing to reasonable progress in winter cereal sowing. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 25 - Vietnam Coffee-Sales to pick up on high prices; Discounts widen 

A jump in Vietnamese coffee prices to three-year highs is boosting sales, but recent rains in the Central Highlands could delay next month's harvest and see some farmers miss out on the current price rally, traders said on Tuesday. Rising sales by Vietnam, the world's biggest robusta producer, since the Oct. 1 start of the 2016/17 season could help ease concern over a global coffee deficit and trim recent price gains. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 25 - Ivory Coast weather paves way for healthy cocoa main crop 

Regular rain mixed with sun in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa-growing regions will help produce a longer and larger main crop than last year, farmers said on Monday, despite lingering damage due to disease. Harvesting and marketing of the October-to-March main crop is under way in the world's top cocoa producer. Beans are drying in villages and growing numbers of cars are transporting them out of the countryside. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 25 - Peru coffee group expects harvest to expand 25 pct in 2016, 2017 

Peru's main coffee association said on Monday that it expects the country's coffee crop to rise by 25 percent to 7.5 million quintales next year, following a similar rise this year. The National Coffee Board expects 6 million quintales, or 46-kilo bags, from this year's crop as farms recover from unfavorable weather and pests in previous years. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Britain's cane sugar refiner sees only upside to hard Brexit

Once a week, a bulk freighter sails up the River Thames to a refinery in the docks of east London to offload tonnes of brown raw cane sugar - just over half the traffic prior to tighter EU rules introduced in 2009. Now, the near 140-year-old Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery says it can see light at the end of the tunnel as Brexit offers the hope of a repeal of European sugar legislation it says is harming its business. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Egyptian authorities confiscate sugar at country's largest food producer

Egyptian authorities seized sugar stocks at Edita Food Industries, one of the country's largest food producers, on Saturday, a move that may force the company to suspend its operations, Edita's chairman told Reuters. At supermarkets across the country sugar has all but vanished, prompting media talk of a crisis and pushing the state to rapidly increase imports despite an acute dollar shortage and soaring global prices of the sweetener.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Tereos starts talks with Petrobras to buy rest of Brazil sugar business

France's Tereos has started talks to acquire Petroleo Brasileiro SA's 45.9 percent minority stake in their joint venture Guarani, as Brazil's state-owned oil firm proceeds with plans to quit its biofuel activities. Petrobras last month announced a 25 percent cut in planned investments to reduce its debts and revive investor confidence sapped by a corruption scandal, including a commitment to pull out of the biofuel sector. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 21 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 17-21 October 2016 (WPB)
- The market showed a mixed response during the week. In Vietnam and Lampung, local prices of black pepper decreased marginally, while in Sri Lanka increased. In India and Sarawak the prices were reported stable. In the case of white pepper, the price has decreased in Bangka and China. Stable price of white pepper as recorded in Sarawak. Currently, activity in the market was limited. Less demand seems to be the main reason for the situation. Although pepper harvest in Lampung has over and clearly resulted lower output, buyers are still reluctant to extend coverage, expecting to get more competitive price from Brazil which is now in the peak of harvesting season.

Oct 21 - Pepper's export from Malaysia (WPB)
- In the last 44th Session of IPC it was reported that production and export of pepper from Malaysia is estimated to slightly increase this year. However, up to August (January-August 2016) total export of pepper from Malaysia was only 7,110 Mt or decreased by 25% when compared to export of 9,550 Mt achieved in the same period in last year. Exports in the first five months of this year were relatively stagnant and small at the level of around 700 Mt. per month. In June, July and August 2016 export from Sarawak increased following new material from this year harvest has arrived in the market. It is expected that export of pepper to remain better in the remaining months of this year to achieve its target of higher export. Unfortunately price in the last few months has decreased, resulted a limited activity in the market

Oct 21 - Ivorian cocoa quality improves since start of season, beans small 

Cocoa arriving at top producer Ivory Coast's ports since the start of the season this month has been of much better quality than during the mid-crop though beans are still small, buyers and exporters said on Thursday. The April to September mid-crop, hit hard by months of dry weather, was marked by high rejection rates due to acid levels well above norms and small bean size.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 21 - N. American Q3 cocoa grind up slightly, down for 2015/16 

North American cocoa grindings rose less than expected in the third quarter of 2016 but fell to a four-year low for the 2015/16 crop year, data from the National Confectioners Association showed on Thursday, amid weak demand. For the July-September period, cocoa bean processing in Canada, the United States and Mexico rose a slight 0.15 percent from a year ago to 124,412 tonnes, NCA data showed, below expectations of a roughly 2 to 3 percent increase. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 20 - Sweet paradox: India's drought-stricken farmers plant thirstiest crop 

Despite pleas from the government not to, Indian farmers like Santosh Wagh went right back to planting sugar cane as soon as the first nourishing monsoon rains brought water to his drought-stricken region of central India. For growers like Wagh, a 35-year old from the Marathwada region in the west of India's Maharashtra state, sugar cane has two attributes that make planting the crop lucrative - hardiness and state policies that ensure higher returns. These farmers sow the cane even as its outsized water demands relative to other crops threaten to plunge this traditionally arid region back into a drought. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 20 - Egypt cenbank allocates $1.8 bln to build 6-month strategic goods stock - minister 

Egypt's central bank has allocated $1.8 billion to ensure six months of reserves in all strategic goods, Supply Minister Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh said on Wednesday, after widespread sugar shortages prompted talk of an impending food crisis. Egypt already has five months’ worth of wheat and vegetable oil reserves and would ensure that Egyptians receive a steady supply of essential foods, Sheikh said at a news conference. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 20 - Large Afghan pomegranate crop threatened by lack of markets, farmers say 

Farmers in Afghanistan's fertile south harvested a bumper crop of deep red pomegranates this year, but they say barriers to international trade in the landlocked country means much of their fruit may go to waste or be sold too cheaply. The obstacles to fruit exporters, who accounted for more than a quarter of all Afghan exports in 2014, have posed a serious threat to one of the few functioning parts of Afghanistan's economy, struggling to emerge from decades of war. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Funds long on sugar curb trading houses' hedging appetite - Sucden

Funds, who are bullish on sugar and have amassed massive long positions in the commodity, are squeezing trading houses operating in Brazil which have had to cover large margin calls on their hedging operations, French trading group Sucden said on Tuesday. Trading houses, who extend capital to local mills in exchange for their sugar, traditionally hedge their currency and sugar price risks on the futures market. They are being forced to limit taking up hedges that prices will fall by hedge funds which are pushing up the price of sugar. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Shelves go bare in Egypt as soaring sugar prices catch government off guard

Borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbour has rarely been so contentious in Egypt.At supermarkets across the country sugar has all but vanished, prompting media talk of a crisis and pushing the state to rapidly increase imports despite an acute dollar shortage and soaring global prices of the sweetener. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Stronger-than-expected La Niña may be brewing - Braun

Many have doubted forecasts calling for the onset of the first La Niña in almost five years, believing that its failure to materialize in convincing fashion last summer - as originally predicted - means that it may be off the table for 2016-17. But in recent weeks, the oceans and atmosphere have been pulling everything into place to facilitate a potentially stronger La Niña than previously thought, so those who follow commodities markets may want to take a second look. Last Thursday, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center reissued the La Niña watch that was removed in early September. The watch indicates that conditions are favorable for the phenomenon’s development within the next six months. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Brazil's 2017-18 cane crop poised for drop - Unica

Brazil's main center-south cane belt will likely turn out a smaller crop next season, despite a bright market outlook for sugar, an industry group said on Tuesday, as the lack of investment in fields in recent years takes its toll on the crop's potential. Antonio Padua Rodrigues, technical director of Brazilian cane industry group Unica, said it is clear that the region will not be able to raise production next year, even under good weather conditions. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 18 - Brazil to boost sugar output, ethanol imports next season - Datagro 

Brazil is expected to produce around 2 million tonnes more sugar and import a high ethanol volume next year as mills tend to allocate more cane to produce the sweetener, consultancy Datagro said on Monday. The 2017-18 center-south cane crop should not change much from what is seen for the current season despite the favorable market condition, as an ageing cane field and irregular weather cuts next year's production potential, Datagro's chief analyst Plinio Nastari said. Click here to read full stories. 

Oct 18 - Ivory Coast rain and sun raise hopes for cocoa crop 

Abundant rain and sun last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions will help trees to reach their full potential for the October to March main crop, farmers said on Monday, but some also complained of flooding. The main crop harvest has begun in the world's top cocoa producer, which produces over 1.5 million tonnes a year. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - ICO revises up global coffee output, deficit seen for 2015/16 

The International Coffee Organization on Friday raised its forecast for the 2015/16 crop, partly reflecting higher output in Colombia, but still saw a global deficit for the season. The ICO predicted a global deficit of 3.3. million bags for 2015/16, the second consecutive deficit year. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - Black pod damages 1/5 of cocoa crop in Ivory Coast - buyers 

Black pod disease due to weeks of heavy rain in Ivory Coast's western and south-western regions has damaged about a fifth of the cocoa crop, buyers who deliver to the largest bean processors said on Friday. About two thirds of cocoa in Ivory Coast, the world's top producer with over 1.5 million tonnes annually, comes from the affected regions, where about a third of the crop was affected, three buyers active in the region said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - Speculators again cut huge bullish ICE sugar stance – CFTC

Speculators again cut their huge sugar net long stance on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Oct. 11, as they also reduced bullish bets in cocoa, cotton and coffee futures and options, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The dealers cut their bullish stance in sugar for a second straight week, by 11,646 lots to 278,481 lots as prices slipped from four-year highs, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - Brazil sugar industry says Chinese probe on trade groundless 

Brazil's cane industry association Unica said on Friday it sees no grounds for an investigation by the Chinese government regarding its sugar exports to the Asian country. Unica said it provided responses to questions from the Chinese government and sees no justification for possible safeguards against Brazilian sugar exports. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 14 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 10-14 October 2016 -WPB
- The market at sources showed a mixed response with limited activities. A marginal increase was recorded in Lampung and Sri Lanka; while in India and Malaysia the prices were reported stable. A marginal decrease in dollar terms in local market of Sarawak was noted due to a weakening of Malaysian Ringgit against the US dollar.  In Vietnam, local price of black pepper showed a decreasing trend during the week, from VND 146,500 to VND 142,500 per Kg at the week’s close. Local price of white pepper in Bangka was also decreased by 3%. Less demand was reported as the reason for the decrease. 

Oct 14 - Pepper's Import by Canada - WPB
- Annual pepper import by Canada was around 6,000 Mt. Out of this around 55% was whole pepper and 45% was ground pepper. Canada imported 6,288Mt of pepper, comprising of 3,532Mt of whole and 2,754Mt of ground pepper in 2015 reporting 6% increase against 2014.   During January – June 2016, Canada has imported 3,147 Mt of pepper (1,803 Mt of whole and 1,344 Mt of ground pepper) showing a marginal increase of 1% from the same period of the last year. Vietnam remained the main source of whole pepper for Canada since 2012, replacing domination of India the traditional source for Canada to the second position. United States remained the main source of ground pepper for Canada.

Oct 14 - Hershey CEO Bilbrey prepares to step down - sources 

The chief executive of Hershey Co, the chocolate company that Oreo cookie-maker Mondelez International Inc tried to acquire earlier this year, is preparing to step down by next summer, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.The move comes less than three months after the charitable trust that controls Hershey reached a major reform agreement with its overseer, the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, raising questions about its future plans for the company. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 14 - Big farm opportunities seen for business in 2030 UN goals 

Businesses could earn hundreds of billions of dollars a year by 2030 by investing in better agriculture and food ranging from micro-irrigation of crops to reduced waste, an international study said on Friday.A commission including chief executives of Unilever and Aviva as well as academics and civil society groups said companies could exploit U.N. plans to end poverty and hunger and protect the planet by 2030. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 14 - Brazilian mills hedge record volume of sugar in New York - report 

Brazilian cane mills hedged a record volume of new crop sugar on the ICE futures exchange in New York, as high prices prompted producers to set contract prices for the sweetener that will be delivered from March onwards, Archer Consulting said on Thursday. Brazilian mills sold forward 7.17 million tonnes of 2017/18 sugar in New York by the end of September, or 27 percent of estimated exports, Archer said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 13 - Indonesia to import more coffee this year as output shrinks 

Indonesia's imports of coffee beans are expected to climb this year as production shrinks due to extreme weather, according to industry stakeholders, with more beans needed to feed a steady growth in domestic demand amid tight supplies from local farmers.Rapid expansion of coffee industries and a growing culture of coffee drinkers and outlets have helped support demand for beans, particularly robusta, used in cheaper instant coffees. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 13 - Dreyfus sees bullish outlook for Brazil sugar industry

A sharp rise in sugar prices this year has helped transform the outlook for Brazil's sugar industry with the future now bright for a sector which suffered many closures and bankruptcies in recent years, the CEO of Louis Dreyfus said on Wednesday."You have very high prices, high productivity, good weather and access to cheaper financing and longer-term financing so I'm very bullish for the sugar industry (in Brazil) going forward, very bullish," Chief Executive Officer Gonzalo Ramirez told the Reuters Commodities Summit. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 13 - USDA raises sugar supply projections for 2016/17 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday upped its forecast for domestic sugar supplies in the 2016/17 crop year amid record beet production and slightly higher imports.The agency pegged the closely watched U.S. sugar stocks/use ratio at 14.4, up from a projection of 13.5 last month, for the 2016/17 crop year that began on Oct. 1. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - Port strike clouds Brazil's September coffee export data 

Brazil exported 2.2 million bags of green coffee in September, sharply below the 2.91 million bags a year ago, as a customs workers' strike at the Port of Santos delayed the collection of data, exporters association Cecafé said on Tuesday.Traders in the world's largest coffee exporter, however, said the strike also slowed the physical volume moving through Brazil's main coffee port, as federal inspectors restrict export licenses.

Oct 11 - Ivory Coast cocoa port arrivals halted for several days - exporters 

Ivory Coast cocoa exporters said on Wednesday they had not received cocoa bean deliveries from inland farms for several days because many buyers have been temporarily blocked out of a booking system.The 2016/17 cocoa season began last week and international traders are keeping a close eye on port arrivals to gauge supplies from the world's top grower. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - China sets 2017 sugar import quota at 1.945 mln tonnes 

China's commerce ministry has set the 2017 sugar import quota at 1.945 million tonnes, it said in statement on Tuesday. As part of China's commitments to the World Trade Organization, the country allows 1.94 million tonnes of sugar imports annually at a tariff of 15 percent, while imports outside this quota incur a 50 percent duty. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Taboo coffee gets reappraisal amid climate, market changes 

Three decades ago, Costa Rica outlawed cultivation of the robusta coffee bean in order to promote production of arabica, the variety prized by high-end roasters around the world.Now, however, with warmer temperatures and disease threatening arabica production, the world’s 14th largest coffee producer is looking back to robusta - just as the more bitter, higher-caffeinated bean is gaining favor around the world. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Speculators trim huge bullish ICE sugar stance - CFTC 

Speculators cut their sugar net long stance on ICE Futures U.S. from a record high in the week to Oct. 4, as they also reduced bullish bets in cocoa, cotton and coffee futures and options U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Coffee congress in Costa Rica maintains ban on cultivation of robusta bean 

The National Coffee Congress for Costa Rica, a group of industry and government representatives that sets national coffee policy in the Central American country, has upheld a ban on growing the robusta coffee bean, two participants at an extraordinary congressional session said on Saturday.The proposal to amend a decree against robusta, which was outlawed in 1988 to promote production of arabica, had support from more than half of the Congress, but did not reach the two-thirds majority needed for approval, said Jose Manuel Hernandez, head of the Chamber of Costa Rican Coffee Roasters, and Ricardo Seevers, a former president of Costa Rica’s largest trade group, the Coffee Institute (ICAFE). Click here to read full stories.

Oct 08 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 2-7 October 2016 - WPB
- Local pepper prices in almost all producing countries were relatively stable throughout the week. A marginal decrease in dollar was due to weakening of local currencies against US Dollar.  Trading activities at most origins were reported limited.    
- In Lampung, the market was very quiet. In addition of limited material available at farms, the low base price set by traders has led farmers withhold their limited material, expecting to get better price. During the week, local price of Lampung black pepper stood at the level of IDR 75,000 per Kg, a marginal decrease when compared to average price last week. However when compared to the price level in September 2015, which touched the highest level of IDR 125,000 per Kg, the prices has significantly decreased, although the pepper output for the year 2017 is likely to stay flat in 2017 as per the IPC projection during the last Session.

Oct 08 - Pepper's Export from Brazil - WPB
- In the last few years export of pepper from Brazil increased consistently from 29,130 Mt in 2012 to 38,040 Mt in 2015. This was possible due to increased production from 32,000 Mt in 2012 to 44,000 Mt in 2015. For the year 2016, as per the trade source, Brazil is expected to export 39,000 Mt to the world market.
- Up to August 2016 (January-August), Brazil has realized export at the level of 17,300 Mt as against 17,800 Mt in the same period last year, recording a marginal decrease by 3%.  Export in the first quarter was higher by 38%, but in the second quarter decreased by 39%. Even in the last two months (July-August 2016) the export was significantly lower when compared to export in July-August 2015. Observing export performance in the last five months, the target of Brazil to export 39,000 Mt may not be achieved, unless there will be a significant change in production and exports in the remaining months of this year.
- It is noted that Germany and the United States was the main destinations for Brazilian Pepper. In the first eight months these two countries absorbed 56% (30% Germany and 26% USA) of total Pepper exported from Brazil, followed by France and Spain absorbing10% each. Mexico, Argentina and Netherlands absorbed 4% each.

Oct 07 - EU sees white sugar output rising 14 pct in 2016/17

The European Commission on Thursday said it estimated white sugar production in the European Union in the 2016/17 season will be 16.9 million tonnes, up 14 percent from last season when the bloc saw a poor sugar beet crop. The sugar output forecast was higher than a previous estimate of 16.3 million tonnes given in July. In a agricultural market report, the Commission projected that overall availability of white sugar would be stable at 21.6 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 07 - Cargill offers certified non-GMO sweeteners and sunflower oil

Cargill Inc has introduced its first sweeteners and sunflower oil certified as not genetically modified, or non-GMO, it said on Thursday, becoming the latest food company to bolster its roster of ingredients perceived as more natural. The Minneapolis-based global commodities trader is now offering commercial-scale cane sugar and erythritol, another sweetener, as well as sunflower oil that have been certified as non-GMO by a third party, it said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 06 - U.S.-Mexico trade talks leave one top sugar company with sour taste

As the U.S. government reworks a supply deal with Mexico, a top player in one of the world's largest sugar markets is crying foul and claims competitors are using the trade talks to deny it access to cheap Mexican sugar imports. Mexico is the top supplier to the U.S. sugar industry and negotiators from both countries are in talks to change a 2014 trade pact that prescribes the balance of raw and refined sugar that heads north to ensure U.S. refiners have what they need. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 06 - Ivory Coast cocoa port arrivals halted for several days - exporters

Ivory Coast cocoa exporters said on Wednesday they had not received cocoa bean deliveries from inland farms for several days because many buyers have been temporarily blocked out of a booking system. The 2016/17 cocoa season began last week and international traders are keeping a close eye on port arrivals to gauge supplies from the world's top grower. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - Ivorian cocoa exporters feel financing pinch from high farmgate price

Banks in Ivory Coast are reluctant to boost credit lines to local cocoa exporters struggling to cover extra costs brought on by a surprise hike in the farmgate price, exporters and bankers said on Tuesday, raising the prospect of contract defaults. The government increased the guaranteed minimum price for farmers by 10 percent to 1,100 CFA francs ($1.88) at the start of the 2016/17 season last week, rejecting a recommendation from the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) to keep the price unchanged. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - Nespresso temporarily halts coffee operations in South Sudan - WSJ

Nestle's Nespresso brand said it had halted coffee operations for now in South Sudan, where opposition leader Riek Machar has called for a return to war against the government. "We had to temporarily suspend our operations in the country. It is the third time this happened since we started working there," Nespresso spokeswoman Jacquelyn Campo said on Tuesday, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Oct 04 - Heavy Ivory Coast rain boosts cocoa crop, but raises concerns

Heavy rain persisted last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions, boosting crop development but causing some farmers to fear flooding and disease as they begin to harvest.The marketing season for the October to March main crop has started in the world's top cocoa producer. The government increased the minimum farmgate price this year by 10 percent to 1,100 CFA francs ($1.88) per kg of beans. 

Oct 04 - Bunge seen as sole buyer of ICE October raw sugar contracts

Bunge Ltd is the sole buyer of 772,958 tonnes, or 15,215 contracts, of raw sugar from Brazil and Argentina against the ICE October contract that expired on Friday, according to exchange data and traders on Monday. The delivery, worth $383.9 million, was down from the October 2015 delivery of 23,644 lots but bigger than the 10,405 lots delivered the year prior.

Oct 03 - Brazil to have scant supplies of robusta coffees for export - Cecafé 

Brazil, the world's top coffee producer and exporter, is unlikely to have sizeable lots of robustas to export in the current commercial crop year (2016/17, July-June), Nelson Carvalhaes, head of exporters council Cecafé, said on Friday. Brazil has almost finished this year's coffee harvest. Arabica output was near a record, but robusta-producing regions were severely affected by a drought for the second consecutive year. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 03 - Brazil's center-south cane crush closer to low end of estimates - Unica

Brazil's center-south cane crush reached 37.6 million tonnes in the first half of September, cane industry group Unica said on Friday, below market estimates for the second consecutive fortnight. Unica said that if agricultural yields over the next few weeks remain below levels seen last year, as has been the case recently, total cane crush in the region in the full 2016/17 crop will be closer to the low end of its estimates of between 605 million tonnes and 630 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 03 - Speculators lift bullish ICE raw sugar stance to record again

Speculators raised their bullish stance in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. to a record high for the second straight week, in the week to Sept. 27, U.S. government data showed on Friday, after prices surged to 2012 highs. The dealers also raised their bullish positions in cocoa and cotton futures and options, but cut it in coffee, weekly data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 03 - Ghana sets 2016/17 season farmgate cocoa price at $1,914 per T

Ghana will pay cocoa farmers 7,600 cedis ($1,914) per tonne for the 2016/17 season, 11.8 percent higher than the amount it paid last season, deputy finance minister Cassiel Ato Forson said on Saturday as he announced the start of the new season. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 03 - Bunge seen as buyer of October ICE raw sugar - traders

Bunge Ltd bought most, if not all, of the 777,498 tonnes of sugar against the raw sugar contract on ICE Futures U.S. that expired on Friday, while Wilmar International Ltd broke a streak of six purchases to become the largest seller, traders said. The 15,265 lots of sugar was expected from Brazil and Argentina, three U.S. traders said, down from the October 2015 delivery of 23,644 lots but bigger than the 10,405 lots delivered the year prior. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 30 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 26-30 Sep2016 - WPB
- Except in Indonesia, pepper pieces were relatively stable, even increased marginally. In India the price of black pepper remained high at the level of INR 685 (US$ 10.3) per Kg locally. In Sarawak the price also stable at the level of MYR 25 and MYR 37 per Kg locally for black and white pepper respectively. A marginal increase was recorded in Sri Lanka from LKR 1,245 per Kg last week to LKR 1,262 per Kg this week.
- Anomaly phenomenon was reported in Indonesia, where pepper price decreased significantly during the week; while production of this year harvest decreased, particularly black pepper in Lampung.  Due to limited material and low prevailing price level the market was very quiet this week. As such It is expected the situation will be recovered.

Sep 30 - Pepper's Export from Indonesia - WPB
- In 2015 Indonesia exported 58,075 Mt. of pepper, comprising of 37,869 Mt. of black and 20,206 Mt of white pepper. The export recorded a substantial increase of around 67% from the export of 34,730 Mt in 2014. The significant increase was possible due to good harvest resulted in 2015. Export of black pepper recorded a fantastic increase of 94% from 19,500 Mt in 2014; while for white pepper an increase of 33% was recorded, from 15,233 Mt in 2014.
- Vietnam was the main destination for Indonesia in 2015, replacing the traditional market, the United States to the second position. Around 40% (22,700 Mt) of pepper from Indonesia was exported to Vietnam in 2015; while pepper shipped directly to the United States was only 10,100 Mt (17%). Singapore and India imported 6,630 Mt (11%) and 4250 Mt (7%) respectively.
- In 2016, export of pepper from Indonesia is estimated to decrease, particularly black pepper, following a significant decrease of production in Lampung this year. Indication of the decrease is shown by export performance reported during January-April 2016. Although total export during the first four months recorded a marginal increase, but trend of monthly export was consistently decreasing. This indicated that carry over stock from previous harvest was very tight. Export for remaining months is expected only new material from the lower harvest this year.

Sep 30 - Ghana Delays Cocoa-Price Announcement By a Day - Official
- The cocoa board of Africa's second-largest producer will announce an increase in the minimum farm gate price for the 2016-17 season on Saturday morning, a spokesman said Friday, a day later than expected.
- The board had planned to announce the new price Friday, but the timing was changed to coincide with Cocoa Day celebrations in Ghana, said the Cocobod spokesman.
- On Thursday, the government of Ivory Coast announced a10% rise in the minimum farm gate price to 1,100 CFA francs ($1.88) a kilogram for the new season which begins officially for both countries on Oct. 1 and runs to September.
- Ghana produces 19% of the world's beans, according to the ICCO. The West African cocoa season runs from October to September.
- Ghana's second crop in the 2015-16 cocoa season was the worst in years, a cocoa board official said earlier this week. The harvest for the current 2015-16 season was around 775,000 metric tons in the past four weeks, said Francis K.Oppong, Cocobod deputy chief. The board's previous forecast had been for 850,000 tons over the season, much higher than other industry forecasts.
- The drop in the mid-crop, which is the second and smaller of the region's two annual crops, was blamed on low rainfall from December to February, a key period for the maturation of the crop, and on a harsh harmattan, a dry seasonal wind that moves across West Africa from the Sahara.
- The forecast for the next season is for a crop of 850,000 metric tons, Mr. Oppong said, though this depends on whether the harmattan is mild or severe.
- Ivory Coast and Ghana together represent more than 60% of the world's cocoa production, according to the International Cocoa Organization.

Sep 30 - EU sugar output seen rebounding despite mixed beet harvests

Sugar output in the European Union should rise strongly this year, helped by a rebound in Germany and Poland after poor crops in 2015 but the increase will be limited by rain damage in top EU producer France and Britain, producers and analysts said. White sugar futures have gained 70 percent over the past year, trading at four-year highs on Thursday, on prospects of tight supplies, raising sugar producers' hopes for a good crop from the beet harvest just getting under way in Europe. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 30 - India sugar imports to rise to 2 mln T in 2016/17- Rabobank analyst

India is likely to import 2 million tonnes of sugar during the 2016/17 marketing year as the country's consumption is likely to outpace production for the first time in seven years, an analyst at Rabobank Singapore said on Thursday. India's sugar output could fall to 23.3 million tonnes in 2016/17 marketing year starting Oct. 1, Kelvin Chow told the Kingsman Asia Sugar Conference in New Delhi, as back-to-back droughts ravaged cane crops in the top producing Maharashtra state. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 29 - Brazil is a target of China's probe into sugar imports - Unica

Brazil is one of the countries to be included in a probe by the Chinese government over large sugar imports, the head of Brazil's cane industry group Unica, Elizabeth Farina, told Reuters on Wednesday. Farina said Unica was notified by Brazil's Foreign Ministry regarding the probe. It is expected to send preliminary comments to China's government by Oct. 12. According to Farina, Australia, Thailand and South Korea will also be investigated. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 29 - India sugar output to drop below consumption levels -industry body

India's sugar production in the 2016/17 marketing year is likely to drop below consumption levels for the first time in seven years, although ample carry-forward stocks will help the country meet local demand, an industry body said on Wednesday. The drop in output will make it nearly impossible for the world's top sugar consumer to export the sweetener in the season starting on Oct. 1, and may force it to import supplies to keep local prices from soaring. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 29 - Ivory Coast increases cocoa farmer price by 10 pct

Ivory Coast increased the minimum price farmers must get for a kg of cocoa beans for the 2016-17 crop by 10 percent to 1,100 CFA ($1.88), a government spokesman said on Wednesday, the first day of the new season. The world's top cocoa producer recorded port arrivals of 1,565,000 tonnes of beans in 2015-16, down 12 percent from the previous season's record crop, spokesman Bruno Kone said after a cabinet meeting in the commercial capital Abidjan. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 28 - Drought drains Brazil's robusta warehouses of coffee, forces layoffs

Brazil's robusta coffee industry is laying off workers who transport, process and store the commodity in warehouses that are nearly idle two years into the worst drought in eight decades, according to traders and industry executives. Though prices have never been higher at 427 to 434 reais (US$132-$134) per bag for conilon, the variety of robusta grown in Brazil, producers expect another bad crop in 2017 as they tear up trees ruined by drought. At current prices, Brazil's 2016 robusta crop is worth $1.2 billion. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 28 - Cocoa production shifts to Latin America as Asia declines

Latin America can play a key role in meeting rising demand for cocoa as production in Asia wanes, traders and analysts said at a meeting organised by the International Cocoa Organization.Ecuador and Peru have led an expansion in the region which now accounts for about 16 percent of global production, trailing Africa's 74 percent but above Asia and Oceania's 10 percent, according to ICCO figures. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 28 - Ivory Coast cocoa buyers see slow start to 2016/17 season

Ivory Coast's 2016/17 cocoa season faces a slow start as fewer beans arrived at the country's ports ahead of the new trading period when a new likely higher price takes effect due to a poor mid-crop harvest, buyers said on Tuesday. The season starts on Oct. 1 and output between then and the end of November could stand at around 350,000 tonnes, compared with 546,000 tonnes in the same period last season, they said.The new price will be announced on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 28 - Honduras eyes record coffee exports of 7.2 mln bags in 2016-17

Honduras expects to export a record 7.2 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee during the current 2016-17 harvest, as trees planted in the wake of a fungal outbreak three years ago boost production, the national coffee institute IHCAFE said on Tuesday.Honduras is Central America's top coffee producer, and like other regional producers is recovering from a severe outbreak of the tree-killing fungus roya over the past few seasons. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 28 - Russia to restore Egyptian fruit, vegetable imports in 3-5 days

Russia will restore imports of Egyptian fruit and vegetables within three to five days, its food watchdog said on Tuesday, as trade between the countries shows signs of normalising after Cairo lifted a ban on wheat containing even the smallest amount of a common grain fungus. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 27 - Brazil's Sao Martinho to increase cane crush, sugar production

Brazil's Sao Martinho among the country's largest sugar producers, said on Monday its board approved plans to increase cane crush and sugar output in the 2017/18 crop. Sao Martinho, which operates four large sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil, said in a securities filing that its Santa Cruz mill in Sao Paulo state will increase cane crushing capacity to 5.6 million tonnes next year from 5.2 million tonnes this year. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 27 - Ivory Coast rain boosts cocoa crop, sun needed to avoid disease

Heavy rain that continued last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions will improve the size of the upcoming main crop, farmers said on Monday, but more sun is needed to ward off disease. The 2016/17 marketing season in the world's top cocoa producer will officially open on Oct. 1 with the start of main crop harvesting. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 26 - Investors Bet on London Cocoa Prices Rising (Dow Jones)
The London cocoa bulls gained steam in the week to Sept 20, according to market data released on Monday by ICE. The net-long position on cocoa futures rose by 22.64% to 37,076 lots in that period, after falling for the four subsequent weeks. During that week, the futures price for sterling-traded cocoa beans rose by 0.66%. In New York, the net long position on the dollar-traded cocoa market fell by 23.55% to 8,389 lots in the same period.

Sep 26 - Vietnam September Coffee Exports Likely Fall 26%: Ministry (Dow Jones)
Vietnam's coffee exports in September will likely fall 26% from last month to 113,000 metric tons, as the country's coffee stockpiles are running flat, notes the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This would raise the country's coffee exports in the first nine months of this year to 1.39 million tons, up 38.9% from a year earlier. Germany and the U.S. continue to be Vietnam's largest coffee export markets in January-September, accounting for 15% and 13% of the total. Vietnam is the world's largest producer of robusta coffee, which has a bitter taste and is used mainly in instant coffee. The harvest season of the new coffee crop year will begin in the second half of October.

Sep 26 - Platts Kingsman raises global sugar deficit forecasts

Platts Kingsman on Monday raised its forecast for an anticipated global sugar deficit in the 2016/17 season (October/September) by 570,000 tonnes to 6.45 million tonnes. For 2015/16, it estimated there would be a global sugar deficit of 5.21 million, up 200,000 tonnes from its previous forecast. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 26 - Speculators lift bullish stance in ICE sugar to record high

Speculators increased their net long position in raw sugar contracts on ICE to a record in the weekended Sept. 20, as prices soared nearly 10 percent to four-year highs, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The dealers lifted their bullish stance in arabica coffee futures and options to an 8-1/2-year high while they cut it incocoa for the fourth straight week, taking it to a 3-1/2-year low, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 23 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 19-23 September 2016 (WPB)
- Pepper prices showed a marginal decrease in most of the production origins. Different Pepper prices prevailing in their domestic markets were due to difference in quality of Pepper being traded, from one to other producing centers. In India and Sri Lanka however, the Pepper prices are still prevailing at relatively higher level compared to other producing origins. In Kochi, local price of Malabar black Pepper traded at the level of INR 689 (US$ 10.3) per Kg and for Sri Lanka black Pepper price was reported at the level of LKR 1,247 (US$ 8.5) per Kg.
- In Lampung trading activity at domestic market was quiet. This was due to limited material from recent harvest arrived in the market. Some stocks are still available at farms. They release little by little, while expecting to have better price.

Sep 23 - Pepper's Imports by Singapore (WPB)
- During nineties Singapore was predominant in pepper trading with a substantial volume of trade of around 44,000Mt of import. Pepper trade by Singapore has experienced a substantial decrease to reach 13,000Mt of import in 2005 and 10,000Mt in 2010. The decrease was mainly due to the decrease in supply from traditional sources like Indonesia and Malaysia and those producing countries have supplied their products directly to the consuming countries. However, during the period of 2011-2014, import of Pepper by Singapore has shown an increasing trend to reach 27,000Mt (24,960 Mt of whole pepper and 2,040 Mt of ground pepper), mainly supported by the supply from Vietnam. In 2015 however, the import has again declined significantly by 25% to 20,177 Mt (19,546 Mt of whole pepper and 631 Mt of ground pepper). Vietnam remained the main source of whole pepper supplier contributing over 50%. Import of ground pepper was mainly from Malaysia. 
 

Sep 22 - China launches probe into sugar imports as trade tensions mount 

China has launched a probe into soaring sugar imports following complaints by its domestic industry, the government said on Thursday, the latest sign that trade tensions between major commodities producing nations is intensifying.The Ministry of Commerce said the probe will look at imports since 2011 and into possible protectionist measures provided by foreign countries for their producers. It will last six months, with an option to extend the deadline, it said. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 22 - Brazil government trims 2016 coffee crop view to 49.6 mln bags 

Brazil's crop supply agency Conab forecast the country's 2016 coffee output at 49.64 million bags on Wednesday, down slightly from its May forecast, after losses from drought in robusta growing regions eclipsed gains in arabica areas.Despite better than expected gains in leading arabica growing regions in Minas Gerais, the state which produces 50 percent of Brazil's coffee, bigger losses in robusta growing areas prompted the agency to trim its estimate. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 22 - Sudan bans Egyptian fruit, vegetables and fish 

Sudan has suspended imports of fruit, vegetables and fish from neighbouring Egypt as of Sept. 20 on safety grounds, the Sudanese trade ministry said without elaborating. Sudan's move came less than a week after Russia said it would suspend fruit and vegetable imports from Egypt, a move that appeared to be a response to Cairo rejecting Russian wheat under its zero tolerance of a common grain fungus. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 21 - Brazil winds down harvest of quality coffee, eyes on new crop 

Brazil's 2016-2017 coffee crop, now in the final days of harvest, is estimated at a bumper 54.9 million bags, according to a poll of industry insiders, who added that dry weather has yielded better quality beans than last year.The survey of 11 forecasts from traders, exporters and analysts ranging from 47.8 million to 60 million bags comes a day before Brazil's official crop supply agency Conab is due to release its revised number early on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 21 - Brazil sugar mills boost machine purchases as outlook improves 

Brazilian sugar cane mills are increasing purchases of machinery in an effort to improve efficiency in the field as the robust demand outlook for the sweetener encourages companies to boost investments. Makers of cane harvesters such as John Deere and AGCO are ramping up production in Brazil as deliveries rise, finally seeing past investments in local manufacturing lines beginning to pay off, said executives. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 21 - Ghana forecasts 2016/17 cocoa crop of at least 850,000 T - officials 

Ghana, the world's number two cocoa grower, will produce about 780,000 tonnes of beans in the current season, up 11 percent from 2014/15, government sources said on Tuesday, with output set to rise in 2016/17 to at least 850,000 tonnes.The 2015/16 season is due to close at the end of this month. While production has increased compared with what some considered a failed crop of 740,000 tonnes last year, 2015/16 output will fall short of an initial forecast of 850,000 tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 20 - Ivory Coast rain and sun boost prospects for cocoa main crop 

Abundant rain and sun last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions will improve the yield of the October-to-March cocoa main crop, farmers said on Monday. The 2016/17 marketing season in the world’s top cocoa producer is due to officially open on Oct. 1 with the start of main crop harvesting.

Sep 19 - ICE sugar futures vault higher as the bull sees red 

Raw sugar futures on ICE soared 8 percent on Friday to the highest since 2012, driven by chart signals that many said brought the sleeping bull market back to life, with some traders eyeing further gains.March raw sugar finished up 6.2 percent at 22.47 cents per lb in its biggest daily gain in months. Prices vaulted as high as 22.86 cents, springing to life after a couple of lackadaisical summer trading months. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 19 - Speculators up bullish sugar stance, again cut cocoa net long - CFTC 

Speculators upped their net long stance in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Sept. 13, as they slashed their bullish position in cocoa contracts to a six-week low, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The dealers also reduced their net long positions in arabica coffee and cotton futures and options, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 19 - Russia bans Egyptian fruit and veg imports after wheat rejection 

Russia will temporary suspend imports of fruit and vegetables from Egypt from Sept. 22, Russia's food safety watchdog said on Friday, hours after Cairo rejected a Russian wheat shipment.The move came after Egyptian quarantine inspectors rejected a 60,000-tonne Russian wheat shipment due to problems related to Cairo's policy over the ergot fungus. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 16 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, 12-16 Sep 2016 - WPB
- In Lampung, black pepper price at farms stood at the level of IDR 85,000 (US$ 6,450) per Kg. When compared to the last week's average price, the Pepper price has decreased, in dollar terms, by -4%. The situation should not have happened, since production of black pepper in Lampung decreased significantly this year. In Bangka local price of white pepper was relatively stable. A marginal decrease of -1% in dollar in local price was due to weakening of Indonesian Rupiah against US Dollar.
- In Sarawak, local price of black pepper was stable. In dollar terms however the price decreased by -1%, because of weakening of Malaysian Ringgit against US Dollar.
- In Vietnam, prices prevailed during the week have shown an improvement, after experiencing a significant decrease at the beginning of the week. On an average however, the price was still lower by -5% in the local market, when compared to last week average price of pepper.  In Sri Lanka, a marginal increase of 1% was recorded. Malabar black pepper price was reported to remain high during the week.

Sep 16 - Pepper's Import by South Korea - WPB
- In the last five years import of pepper by South Korea increased year by year 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 seven months as shown in the following table and chart. Vietnam was the main source of pepper for South Korea, supplying more than 85%, replacing traditional supplies from Malaysia to second place, supplying only 8% during January to July 2016.

Sep 16 - Brazil sugar output slows, misses forecasts for late Aug 

Brazil's main center-south cane belt produced 2.54 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of August, slowing 14 percent from the 2.97 million tonnes produced in the first half of last month, cane industry association Unica said on Thursday.Mills in the region crushed 38.31 million tonnes of cane over the fortnight, down 14.6 percent from the 44.8 million tonnes in the first half of August. Over the same period last year, mills harvested 47 million tonnes of cane in the fortnight. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 16 - Indonesian 2016 white sugar output to fall to 2.2 mln T - Association 

Indonesian white sugar output will fall to between 2.2 million to 2.3 million tonnes this year from 2.5 million tonnes in 2015, an Indonesia Sugar Association official said."The main factor for this decline is weather, because of high rain volume. July and August is supposed to be the dry season, but it keep raining until now," Agus Pakpahan, executive director at the industry group, told Reuters late on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 16 - No cancellation, resales of Ivory Coast cocoa, CCC says 

There will be no cancellation or reselling of Ivory Coast's 2016/17 cocoa contracts, the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said on Thursday, reacting to the sharp drop in prices early this week sparked by its demand for exporters' paperwork. The CCC in a memorandum distributed last week gave exporters in the world's largest producer six days to supply documentation for export contracts. Failure to furnish the documents, which include proof of a counterparty, would see the contracts cancelled and resold, it said. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 15 - Ivory Coast awards San Pedro port expansion to MSC, Bilal Group 

Ivory Coast has awarded a project to upgrade its second port of San Pedro to global shipping giant Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and the Bilal Group, a government spokesman said on Wednesday. Ivory Coast is the world's leading producer of cocoa, and over half of total output is exported via the port of San Pedro, which is located near the main western growing regions. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 15 - India's 2016 monsoon rains could be below average - forecasters 

Monsoon rains in India, the world's second-biggest producer of rice and sugar, could be lighter thanaverage this year in the absence of the La Nina weather pattern, two senior officials at the state-run weather department said on Wednesday.Rainfall in September could be up to 15 percent less than average, said the officials from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to the media. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 14 - Brazil Aug coffee exports surge post-harvest but lag year-ago 

Brazil's green coffee exports reached 2.40 million 60-kg bags in August, down 7.4 percent from 2.59 million bags a year ago, exporters association Cecafe said on Tuesday, adding it would revise the number next month due to a port strike that was complicating data collection. August shipments were improved fromJuly, which were the lowest in more than a year at 1.65 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 14 - Cocoa exporters prepare to pick up bargains in Ivory Coast resales 

International cocoa exporters based in top grower Ivory Coast are preparing to snatch some bargains in next season's main crop exports after the marketing board threatened to cancel and resell some contracts, company officials said on Tuesday. In a memorandum distributed last week, the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) gave exporters six days to supply documentation for export contracts, including proof of a counterparty, in an attempt to stamp out speculation in the forward sales system.  Click here to read full stories.

Sep 14 - Russia may ban Egyptian citrus amid wheat dispute 

Russia threatened to ban Egyptian citrus imports on Tuesday, a move that could escalate a trade dispute over exports of Russian wheat to the world's largest importer of the grain.Moscow said this week it hopes to hold talks with Egypt, its top buyer, over Cairo's failure to approve Russian wheat shipments since tightening its regulations on ergot, a common grains fungus, in late August.  Click here to read full stories.

Sep 14 - Heavy rains and bad roads hamper Cameroon cocoa deliveries 

Cocoa deliveries in Cameroon have dropped sharply so far this season as heavy rains render roads impassable and slow the bean-drying process in Africa's fourth-largest grower, producers said this week.The situation, caused by badly maintained rural tracks, could take weeks to improve, according to Cameroon's National Coffee and Cocoa Board, potentially causing a prolonged drop off in deliveries to the port of Douala. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 12 - Speculators boost arabica coffee net long to 8-1/2-year high

Speculators boosted their net long position in arabica coffee to the highest in 8-1/2 years in the week ended Sept. 6, U.S. government data showed on Friday.They also increased their bullish bets on cotton futures and options, and reduced their net longs in raw sugar and cocoa, theCommodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 12 - Egypt's GASC buys 20,000 tonnes of white sugar - trade 

Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) purchased 20,000 tonnes of white sugar on Sunday, traders said.GASC bought the sugar for $580 per tonne cost and freight from Multitrade company, the traders said. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 09 - Ivory Coast cracks down on cocoa contracts with paperwork demand 

Ivory Coast's cocoa marketing board has given exporters six days to supply documentation for export contracts, including proof of a counterparty, or they will be cancelled and resold, the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) wrote in a memorandum seen on Friday. The measure, aimed at stamping out speculation in the top grower's forward sales system, could lead to the resale of 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes worth of cocoa contracts, five exporters and a finance ministry official told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 09 -  Weekly Pepper Bulletin, 5-9 September 2016 - WPB
Pepper price in India remained high. Local price of Malabar black was recorded at the level of INR 697 (US$ 10.5) per Kg and US$ 10,680 per Mt FOB. Although production of pepper in Indonesia decreased this year, pepper price in Lampung and Bangka were reported decreased during the week. A marginal decrease was also recorded for domestic white pepper in Sarawak. In Sri Lanka, the price was reported to have increased marginally by 1% this week.

Sep 09 - Import of Pepper by United Kingdom
- WPB
- In 2015 import of pepper into United Kingdom increased by 10% from 10,925 Mt (3,208 Mt of whole and 7,717 Mt of ground pepper) in 2014 to 12,039 Mt (4,012 Mt of whole and 8,027 Mt of ground pepper) in 2015. Import of whole pepper increased by 25% and for ground pepper 4%.
- During January to June 2015, total import of pepper into United Kingdom was 4,883 Mt, registering an increase of 7% from import in the same period last year (4,567 Mt). Import of whole pepper decreased by 4%, while import of ground pepper increased by 14%. The significant increase in the import of ground pepper was mainly from Netherlands, a main pepper trading countries in Europe. Supply from producing countries was relatively stable during the first half of the year. Total import of United Kingdom in 2016 is estimated to be more or less same as last year. Since supply from India and Indonesia is estimated to be lower this year.

Sep 08 - Mondelez outlines U.S. growth plans after Hershey snub 

Mondelez International Inc, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, outlined on Wednesday its plans to expand in the United States, a week after abandoning its pursuit of U.S. confectioner Hershey Co. Mondelez, the second-largest confectionary company in the world, said on Wednesday it would bring to the United States its Milka Oreo chocolate bars that pairs Oreo cookies with Milka, which is popular in Europe. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 07 - Vietnam coffee prices hit highest in over 18 months 

Coffee prices in Vietnam, the world's largest robusta producer, rose to 39.4 million-40.0 million dong ($1,767-$1,794) a tonne on Wednesday, their highest in over an 18 months, traders said. At 40 million dong in the top growing province of Daklak, the price is the highest since Feb. 24, 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data.  Click here to read full stories.

Sep 06 - Ivory Coast rains boost cocoa crop, disease fears linger 

Abundant rain and sunny spells in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions will improve the yield of the cocoa main crop, farmers said on Monday, but some feared the moisture would bring disease.The main harvest season in the world's top cocoa producer is due to run from October to March.  Click here to read full stories.

Sep 05 - Top-rated Brazil coffee beans start reaching warehouses 

Brazil's high altitude arabica coffee beans, considered among the best in the country, have started arriving in warehouses after benefiting from June rains that ended up hurting the quality of lower slope coffees that were harvested earlier, industry leaders said on Friday.The beans, expected to keep trickling in over the next two to three weeks, eclipse in price other varieties from Brazil, the world's No. 1 coffee producer. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 05 - Speculators boost raw sugar net long to 9-week high 

Speculators boosted their net long position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to a nine-week high in the week ended Aug. 30, U.S. government data showed on Friday.They slashed bullish bets on cocoa, coffee and cotton futures and options, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 05 - Latam banana workers' claims over pesticide are revived in U.S.  

Hundreds of banana farmers from Central America and South America will again have their day in court, after a U.S. appeals court on Friday revived six lawsuits accusing several big fruit and chemical companies of sickening them with a toxic pesticide.By an 11-0 vote, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphiarevived claims by 228 farmers from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Panama against such companies as Chiquita Brands International, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Dole Food, DowChemical, Occidental Chemical and Shell Oil. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 02 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 29 August/2 September 2016 - (WPB)
- In Indonesia and Malaysia pepper prices decreased during the week. Trading however was reported less due to very limited material arrived in the market. In Vietnam, a marginal decrease was recorded for black pepper price prevailed in domestic market. FOB price of Vietnamese black and white pepper were reported stable. In Sri Lanka, pepper price was relatively stable.
- There is no price reported from India, since office closed today in view a National Strike of Labour Union in India. Some source however reported that domestic market showed a slight firmer to steady when compared to last week.

Sep 02 - Import of Pepper by France - (WPB)
- In 2015 France imported 10,200 Mt of pepper (7,520 Mt of whole and 2,680 Mt of ground pepper), recording an increase of around 600 Mt from 9,600 Mt (6,700 Mt of whole and 2,900 Mt of ground pepper) in 2014. Brazil and Vietnam were the main source of pepper for France. They together supplied around 45% of pepper imported into France in 2015, followed by Indonesia 12%.
- During January - June 2016, France has imported 5,840 Mt (4,310 Mt of whole and 1,530 Mt of ground pepper), an increase of 11% when compared with import of 5,260 Mt (3,895 Mt of whole and 1,365 Mt of ground pepper) during same period in the year 2015. Brazil was the most important source of pepper for France, supplying 28% in the first half of 2016, followed by Vietnam contributing 20%.

Sep 02 - Rains favor early flowering of Brazil's main coffee belt 

Widespread rains across the southern half of the world's main arabica coffee region in Brazil are triggering early blooms on trees, which will form the first beans to mature for the 2017 harvest. The first wave of rains, which broke a dry spell that started in June, pushed through southeast Brazil in mid-August, unleashing moderate flowering seen by Reuters while on a tour through the main coffee belt on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

 Sep 02 - India to impose sugar stock limit on mills to check hoarding 

India will impose a limit on the amount of sugar that mills can hold at the end of September and October, the food minister said on Thursday, as the government tries to keep prices under check ahead of key festivals when demand rises.India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, had made a similar move in April as two straight droughts in 2014 and 2015 reduced output while demand stayed high. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 02 - Global coffee exports down 22 pct in July - ICO 

Global coffee exports fell 22 percent in July from the same month last year to total 7.75 million 60-kg bags, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Thursday.For the first 10 months of the 2015/16 season, which began on Oct. 1 last year, coffee exports were down 1.7 percent at 93.28 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 02 - Liberia's Firestone lays off 400 workers in new blow to economy 

Firestone Natural Rubber Co., which operates the world's largest single natural rubber plantation in Liberia, said on Thursday that it has laid off 432 employees because of falling rubber prices, a new blow to the country's battered economy.Low prices for key exports iron ore and rubber have compounded the devastation wrought by an Ebola outbreak that killed 4,800 Liberians and dragged GDP growth down from over 8 percent in 2013 to zero last year. Click here to read full stories.