Softs

May 30 - Mexico starts sugar negotiations with U.S. over import quota
Mexico has begun negotiations with the United States over its new cane sugar import quota, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said, as the local industry hopes to raise its exports to its northern neighbor.Earlier in May, reacting to calls from some U.S. cane refiners who have been pressing the U.S. government to boost supplies as prices have risen, the USDA said it would increase raw supplies by about 200,000 tonnes. click here.

May 30 - Speculators raise bullish sugar position to another record
Speculators raised their net long position in sugar contracts to a record on ICE Futures U.S. in the week ended May 24, adding to their bullish stance for the fifth straight week, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The dealers cut their net long positions in cocoa and coffee futures and options, while they raised their net long position in cotton, the data showed. click here.

May 27 - New Philippine president to face early test over food security
While Philippine elections this month were dominated by talk about crushing crime, the next president faces another critical early test: ensuring there is enough rice for the country's more than 100 million people. The Philippine crop is suffering mounting drought damage, just as the country's big Asian rice suppliers also suffer from an El Nino weather pattern. click here.

May 27 - China's COFCO Agri set ups U.S. ethanol trading desk - sources
Chinese state-owned agricultural trader COFCO Agri has hired an ethanol trader from rival Louis Dreyfus to set up a U.S. trading desk, four sources told Reuters, as it aims to secure a foothold in the United States, the world's top biofuels producer. Aaron Parrish joined Cofco's Stamford, Connecticut, office earlier this month from Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV, four U.S. and Brazilian traders said. click here.

May 27 - U.S. sets 2017 sugar tariff-rate import quota at minimum
The U.S. Trade Representative on Thursday set the tariff-rate import quota for sugar for fiscal 2017 at the minimum required and announced increases for specific quota holders in the current 2016 year, the government said in two statements. The raw sugar import quota for 2017 will be established at 1.12 million tonnes and the refined sugar quota at 162,000 tonnes, the USTR said. click here.

May 27 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin for Week 23/27 May 2016 - WPB
Local price of pepper at most producing countries were relatively stable, even increased in Sri Lanka. In dollar terms, marginal decreases were reported due to weakening of local currencies against US Dollar taken place during the week. FOB price in Vietnam continued to increase. Although the harvest has completed, farmers are not eagerly releasing their material, expecting better return in future. Market in Lampung is very quiet as stock at farmers has exhausted. New material is only expected in July/August.

May 27 - Import of Pepper by France - WPB
- France, as one of the important consuming countries in Europe imports around 9 - 10,000 Mt of pepper annually. In 2015 a volume of 10,200 Mt of pepper was imported into France (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 remained the main source; together supplying around 45% of pepper imported into France, followed by Indonesia 12%. Germany also supplied significant quantity to France, mainly ground pepper.
- In 2016 import of France is estimated to remain high as indicated by total import in the first quarter of 2016, showing increasing trend. During January - March 2016 France has imported 2,780 Mt (2,134 Mt of whole and 646 Mt of ground pepper), recording an increase of 13% when compared with imports of 2,470 Mt (1,858 Mt of whole and 612 Mt of ground pepper) in the corresponding period of the last year. Brazil continued to be the most important source of pepper for France, supplying 33%, followed by Indonesia (17%) and Vietnam (14%). Germany continued as the major supplier of ground pepper into France.

May 26 - India seen holding off for now on reducing raw sugar import tax
Indian authorities are expected to hold off before cutting or cancelling a 40 percent raw sugar import duty as a last resort to tackle surging domestic prices as the country shifts from net exporter to importer. Soaring domestic sugar prices in the world's second-biggest producer, where drought has cut yields in the main growing regions such as Maharashtra, mean that mills will increasingly spurn the export market. click here.

May 26 - Ivory Coast, Ghana cocoa output lower than expected in 2015-16 - ICCO  
Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top cocoa growers, will produce less cocoa than previously expected in the 2015-16 season, leading to a smaller global crop, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) said on Tuesday. World output will be 4.039 million tonnes, down from the organization's forecast of 4.154 million in February and up from 4.192 million tonnes in 2014/15, said Laurent Pipitone, ICCO's director of policy and statistical analysis, at an industry conference. click here.

May 26 - Brazil to lift limits on foreign ownership of land
Brazil's government plans to lift current limits on foreign ownership of agricultural land, Secretary of Investment Moreira Franco, the person behind privatization for the new administration, told Reuters on Wednesday. Franco called the restriction on sales of agricultural land to foreign individuals and companies "nonsense" and said interim President Michel Temer will reconsider the issue. click here.

May 25 - As Vietnam's rains begin, coffee farmers eye drought damage
As rain returns to Vietnam's parched coffee growing region after the worst drought in 30 years, it will be too late for some farmers with nearly a fifth of coffee trees either dead or damaged. The dry weather that has gripped the country's Central Highlands coffee belt is set to cut this year's harvest in the world's biggest producer of robusta - used mainly for instant coffee - by up to 30 percent. click here.

May 25 - Brazil sugar shipments rise sharply; to test ports
Brazilian ports are expected soon to move 40 percent more sugar than they did last year, causing some in the market to worry about ports' capacity to deal with volumes when soybean exports are at their peak. The amount of sugar to be loaded in Brazilian ports in the next days is expected to reach 1.62 million tonnes, 42 percent more than at the same time last year, according to shipping agency Williams. click here.

May 25 - Coffee roasters turn to low-grade arabica as robusta supply tightens
Tightening supplies of robusta coffee are prompting some roasters to switch to low-quality arabica as the price gap between the two main types of beans narrows. Traders said roasters in Brazil are already beginning to switch after a poor robusta crop this season in the world's top coffee grower and the trend could become more widespread if the premium for more sought after arabica beans falls further. click here.

May 25 - Childhood goes up in smoke for Indonesian tobacco farm workers
Thirteen-year-old Siti Maryam says she suffers headaches and nausea after harvesting tobacco leaves with her bare hands during four years of working on her family's farm in Indonesia. Maryam, who is among the thousands of children a rights group says work in hazardous conditions on farms in the world's fifth-biggest producer of tobacco, spoke to Reuters in a field near the east Java city of Probolinggo. click here.

May 25 - Ivory Coast, Ghana cocoa output lower than expected in 2015-16 - ICCO
Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top cocoa growers, will produce less cocoa than previously expected in the 2015-16 season, leading to a smaller global crop, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) said on Tuesday. World output will be 4.039 million tonnes, down from the organization's forecast of 4.154 million in February and up from 4.192 million tonnes in 2014/15, said Laurent Pipitone, ICCO's director of policy and statistical analysis, at an industry conference. click here.

May 25 - Brazil's 2016 coffee crop seen up 15 percent - government
Brazil's 2016 coffee crop, which began harvesting a few weeks ago, is forecast at 49.67 million 60-kg bags, the Agriculture Ministry's crop supply agency Conab said on Tuesday, revising its expectations near the low end of its January outlook of 49.13 million to 51.94 million bags. Conab's second of four annual estimates is up 15 percent from last season's drought-damaged harvest of 43.24 million bags. click here.

May 25 - German sugar refiner Nordzucker targets expansion in Africa
Germany's second-largest sugar refiner Nordzucker is planning to expand into Africa, it said on Tuesday. The company's core European markets remain the main growth focus as the EU liberalises its sugar market, said CEO Hartwig Fuchs at a press conference to present the unlisted group's results, but Africa's growing population and robust sugar demand make the region an attractive area for expansion. click here.

May 25 - Smucker takes on supermarkets with bold coffee price cut
When J.M. Smucker Co, the biggest U.S. coffee roaster, changes prices of its popular retail brands, it usually followsbig swings up or down in benchmark bean prices. The company appeared to break that tradition on Tuesday when it cut prices for its flagship Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts coffees by 6 percent. click here.

May 24 - Brazil sugar flows to Myanmar seen rising as Indian exports abate
Brazilian low quality white sugar flows are expected to increase to Myanmar, believed to be a gateway for sugar smuggled into China, as Indian sweetener exports fall. Surging domestic sugar prices in India mean that Indian mills will increasingly spurn the export market, traders say. click here.

May 24 - Strongest El Nino in nearly 20 years ends - Australian weather bureau
The strongest El Nino in nearly 20 years, which damaged crop production in Asia and caused food shortages, has ended, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday. Climate indicators associated with El Nino, which emerged in 2015, have now returned to neutral levels, the BOM said. click here.

May 23 - Long Positions in Robusta Coffee Grow (Dow Jones)
Funds expanded their long positions on robusta coffee in the week to May 17, one week after the position swung dramatically from net-short to net-long, according to market data released on Monday by ICE. Managed money increased their bullish bets by 16.5% in that week to 10,962 lots. The previous week, funds expanded their bets on rising coffee prices by more than 10,000 lots, switching the position to the largest net-long position since July 2015.
In that period, the July robusta contract rose 1.57% on currency fluctuations and uncertainty over Vietnam's crop. That week, the non-commercial net-long position on New York-traded Arabica rose by more than 500%.

May 23 - Funds Cut back Bullish Cocoa Bets (Dow Jones)
GMT Funds cut back on their bullish bets on London-traded cocoa prices in the week to May 17, according to market data released by ICE on Monday. Managed money's net-long position fell by 17.84% in that week to 55,037 lots, the smallest position in four weeks. In that period, the July London cocoa contract fell by 4.8%, on the back of easing worries about dry weather in West Africa. In New York, the non-commercial net-long position fell by 25% in that week.

May 23 - Sugar Price Rise Has Further to Go, Says Archer (Dow Jones)
Even after climbing 12% this year, the sugar market is "extremely constructive" for prices, says Archer Consulting in Brazil. As the market transitions from surplus into deficit it will turn to Brazil for supply--but undercapacity at sugarcane mills and ports constrains Brazil's output, and political strife militates against investments that would remedy these problems. "When the end-consumers start realizing how similar this present setting is to that of 2010, we can see an even steeper price hike." Raw sugar climbed 90% to 33 cents a pound between May and November 2010. July contract ticks down 0.2% to 17.03 cents a pound Monday.

May 23 - Cargill projects global cocoa deficit for 2015/16, surplus in 2016/17
Cargill  is forecasting a global cocoa deficit of 160,000 tonnes for the 2015/16 season after smaller-than-expected mid-crops from dominant West African producers Ivory Coast and Ghana, its head of cocoa trading said on Friday. Overall cocoa supplies, however, remain good - boosted by a global surplus of 170,000 tonnes in 2014/15 (October/September), with potential for a "substantial" surplus in 2016/17. click here.

May 23 - Egypt exempts raw sugar importers from customs duty
Egypt will exempt importers of raw sugar from a 20 percent tariff up to the end of 2016 which will be effective retroactively from May 20, the state's official gazette said on Sunday. Earlier this year, Egypt raised import tariffs on raw cane and raw beet sugar to 20 percent from 2 percent, according to a United States Department of Agriculture report. click here.

May 23 - Speculators again bring bullish ICE sugar bet to record
Speculators hiked a bullish stance in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to May 17, bringing their net long position to record levels for a third straight week as prices hit fresh 1-1/2-year highs, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The dealers slashed a bullish stance in cocoa futures and options, switched to a net long position in arabica coffee and slightly upped a net long in cotton, the data showed. click here.

May 23 - New U.S. food label rules to require added sugars to be detailed
The United States plans a major overhaul of the way packaged foods are labeled, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday. Serving sizes will be adjusted to reflect how much people actually eat, and for the first time labels will list added sugars. These are the first significant changes since the Nutrition Facts label was introduced more than 20 years ago. click here.

May 20 - USDA sees 2nd straight year of sugar supply deficit in 2016/17
The U.S. government projected on Thursday the world will see a second straight deficit of sugar supplies in 2016/17 as China's demand for imports of the sweetener and total consumption rise to a record and production falls in key Asian countries. China will import a record 7.9 million tonnes of sugar as its total consumption rises 1.7 percent to 17.8 million tonnes, also a record, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a report on Thursday. The country's production will decline 2.3 percent to 8.2 million tonnes in the 2016/17 crop year that begins on Oct. 1, the USDA added. click here.

May 20 - India to revoke compulsory sugar export order-government sources
India has decided to revoke an order that requires sugar mills to export excess supplies, two government officials said on Thursday, after two consecutive droughts look set to turn the country into a net importer next season. The government has scrapped the order in view of tightening supplies in the local market, said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been formally announced yet. click here.

May 20 - Marex trims 2016/17 global coffee surplus forecast
Marex Spectron on Thursday trimmed its forecast for a global coffee surplus in the 2016/17, with diminished prospects for Mexico's crop largely offset by an improved outlook in Colombia. The broker in a monthly report forecast a surplus of 1.00 million 60-kg bags, down from 1.03 million in its previous forecast. click here.

May 20 - Ex-Louis Dreyfus CEO leaves board in latest shakeup
Global agricultural trader Louis Dreyfus Co announced board changes on Thursday in which former CEO Serge Schoen will leave the group, another step in a leadership shakeup under main shareholder Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. Schoen oversaw rapid growth at the trading house as CEO between 2005 and 2013. Last year, Louis Dreyfus promoted former Asia head Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena, ending a protracted search for a permanent successor as chief executive. click here.

May 19 - Ivory Coast cocoa sector reserve fund up 58 pct June 2015-Jan 2016
Ivory Coast's cocoa sector reserve fund rose 58 percent to 120 billion CFA francs ($206.47 million) between June 2015 and January 2016, according to a document from the government Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) seen by Reuters. The figure represents the highest level since the fund was established in 2012 to protect against a drop in the global cocoa price or in the event that a cocoa operator goes out of business. click here.

May 18 - Trade sees buoyant North African sugar demand before Ramadan
North African demand for white sugar before Ramadan has been buoyant with strong flows of raw sugar into Algerian and Moroccan refineries. Communal feasting during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which will begin on June 6 and run until July 5, typically boosts sugar consumption. click here.

May 18 - ICE sets fee holiday, liquidity plan for new white sugar contract
The initial period of trading of the ICE Futures Europe containerised white sugar futures contract, due to be launched on June 20, will have a feeholiday, the exchange said on Tuesday. “For the initial period from the first trading day through September 30, 2016, all transaction fees on the contract (exchange and clearing fees) will be waived,” ICE said in a circular. click here.

May 17 - Robusta drawdowns slow as European roasters lock in cheap freight
Drawdowns of robusta coffee from ICE approved warehouses have slowed because cheap freight costs are prompting European roasters to seek relatively inexpensive supplies of fresh beans directly from top grower Vietnam. Exchange warehouses are the cheapest source of robusta as discounts are applied to stocks that have been held for a while, traders said.  click here.

May 17 - Brazil 2016-17 CS sugar output seen at record 34.4 mln T - JOB Economia
Brazil's sugar production in the key center-south region will rise to a record 34.4 million tonnes in the current 2016-17 harvest, up from 31.2 million tonnes year-on-year, said Julio Borges, Chief Executive Officer and Partner of JOB Economia at an industry conference on Monday. The total cane crush in center-south will be 636 million tonnes, up from 618 million tonnes during the previous year. That was down from an April forecast of 644 million tonnes of cane due to dry weather, Borges said. click here.

May 17 - U.S. 2016-17 sugar output seen down slightly – Jenkins
U.S. sugar production will total 8.83 million short tons in the 2016/17 crop year, a veteran NAFTA trader said at an industry event on Monday. That would be down from 8.93 million tons in the current 2015-16 crop year that runs through end-September, but slightly higher than an official government forecast of 8.71 million tons. Sugar made from beet will swell to a record of 5.1 million tons and cane production will total 3.73 million tons, said Frank Jenkins, president of JSG Commodities in Wilton, Connecticut. click here.

May 17 - Cuba’s weather-ravaged sugar harvest winds down
The first of Cuba’s 13 sugar-producing provinces has met its production plan for this year, official media reported on Monday, and only one more province is expected to do the same in a season ravaged by drought and out-of-season rainfall. AZCUBA, the state-run sugar monopoly, has not given a forecast for national raw sugar output this year. Reuters estimates this at around 1.6 million tonnes, based on scattered provincial reports and sources, compared with the 1.9 million tonnes produced during the previous season. click here.

May 17 - Brazil sugar mills crush record cane in late April
Brazil's center-south sugar mills crushed 36.07 million tonnes of cane in the second half of April, a record amount for the period, as dry weather last month favored a strong start to the 2016/17 season. Cane industry group Unica said on Monday that center-south sugar output reached 1.81 million tonnes in late April versus 1.43 million tonnes early in the month. Sugar production in the fortnight was 71 percent higher than in the year-ago period. click here.

May 16 - World 2016-17 sugar deficit to rise to 7.3 mln tonnes - Platts Kingsman
Closely watched sugar analyst Platts Kingsman on Monday raised its forecast for a global supply deficit in the 2016/17 season beginning Oct. 1 to 7.67 million tonnes from 6.38 million tonnes previously, on a lower output outlook for Thailand. That would be up from a 5.48-million-tonne deficit in the current 2015/16 crop year, a figure that Kingsman revised lower from a prior projection of 7.67 million tonnes amid higher expectations for Brazil production. click here.

May 16 - Strong demand, dry weather worries seen buoying robusta premiums
Strong demand for robusta coffee and concerns over dry weather in southeast Asia are likely to keep robusta physical premiums buoyant in coming weeks, traders said on Friday. Vietnamese physical premiums have held up well, trading at about $30 over July futures this week for the benchmark grade 2, despite a surge in futures to a six-month high on Thursday.  click here.

May 16 - Brazil's 2016/17 coffee harvest 7 pct completed - Safras
Brazil's 2016/17 coffee harvest, forecast at 56.4 million 60-kg bags, was 7 percent completed by May 9, local analyst Safras e Mercado said on Friday. No comparative data was provided for this time last year. click here.

May 16 - ISO narrows global sugar deficit forecast for 2016/17
The International Sugar Organization (ISO) on Friday forecast a narrowing global deficit in 2016/17 with production expected to increase in Europe, Brazil and Thailand. The London-based body forecast a deficit of about 3.8 million tonnes, compared with a deficit of 6.65 million tonnes in 2015/16. click here.

May 16 - Speculators hiked bullish ICE raw sugar bet to fresh record
Speculators again raised their record net long position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week ended May 10, as they lifted a bullish stance in cocoa for a fourth straight week, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The dealers trimmed a net short position in arabica coffee futures and options and cut a net long in cotton, the data showed. click here.

May 13 - Cocoa Prices Extend Losses (Dow Jones)
- Cocoa prices slumped for the second straight session, with production losses in the world's largest growing regions already baked into prices and little news to help cocoa climb higher.
- Cocoa for July delivery fell 1.6% to end at $3,020 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, its lowest close since April 15. "The move lower is mostly technical in nature with weather risks over the next couple of months," said Eric Bergman, cocoa broker at JSG Commodities in South Norwalk, Conn.
- Ivory Coast producers and exporters have reported that some beans sent for export have been rejected because of small bean sizes, said Jack Scoville, vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
- However, he said, cocoa is still coming to ports. It is unclear how dryness that has affected this smaller mid crop will affect the larger main crop that begins in October. Analysts said the trade will be focused on clues to further production woes over the two months.

May 13 - World Pepper Bulletin Week 9-13 May 2016 - WPB
An increasing trend of pepper price has shown particularly for black pepper in India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. In Indonesia and Malaysia prices were relatively stable. In dollar price at local market however, the price decreased due to weakening of their local currencies against US dollar. In India local price of black pepper stood at the level of INR 696 per Kg increased by 1% from the previous average price at INR 690 per Kg. In Vietnam, local price of black pepper increased almost daily from VND 158,500 per Kg at the beginning of the week to VND 163,000 per Kg at the week's close. In Sri Lanka an increase of 5% was recorded during this week.


May 13 - Import of Pepper by the UNITED STATES - WPB
In the last decade United States of America imported around 70,000 Mt of pepper annually and monthly import was around 5-6,000 Mt. In 2015, Import of pepper into the United States of America increased significantly by 11,560 Mt (17%) from 68,800 Mt in 2014 to 80,360 Mt (53,290 Mt of black pepper, 5,480 Mt of white pepper and 21,590 Mt of ground pepper).  A substantial increase of 45% was recorded for ground pepper. Import of whole black increased by 10%, while for white the increase was only 3%. The increase in import was in line with the significant increase in production of pepper in producing countries, during the year, mainly in Indonesia and India.

In February 2016, the United States imported 6,250 Mt of pepper, an increase of around 21% from 5,160 Mt imported in February 2015 and increase by 10% from 5,650 Mt in the previous month (January 2016). During January & February 2016 the United States imported 11,900 Mt (7,405 Mt of black, 633 Mt of white and 3,862 Mt of ground pepper). Total import in the first two months was higher by 7% when compared with the total import in the same period last year.  Import of whole black and white pepper increased; while import of ground pepper decreased. Brazil was the main source of pepper for the United States, supplying 45% of whole pepper imported into the United States, followed by Indonesia 29%. In the case of ground pepper, Vietnam and India were the main sources supplying all together more than 85% in the first two months of 2016.

May 13 - New white sugar contract could become benchmark - trade
A new containerised white sugar contract to launch on ICE Futures Europe next month has a good chance to succeed and may eventually lead to the demise of the existing breakbulk contract, traders said on Thursday. "There is only space in the market place for one (white sugar futures) contract," one senior trader said. ICE Futures Europe said on Wednesday it plans to launch a containerised white sugar futures contract on June 20 with the first listed contract to be October 2016. click here.

May 12 - High Thai sugar premiums at auction signal tight supply outlook
High prices paid by a global trade house at a Thai sugar auction reflect expectations of tight supplies and buoyant premiums in the world's second biggest exporter due to drought, European traders said on Wednesday. State-run Thai Cane and Sugar Corp said on Tuesday it had sold 72,000 tonnes of raw sugar to Bunge at a premium of 137 points over global futures following a tender. click here.

May 12 - Commodity trade houses seek to rule in core markets, exit others
Commodity trade houses are going back to their roots and focusing on what they know best, whether it's energy, metals or agriculture, while shedding peripheral activities. From the world's largest independent energy trader Vitol's retreat from agricultural markets, to trade house Gunvor pulling out of metals and Archer Daniels Midland disposing of its chocolate and cocoa businesses, traders are concentrating back on their historically strong activities. click here.

May 12 - U.S. sugar liquefiers transform sweetener market as prices rally
A small, but flourishing U.S. industry of liquefied sugar makers is playing an outsized role in fueling the longest rally in years in prices in one of the world's biggest sweetener markets. U.S. raw sugar prices have jumped 7.3 percent this year, hitting 29 cents per lb last month, their highest in nearly four years and widening the premium over global prices to nearly 14 cents per lb, as supplies in the 11 million-tonne industry have shrunk to their lowest in four years. click here.

May 12 - ICE to launch containerized white sugar contract on June 20
ICE Futures Europe said on Wednesday it plans to launch a containerized white sugar futures contract on June 20 with the first listed contract to be October 2016. The contract, which could eventually supplant the existing global benchmark, reflects the growing dominance of containerized trade. click here.

May 11 - U.S. sugar beet farmers to grow record crop, unfazed by non-GMO
U.S. sugar beet farmers are expected to reap a record harvest next year, undeterred by a trend among some food manufacturers to favor their competitor, cane sugar that's not genetically modified (non-GMO), the government forecast on Tuesday. In its first estimate for the upcoming season that starts on Oct. 1, U.S. farmers will harvest 5.09 million short tons (4.62 million tonnes) of sugar from beet, an all-time high and up slightly from 5.06 million tons, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast on Tuesday and data since 1959/1960. click here.

May 11 - Brazil re-authorizes green coffee imports from Peru Brazil's Agriculture Ministry reopened on Tuesday its coffee market to imports of green beans from Peru, prompting kudos from local roasters that want to market the coffee but criticism from Brazilian growers who see it as a threat. The government had authorized the import of Peruvian beans early last year, only to have its decision suspended by the courts before any physical coffee was imported. click here.

May 10 - EU to propose plan for more sugar supplies - official
The European Commission will this month present proposals to allow extra sugar to be allocated in the European Union due to low stocks, an official said on Monday, confirming reports by trade sources. The Commission expects stocks within the EU's quota regime to fall to a record low 700,000 tonnes at the end of the 2015/16 season in September, Martin van Driel of the Commission's agriculture directorate said. click here.

May 10 - Brazil's main sugar belt 2016/17 output to rise to 35.2 mln T - Datagro
Brazil's main centre-south cane belt will produce 35.2 million tonnes of sugar in 2016/17, up from an estimated 31.38 million tonnes in 2015/16, supported by more favourable weather than last season, consultancy Datagro said on Monday. The cane industry specialist had last month estimated 2016/17 center-south sugar production at 33.8 million tonnes. click here.

May 10 - Ivory Coast cocoa mid-crop hurt by hot weather -farmers
Hot and dry weather last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions hurt the trees needed to ensure abundant beans of good quality during the last stage of the mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.The mid-crop in Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, runs from April to September and farmers said they need abundant rain until June to improve bean size and quality from July to September. click here.

May 10 - World facing 6.5 mln T sugar supply deficit in 2015/16 - Datagro
Brazilian consultancy Datagro on Monday estimated the world sugar market will see a supply deficit of 6.49 million tonnes in 2015/16, followed by a further deficit of 6.09 million in 2016/17. The two consecutive supply shortfalls would lead the global stocks to consumption ratio to decline to 40.2 percent from 48.3 percent in September 2015, Plinio Nastari, president of cane industry analysts Datagro, told an industry event in Paris. click here.

May 09 - Speculators build record bullish bet in ICE raw sugar
Speculators hiked their net long position in raw sugar contracts to a record high in the week ended May 3, as they again upped cocoa and cotton, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. They switched to a bearish bet in arabica coffee futures and options on ICE Futures U.S., the data showed. click here.

May 06 - USDA ups specialty sugar import quota, leaves raws unchanged
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has raised the tariff-rate import quota for specialty sugar by 20,000 tonnes, a notice filed on Thursday said, a move likely to disappoint users who had pressed for an increase to raw supplies.The increase is on top of a quota set at about 1.14 million tonnes (1.25 million short tons) for raw and specialty sugars in the current fiscal 2016 year. click here.

May 06 - New gov't may help Brazil coffee farmers rebuild low stocks
Recent gains of the real against the dollar as markets anticipate the removal of President Dilma Rousseff from office may induce coffee farmers to rebuild record low stocks and export less, analysts and traders said on Thursday.Brazilian coffee stocks have fallen to record lows after two years of drought curtailed output. Record exports over the past year also helped, when the country's political crisis weakened the real and made dollar-linked sales more attractive. click here.

May 06 - French, German sugar producers seen extending campaigns as quotas end
Efficient French and German sugar producers are expected to extend the length of beet campaigns after production quotas end in 2017, but risk damage to beet plants from adverse weather such as frosts.The dismantling of quotas will create a more level playing field for global sugar trade, potentially enabling lower cost producers such as France and Germany to ramp up production if world prices are favourable. click here.

May 06 - World food prices edge up in April, 10 percent lower year/year
World food prices rose slightly in April, up for the third month in a row but they remained almost 10 percent lower than a year earlier, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 151.8 points, up 0.7 percent from March. click here.

May 05 - Low coffee prices add to climate change threat - illycaffe
Low arabica coffee prices are making it more difficult for growers to adapt to changing climatic conditions, raising the prospect that already low global stocks could be further depleted, illycaffe president Andrea Illy said on Wednesday. Illy told Reuters he was calling for a global action plan to tackle the threat to arabica coffee supply including the sharing of research on varieties more resistant to disease and drought. click here.

May 05 - EU seen moving closer to boosting sugar supplies – trade
The European Commission is moving towards alleviating a sugar shortage in the EU, informally debating measures to increase supplies by some 300,000-400,000 tonnes, European trade sources said. They said a decision could come as early as May 26 when the next meeting of the EU sugar management committee is due to take place. click here.

May 05 - India to start 2016/17 sugar year with 21.3 pct lower stocks - minister
India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, is likely to start the 2016/17 marketing year on Oct. 1 with 7 million tonnes in carry-forward stocks, down 21.3 percent from a year ago, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Wednesday. The south Asian nation's production in the current year ending Sept. 30 is likely to drop following two drought years in a row. click here.

May 04 - Slowing Indian sugar exports to boost Thai, Brazil sales in Asia
An expected slowdown in Indian sugar exports as domestic prices surge, will boost the market share of Thai and Brazilian sugar in Asian markets, traders said on Tuesday. India will soon scrap an order that requires sugar mills to export excess supply, two government officials said on Monday, after back-to-back droughts look set to turn the country into a net importer next season and open the door to rival suppliers. click here.

May 03 - India to revoke compulsory sugar export order - officials
India will soon scrap an order that requires sugar mills to export excess supply, two government officials said on Monday, after back-to-back droughts look set to turn the country into a net importer next season and open the door to rival suppliers. Late last year the government asked mills to export as much as 3.2 million tonnes to deal with what was then a glut that dragged prices down and put mills under financial pressure. click here.

May 03 - EPA takes offline report that says glyphosate not likely carcinogenic
 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday pulled a report offlinethat concluded glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans, saying the document was inadvertently published and the agency had not finished its review of the chemical, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto's herbicides. The 86-page report, seen by Reuters and published on Friday on the regulations.gov website that the EPA manages, was from the EPA's cancer assessment review committee (CARC). It found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world's mostly widely used weedkiller, was "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans." click here.

May 03 - Brazil 2016/17 coffee crop seen at 56.4 mln bags - Safras
Brazil's 2016/2017 coffee crop, which recently began early harvest, is forecast at 56.4 million bags, a 12 percent jump from last year due to more favorable rains earlier in the season, local crop analyst Safras e Mercado said on Monday. The harvest, if confirmed, would be the biggest since 2012/13, when the crop reached 57.1 million 60-kg bags and would slightly exceed the 2013/14 crop of 56 million bags, Safras' coffee specialist Gil Barabach said. click here.

May 03 - Wilmar scoops up small ICE May delivery in 5th straight purchase
Wilmar International Ltd scooped up about 422,000 tonnes, or 8,309 lots, of sugar against the May contract on ICE Futures U.S. that expired on Friday, according to exchange data published on Monday and traders. The sugar was from Argentina and Brazil, ICE Futures U.S. data showed, confirming a Reuters report on Friday. click here.

May 02 - As commodity rally fizzles, investors home in on oil, softs
The rapid speculative rally in commodity markets is already petering out as focus returns to oversupplied markets, but dipping into a few choice assets could yield strong returns later this year. Fund managers say crude oil and some soft commodities may see tightness, while political uncertainty could boost gold. But for industrial metals such as copper, reliant on Chinese demand, prospects are poor. click here.

May 02 - Global coffee exports rise 1.0 pct in March - ICO
Global coffee exports rose 1.0 percent in March from the same month a year earlier to total 10.39 million 60-kg bags, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Friday. For the first six months of the 2015/16 season, which began on Oct. 1 last year, coffee exports were up 1.6 percent at 55.46 million bags. click here.

May 02 - Speculators up bullish bets in ICE sugar, cotton, cocoa - CFTC
Speculators raised net long positions in raw sugar, cocoa and cotton, while they cut a bullish bet in arabica coffee futures and options on ICE Futures U.S. in the week ended April 26, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The dealers raised their net long position by 29,293 contracts to 160,756 contracts, the data showed. The sharp increase brought their net long position near the record high of early April. click here.

May 02 - Ivorian cocoa exporters cancel some deliveries due to bad crop
Small Ivory Coast cocoa exporters have defaulted on delivering tens of thousands of tonnes of beans, blaming a poor quality crop and the Coffee and Cocoa Council's decision to ban exports of small beans, sources said on Friday. At least 48,000 tonnes of cocoa beans have not be delivered, said a source at the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC), posing another problem for this year's harvest in the world's top producer, already hit by harsh winds and a lack of rain.  click here.

Apr 29 - World Pepper Bulletin Week 25 - 29 April 2016 - WPB
- The market remained steady and prices were relatively stable. A marginal decrease in dollar price for local price in Kuching was observed due to weakening of Malaysia Ringgit against US dollar.
- In India the price rebounded after experiencing a decrease at the last week close. During this week local price increased from INR 681 per Kg at the beginning of the week to INR 686 per Kg on Wednesday 27 April 2016. The price maintained at the same level till the week's close.

Apr 29 - Pepper's Export from Indonesia - WPB
- During 2015 Indonesia exported around 66,000 Mt. of pepper, comprising of around 42,500 Mt. of black and 23,500 Mt of white pepper. The export recorded a substantial increase of almost double when compared to export of 34,700 Mt in 2014. The significant increase was possible due to good harvest resulted in 2015, particularly black pepper in Lampung. Export of black pepper recorded a fantastic increase of 118% from 19,500 Mt in 2014; while for white pepper an increase of 54% was recorded from 15,233 Mt in 2014. Out of the total export of black pepper in 2015, a volume of 32,500 Mt (83% of total black) was shipped from Lampung, the main source of black pepper in Indonesia; while for white pepper more than 50% was exported from Jakarta and only 20% directly exported from Bangka. Significant quantity of pepper (12%) was also shipped from Surabaya in 2015.
- It is interesting to note that Vietnam was the main destination of pepper from Indonesia. Around 43% of black and 33% of white was exported to Vietnam in 2015. The United States absorbed 22% of black pepper and Singapore also 22% of white pepper directly from Indonesia.

Apr 29 - Robusta crop woes prompt forecasts of tighter coffee
Analysts are scaling back global coffee surplus projections to a more balanced market due to a drop in Brazilian robusta output and warn dry weather in Vietnam could mean further reductions. Rabobank earlier this week forecast a deficit of 0.7 million bags for 2016/17, effectively a balanced market, compared with its forecast in November for a surplus of 3.7 million bags. click here.

Apr 29 - India's 2016/17 sugar output seen at 23-24 mln T - govt
India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, is likely to produce 23 million tonnes to 24 million tonnes of the sweetener in the 2016/17 year starting Oct. 1, down from the current year's output of 25.3 million tonnes, the government said on Thursday. The country will start the new crushing season with carry forward stock of 7.3 million tonnes, it said in a statement. click here.

Apr 28 - Brazil crushes record cane in early start to bumper crop - Unica
Brazil's main cane belt produced a record amount of sugar in an early start to the harvest season, industry association Unica said on Wednesday, sending prices lower in New York despite expectations of a global deficit in the sweetener this year. In its first forecast of the season for the world's largest sugar producer, Unica said mills in the region will crush between 605 million and 630 million tonnes of cane in 2016/17 compared with the 617.7 million tonnes crushed in the season that ended on March 31. click here.

Apr 28 - India likely to become net importer of sugar as drought dries fields
India is likely to become a net importer of sugar in 2016/17 as back-to-back drought years dry irrigation channels and ravage cane fields, with output in the country's biggest producing state seen dropping over 40 percent. That would mark the first time the nation has been a net importer of the sweetener in four years, with the switch likely to support global prices that have already been rising this year. click here.

Apr 28 - Nicaragua coffee exports fall more than 10 pct in March
Coffee exports from Nicaragua fell 10.7 percent in March compared to the same month a year earlier to 224,601 60-kg bags, the country's coffee export center Cetrex said on Wednesday. Shipments in the first six months of the season, which begins in October, were 9.3-percent lower than the same period the prior year, at 639,790 60-kg bags. click here.

Apr 27 - Nigerian cocoa farmers upbeat on crop outlook on weather
Late rain in Nigeria this year is helping cocoa trees to flower, raising hopes of a good harvest in the world's fourth biggest grower, after dry weather last year hurt output, farmers and analysts said.Farmer Bojor Atangba has been spraying his trees to protect cocoa flowers from insects and clearing weeds to boost output since the rains started, adding that he wanted to produce enough to sell at record high prices in Nigeria. click here.

Apr 27 - Chocolate maker Hershey's sales fall more than expected again
Hershey Co, the maker of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, reported a steeper-than-expected drop in net sales for the third quarter in a row, hurt by weak demand in North America, the chocolate maker's biggest market. The company also said it bought barkTHINS chocolate maker Ripple Brand Collective LLC for an undisclosed amount. click here.

Apr 26 - Mini La Niña has emerged in Eastern Pacific -Braun
The Pacific Ocean has been stirring with activity over the last two weeks in the much-anticipated switch from El Niño to La Niña, the cold phase of tropical Pacific surface temperatures.Commodity markets have been closely watching this transition because its timing might help determine whether the United States will have a hot and dry summer or whether the Atlantic Hurricane season will be more active than normal, among several other global weather scenarios. click here.

Apr 26 - Ivory Coast rains, sun improve cocoa mid-crop prospects
Abundant rainfall and sunshine that continued last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa-growing regions should improve pod development for the April-to-September cocoa mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.Farmers in the world's top cocoa producer said small volumes of beans were currently leaving plantations. click here.

Apr 25 - La Nina could boost outlook for some sugar, coffee crops
The growing likelihood of La Nina could be good news for coffee producers in drought-hit Colombia where the weather pattern is associated with heavy rains and the sugar sector in India where it may trigger a stronger-than-normal monsoon. Traders and analysts said, however, much would depend on timing with strong rains at the wrong stage of crop development potentially damaging coffee production in Vietnam and Indonesia. click here.

Apr 25 - Speculators go long ICE cotton contracts, cut bullish sugar bet
Speculators switched to their first net long position in cotton contracts on ICE Futures U.S. since early February while also cutting their bullish bet in raw sugar for a third straight week, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The noncommercial dealers hiked bullish bets in cocoa and arabica coffee futures and options, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. click here.

Apr 25 - South Africa's government warns against profiteering as food prices jump
South Africa's agriculture minister on Friday warned businesses suspected of profiteering from a drought by raising the prices of staples such as bread would face the wrath of competition authorities. The worst drought in a century has seen food prices soar, affecting millions of mainly black poor in Africa's most industrialised economy, which faces a local government election in August seen as a test for beleaguered President Jacob Zuma. click here.

Apr 22 - World Pepper Bulletin Week 18 - 22 April 2016 - WPB
- Global market is now focused on Vietnamese development, since its pepper harvest is almost completed. However, there is no selling pressure was reported. Indonesia still have not revealed offer for its new crops expecting in July/August. As per some sources in Lampung, Bangka and Kalimantan total output of pepper from this year harvest in Indonesia would be significantly lower due to adverse weather experienced during late 2015.
- Pepper price prevailed during the week was relatively stable. A marginal decrease of local price in some producing countries was recorded. In Kochi, local price decreased from INR 685 per Kg at the beginning of the week to INR 681 on Thursday, 21st April 2016. On average however, the price was relatively stable and stood at higher sight.

Apr 22 - Import of Pepper by Russia - WPB
- Russia is one of the important markets for pepper in Eastern Europe. During the last decade Russia imported around 9,000 Mt of pepper, annually. Out of this around 90% were whole pepper and 10% ground pepper. In the last two years, however, import of pepper into Russia decreased significantly to 6,760 Mt in 2015 from nearly 9,800 Mt in 2013. It is understood that the decrease was mainly due to significant decrease of supply from traditional source like India. Import from Indonesia and Vietnam also have decreased during the year.

Apr 22 - Brazil has chance to boost sugar sales to Indonesia as Thai supplies tighten
Tightening Thai sugar supplies will likely drive up their premiums further, and give Brazilian exporters an opportunity to eat into Thailand's dominant market share in Indonesia, despite a freight and import duty disadvantage, traders say. Indonesia, the world's number 2 sugar buyer after China, is a net importer of raw sugar to its refineries. click here.

Apr 21 - Vietnam coffee exports could drop 25 pct in 2016 -industry official
Vietnam's coffee exports could fall 25 percent in 2016 to their lowest in a decade at 1 million tonnes (16.67 million 60-kg bags), hit by drought, lower yields from old trees and increased output from domestic roasters, a senior industry official said. Tighter supply from Vietnam, the world's largest producer of robusta beans, coupled with concerns over lower output in Brazil and Colombia, could boost global coffee prices. click here.

Apr 21 - Jamaica sugar output expected to climb as mills reopen -U.S. report
Jamaica will produce more raw sugar next year as two of the country's six mills return to operation, while European Union demand for foreign supplies is expected to drop due to a policy change, the U.S. government said on Wednesday. Jamaica, a major supplier to U.S. and EU refiners like ASR Group-owned Tate & Lyle Ltd, is expected to produce 140,000 tonnes of sugar in the 2016/17 marketing year that begins Oct. 1, up 8 percent from the previous year, according a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report. click here.

Apr 19 - Cuts in India sugar output estimates may extend price rally - trade
Any further downward revisions in Indian sugar output due to drought could drive global sugar prices higher, extending a rally that has been fuelled by rising global deficit forecasts, traders said on Monday. They said India's production in 2015/16 could be significantly below some current estimates, suggesting scope for an even larger deficit this season. click here.

Apr 19 - Ivory Coast rains expected to strengthen cocoa mid-crop
Heavy rain fell in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions last week and farmers said the downpours should help the growth of flowers and small pods due to be harvested in three months. The world's top cocoa producer harvests its smaller mid-crop from April to September but most farmers said a prolonged dry season has so far dampened the supply of beans from the bush. click here.

Apr 19 - Indonesia 2016 sugar output seen at 2.5 mln t - agriculture ministry
Indonesia's sugar production is expected to reach 2.5 million tonnes in 2016, below an earlier target of 2.9 million tonnes, an agriculture ministry official said, as El Nino related weather anomalies curbed output. "Production is down a little," Gamal Nasir, Director General of estate crops said when asked about impacts from El Nino on sugar output this year. click here.

Apr 18 - Singapore's Olam forms joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp
Olam International Ltd formed a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp to supply sustainable agricultural and food products to Japan, in the first tie-up between the two since the Japanese firm bought a stake in the commodity trader. The joint venture, MC Agri Alliance Ltd, will import and distribute coffee, cocoa, sesame, edible nuts, spices, vegetable ingredients and tomato products. Mitsubishi will hold 70 percent of the venture and Olam the remaining 30 percent. click here.

Apr 18 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers, supplies seen hit by price dispute
Cocoa exporters and grinders in Ivory Coast are withholding financing from suppliers amid a dispute over the pricing of mid-crop beans, threatening farmers' incomes and deliveries to ports, industry sources said. Farmers and trading houses predict a 24 percent fall in the harvest this year because of a lack of rain and harsh winds that have diminished the size and quality of beans in the world's biggest cocoa producer. click here.

Apr 15 - World Pepper Bulletin Week 11 - 15 April 2016 - WPB
- Stronger market is reported in India. Pepper price in Kochi increased further from INR 668 per Kg last week to INR 682 per Kg this week. On an average pepper price in India increased by 3% compare to last week.
- At other origins the market held fairly steady with very limited activity. Pepper prices in Vietnam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka were reported stable. Marginal increases were recorded for local price in Lampung, Bangka and Hainan.
- In Vietnam activity continued light, despite the Pepper harvest has almost competed. Materials are mainly kept by strong hands, expecting better price in future. On the other side buyers still wait and see trying to press the price down. Since production in Indonesia next July is anticipated lower, expecting lower price would be difficult.

Apr 15 - Import of Pepper by Singapore - WPB
During nineties Singapore was predominant in pepper trading with a substantial volume of trade of around 44,000mt of import. Indonesia was the main source and has a share of more than 50% of pepper into Singapore. It is interesting to note that pepper trade by Singapore has experienced a substantial decrease to reach 13,000 Mt of import in 2005 and 10,000 Mt in 2010. The decrease was mainly due to importers in consuming countries started sourceing pepper directly from producing countries. In the previous two years Singapore import has shown a significant increase to reach 27,000 Mt in 2014 from 20,250 Mt in 2013, but in 2015 the import again decreased to 20,177 Mt (19,546 Mt of whole pepper and 631 Mt of ground pepper). Vietnam and Indonesia were the main source of whole pepper, supplying 50% and 33% respectively in 2015. Import of ground pepper was mainly from Malaysia. Major share of total pepper imported by Singapore was re-exported. Middle East and the United States were the main destinations for Singapore pepper exports.

Apr 15 - Brazil sugar output forecast highest in 3 years - gov't
Brazil's government on Thursday released its first official estimate of this season's cane crop, with mills expected to boost sugar output to 37.5 million tonnes from 33.5 million tonnes last season, while reducing their output of ethanol. If confirmed, Brazil's total sugar output would be the highest since the country put out 37.9 million during the 2013/2014 (April-March) season, government crop supply agency Conab said. click here.

Apr 15 - India launches e-trading platform for farmers
India launched an electronic trading platform for farm goods on Thursday to improve transparency in wholesale markets and help farmers fetch better prices for their produce. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurating the platform,said it would trade products from 365 wholesale markets initially but aims to increase that to 585 by March 2018. click here.

Apr 15 - Vietnam drought to cut coffee output in key growing province - official
Drought could cut coffee production in Vietnam's top growing province of Daklak by around a third in 2016/17 to its lowest in a decade, a local government official said on Thursday. Lower output in the world's top producer of robusta beans, along with tight supply from Brazil and Indonesia, could help keep global coffee prices firm in coming months. Although its impact on exports is expected to be minimal as traders say many farmers have so-called 'carryover' stocks left from last season. click here.

Apr 15 - North American cocoa grind falls to 4-year low
North American cocoa grindings fell in the first three months of 2016, data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) showed on Thursday, the region's sixth straight weak quarter and the lowest level in nearly four years. The drop in processing was below expectations of 1 percent lower to 4 percent higher. click here.

Apr 15 - France, Germany to dominate post-quota EU sugar sector
The European Union's sugar industry will increasingly shift to lower cost producers such as France and Germany after the dismantling of output quotas in October 2017 with the outlook bleak for Mediterranean and Nordic growers. Senior industry figures attending the Platts EU sugar seminar said they also expected the EU to switch from being a net sugar importer to a net exporter after quotas end. click here.

Apr 15 - Despite Brazil crisis, EU to restart Mercosur trade talks in May
Europe and South America will try to revive stalled trade talks in mid-May despite Brazil's political crisis and reticence from France, the European Union and Argentina said on Thursday. While Argentina's new pro-business government offers the Mercosur trade bloc its best chance in years to reach an accord, Brazil's president faces impeachment and a group of nine EU countries led by France reject opening up their farm sectors. click here.

Apr 15 - Cuban farmers in "agony" waiting for promised reforms
In Cuban farm country - between sugar cane, vegetable patches and overgrown fallow land a world away from Havana's tourist-filled streets - producers are seething at what they say is the government's backsliding on promised market reforms to make their lives better. "It is still agony to farm," said 36-year-old Martin, whose attempts to grow more vegetables near Artemisa in western Cuba have been thwarted by the government's monopoly on distributing fuel, fertilizer and seeds, which are often in short supply. click here.

Apr 15 - ACP sugar exporters to EU face challenging post-quota future
African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar producers face a challenging future after EU output quotas end in 2017, with some able to expand into regional markets outside than the bloc but other less cost-efficient countries will struggle to compete. ACP producers have benefited from preferential access to protected EU markets in recent years, but risk losing market share in the EU after production quotas end in October 2017 due to competition from increased EU output and exports. click here.

Apr 14 - Vietnam coffee premiums buoyed by tight supplies in other producers
Robusta coffee premiums in top grower Vietnam have remained firm due to strong physical demand and a tight supply outlook in other leading producers, European traders said. They quoted Vietnamese grade 2 robusta steady this week at $40-50 per tonne over July futures, reflecting buoyant cash demand from roasters around the world and prospects for limited robusta supplies from Brazil and Indonesia. click here.

Apr 14 - London-Traded Cocoa Prices Edge Higher (Dow Jones)
Ahead of the release of North American cocoa grinding figures, a key signal for demand, London-traded cocoa prices continue to rise. The front-month May contract is currently up 1.3% at $2194 per metric ton, extending a rally that began early last week. So far, weak cocoa grinding figures--what some interpreted as a sign of weak demand--for the first quarter of the year have failed to make a dent in the rally. On Wednesday, European cocoa figures for the first quarter came in lower than expected, but the market trended sideways. The U.S. numbers will be released Thursday afternoon, east coast time. The Asian cocoa grindings will be released on April 22.

Apr 13 - Brazil's early cane crush speeds up with dry weather – Unica
Brazil's center-south cane crush sped up in the second half of March boosted by favorable dry weather, industry group Unica said on Tuesday. More than 130 mills were operating in the region, compared with only 58 at this time last year. They crushed 14 million tonnes of cane in the second half of March versus 5.26 million tonnes in the first half of the month. click here.

Apr 13 - France confirms large wheat crop area, sees more sugar beet
France's farm ministry on Tuesday put the soft wheat sowing area for this year's harvest at 5.24 million hectares, which is the largest since 1935 and sets the EU's top producer on course for another big crop. The expected area, including a small amount of spring wheat, was 1.2 percent higher than in 2015 and 4.7 percent above the average of the past five years, the ministry said in a note featuring its first estimates for spring sowings. click here.

Apr 12 - Brazil March coffee exports edge up as stocks surprise
Brazilian coffee exports remained surprisingly strong during the interharvest period due to the strength of private sector stocks, the association of coffee exporters Cecafe said on Monday. Exports of green coffee rose to 2.69 million 60-kg bags in March, surpassing the 2.61 million bags in February but still falling short of the 2.81 million bags exported in the third month of 2015, Cecafe said in a monthly report. click here.

Apr 12 - India's 2016 monsoon rains seen above average –Skymet
India's annual monsoon rains are likely to be above average, the country's only private weather forecaster said on Monday, snapping two straight years of drought that cut farm output and farmers' income. The July to September monsoon delivers nearly 70 percent of annual rains and waters half of India's farmlands that lack irrigation facilities. click here.

Apr 12 - Ivory Coast rains give further boost to cocoa mid-crop
Rains and sunshine last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions will help to improve development of the April-to-September mid-crop, which has been battered by strong Harmattan winds and a fierce dry season, farmers said on Monday. The cocoa mid-crop marketing season started on April 1 but unfavourable weather conditions have led farmers to predict a small and delayed mid-crop compared with the previous season. click here.

Apr 12 - Brazil cane belt to see intense flowering for 2nd year
Brazil's main cane belt will likely see an intense flowering in the 2016/17 crop, similar to last season, potentially reducing yields in areas most affected, a leading cane research center said on Monday. Intense flowering of cane fields happen around six months after a complex set of conditions are met, including precipitation levels, temperatures and hours of sun. A field heavily impacted with flowering will produce less weight in cane, with less sugar content. click here.

Apr 11 - Cocoa Prices Lower in 2016 but Rebound Seen in 2019-2020 (Dow Jones)
BMI Research continues to expect cocoa prices to trend lower in 2016 but now forecasts a rebound in 2019 and 2020 as the market turns to deficit, says BMI Research in a note. "The market will remain largely balanced, oscillating between small surpluses and deficits until 2019, which will keep prices at levels comparable to 2016." It adds specifically, global supply will grow by 1.1% per year on average over the next five years, mainly concentrated in 2016 and 2017, driven by a rebound in production in Ghana and solid growth in Cameroon and Nigeria. "However, global demand growth will average 2.1% per year over the period, accelerating from 2018 onwards with France, Russia and Japan as out performers."

Apr 11 - Arabica exchange stocks seen falling to fresh lows, quality a concern
High arabica coffee premiums are likely to trigger more drawdowns of ageing exchange stocks, possibly dropping below 1 million bags for the first time since 2000. The drawdowns would raise risks that roasters will not be able to find the quality of readily available supplies that they require from the ICE exchange. click here.

Apr 11 - Nigeria's cocoa farmers and grinders still waiting on government policy help
One year on from the election of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria is still awaiting the promised policies to boost the cocoa sector, whose growth is seen as vital to offset a slump in oil revenue that has plunged the economy into crisis. Buhari routinely states the need to expand the agricultural sector to end the reliance of Africa's biggest oil producer on crude exports and cut its $20 billion annual food import bill. click here.

Apr 11 - Argentina to boost ethanol use in fuels - industry body
Argentina will more than double the required use of ethanol in gasoline from next year as part of efforts to diversify away from the use of fossil fuels, an executive from a bioethanol industry body told Reuters on Friday. "The plan of (Argentine President) Mauricio Macri's government is to increase the ethanol blend in fuel from the current 12 percent to a maximum 26 percent, following in the steps of Brazil's decades-long policy," said Patrick Adam, executive director of the country's corn ethanol chamber. click here.

Apr 08 - World Pepper Bulletin Week 04-08 April 2016 - WPB
- In India, the market showed a movement with a slight increasing trend. Local price of Malabar black Pepper in Kochi increased daily from INR 653 per Kg at the beginning of the week to INR 668 on Thursday. On an average, Pepper price in Kochi increased marginally by 1% when compared with the average price of last week. In Lampung, Bangka, Sarawak and Sri Lanka the prices were reported stable. A marginal increase in dollar prices was due to strengthening of local currency in these producing countries against US dollar.
- In Vietnam, the harvest is almost completed and an increase of around 10% in production of Pepper is reported. Since out-put of Pepper harvest in India has decreased and upcoming Pepper crop in Indonesia is also anticipated to be down significantly; total production of Pepper this year is estimated to be more or less same with 2015 production and prices is estimated to remain high this year.

Apr 08 - Import of Pepper by Germany - WPB
Germany is the most important Pepper consuming countries in Europe. During 2015, Germany imported 29,230 Mt of pepper, comprising of 26,430 and 2,800 Mt of whole and ground Pepper respectively, as against 25,960 Mt (23,500 Mt of whole and 2,460 Mt of ground pepper) in 2014, registering an increase of 13% growth. The import however was still marginally lower from the highest import of 31,000 Mt recorded in the year 2013. Brazil remained the most important source, for import of Pepper to Germany in the year 2015, followed by Indonesia and Vietnam. Netherlands and India also exported significant quantity of whole and ground Pepper to Germany.

Apr 08 - European sugar sowings progress with some delays due to rains
European sugar beet sowings have progressed in mostly favourable conditions apart from some sporadic interruptions due to rains, growers' groups said. Larger European Union growers have planted bigger areas than last year in anticipation of market opportunities after EU output quotas end next year. click here.

Apr 08 - I.Coast sees 2015/16 cocoa output reaching 1.6 mln T - finmin source
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, is expecting to harvest 1.6 million tonnes of beans in the current 2015/16 season, down from around 1.8 million tonnes last season, a senior finance ministry source said on Thursday. The West African nation had already sold forward some 850,000 tonnes of next season's crop by the end of March, said the official, who works on the cocoa portfolio but asked not to be named. click here.

Apr 07 - Corn refiners group drops push to change U.S. sugar program
A lobbying group representing corn syrup makers like Archer Daniels Midland Co and Cargill Inc has dropped a push for changes to the U.S. sugar program after making a rare move last year in launching a bid to reform the program. The Corn Refiners Association (CRA), part of the powerful U.S. corn lobby, has halted its efforts push to reform the U.S. farm program for sugar, an intricate network of price supports and import quota often criticized by free-trade advocates. click here.

Apr 07 - U.S. cane refiners seeking to rework Mexico sugar pact-Mexico
U.S. sugar refiners want to renegotiate suspension agreements signed by Mexico and the United States in December 2014 so they can import more standard sugar, the president of Mexico's sugar chamber, Juan Cortina, said on Wednesday. Cortina said Mexican producers could send an extra 300,000 to 500,000 tons of standard sugar to U.S. refiners but without modifying the suspension agreements, in which the two nations established quotas and minimum sales prices. click here.

Apr 06 - Almost a fifth of EU preferential sugar import licences allocated so far- trade
Just under a fifth of available import licences of so-called "CXL quota" sugar from suppliers in northern Brazil has been allocated for the European Union so far in the 2015/16 (Oct/Sept) season, trade sources said on Tuesday. The CXL import quota is applied to supplies of raw sugar with preferential access to the EU market. Trade sources said 59,735 tonnes of "CXL quota" sugar import licences, out of 334,054 tonnes of available licences, had been allocated by EU officials so far. click here.

Apr 06 - Notions of a delayed La Niña might have been hasty -Braun
The decay of El Niño and the onset of La Niña, the cold phase of tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperatures, are occurring more rapidly than it would appear. The timing of La Niña's arrival is important to commodities markets as La Niña has vastly different effects on global climate than its warm counterpart, El Niño. click here.

Apr 06 - Brazil takes Indonesia, Thailand to WTO over beef and sugar
Brazil has launched two complaints at the World Trade Organization to challenge Indonesia over its restrictions on Brazilian beef and Thailand over support given to its sugar sector, the WTO said on Tuesday. Brazil is challenging an effective import ban on certain bovine meat products in Indonesia, which Brazil said discriminated against its imports, the WTO said. Fclick here.

Apr 06 - Barry Callebaut boosts sales as cocoa prices, currencies cut profits
Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut reported gains in half-year sales on Wednesday while currency translations and a tough cocoa market cut profits by 18.5 percent. The company, which sells chocolate and other cocoa products to companies like Nestle and Hershey, said sales rose 5.6 percent to 3.42 billion Swiss francs ($3.57 billion) in the fiscal half-year ended February 29. click here.

Apr 05 - India's sugar exports halt as prices surge on lower output f'cast
India's sugar exports have come to a halt as dealers have not signed new contracts in the past five days after local prices surged on expectations of lower output, trade sources said on Tuesday. India, the world's biggest sugar producer after Brazil, has contracted to export 1.6 million tonnes since the season began on Oct. 1. Dealers have shipped out 1.3 million tonnes so far. click here.

Apr 05 - Indian, Thai sugar flows to slow to Myanmar for China
Indian and Thai white sugar exports to Myanmar, a gateway for smuggling into China, are set to slow further as harvests finish early due to drought and Indian domestic prices surge, diverting sugar to the local market. Indian mills, believed to be the main source of white sugar for Myanmar after gaining market share as Thai supplies ran out, are expected to prioritise the local market due to a jump in domestic prices, traders said. click here.

Apr 05 - ICE May raw sugar sees biggest 3-day rout ever; some spy floor
The May raw sugar contract on ICE Futures U.S. had its biggest three-day slide ever as chart signals and expectations of bumper supplies in top grower Brazil drove a speculator selling spree, though some see prices soon stabilizing. The May contract has tumbled nearly 8 percent over the last three days, a record such rout for the contract and the biggest for the front-month since July 2015, after prices broke through Fibonacci retracement levels. The chart signals added to pressure seen as traders focused on the quickening pace of cane crushing in Brazil, where a big crop stands to slow the appearance of a long expected world supply deficit. click here.

Apr 05 - Vietnam's April coffee exports seen at 140,000-150,000 T
Vietnam, the world's largest robusta producer, could export 140,000-150,000 tonnes (2.33-2.50 million 60-kg bags) of coffee this month, after shipping an estimated 160,000 tonnes in March, traders said on Tuesday. click here.

Apr 05 - Coffee wars: South Korea's cafe boom nears saturation point
South Korea's coffee shop craze is frothing over. In fashionable retail and commercial districts of southern Seoul, nearly one in every two buildings boasts a coffee shop - evidence of a boom that has delivered dizzying growth for the likes of Starbucks and local chains. But now the market is getting even more crowded, as convenience stores such as 7-Eleven offer 1,000 won (87 cents) cups, and smaller players are feeling the heat. click here.

Apr 05 - Patchy rain and sun boost hopes for Ivorian cocoa mid-crop
Patchy rain and sunshine last week in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions were adequate for the growth of the mid-crop but regular rain is needed over the next two months to boost quality and allow the crop to finish strongly, farmers said on Monday. The marketing season for the April-to-September mid-crop has started but most inland farmers said no significant volumes of beans would leave the bush before June as the long dry season has damaged and delayed the crop. click here.

Apr 04 - Platts Sees Sugar Bottoming in August; Could Sink to 13c (Dow Jones)
Sugar prices may sag for months, says Platts analyst Claudiu Covrig. Prices have risen around 40% since late August as the market has moved into an undersupplied situation, but a sharp correction has seen prices lose 11% since March 23. "It was too fast, too soon," Mr. Covrig says. "We still have some bears in the room. The biggest is the Brazilian crop which will be so huge it will add extra pressure on prices." Predicts prices will bottom this year in August amid abundant Brazilian supplies and could sink towards 13 cents. May futures down 2.4% at 14.8 cents/lb Monday.

Apr 04 - Rising Vietnam robusta premiums boost demand for exchange stocks
Vietnamese robusta coffee premiums look set to rise further due to a worsening drought in the world's top grower, boosting incentives to draw down ageing exchange certified stocks, traders said on Friday. The country's Central Highlands main coffee belt is facing the worst drought in 30 years, heaping pressure on its limited supply. click here.

Apr 04 - As Indonesian forests burn, new anti-fire agency feels heat
As forest fires raged like never before across Indonesia last year, President Joko Widodo announced he was setting up a special agency to tackle the annual scourge that shrouds parts of Southeast Asia in choking haze. But, with this season's fires already blazing, the Peatlands Restoration Agency has barely got off the ground and has a huge task ahead of it. click here.

Apr 04 - Speculators lift ICE sugar, cotton bets to record - CFTC
Speculators boosted a net long position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to a record in the week ended March 29 while also building a record bearish stance in cotton, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. The noncommercial dealers trimmed their net long positions in cocoa and arabica coffee futures and options, the data showed. click here.

Apr 04 - Honduran coffee exports dip in March, Costa Rica exports up
Coffee shipments from Honduras fell 2.9 percent in March compared to the same month a year earlier, while Costa Rican exports rose 6.4 percent, official data showed on Friday. Coffee exports last month from Honduras, Central America's top producer, totaled 762,333 60-kg bags, compared to 784,929 bags in the year-earlier period, according to data from national coffee institute IHCAFE. click here.

Apr 04 - Saudi's SABIC says starts trial operations at new rubber plant
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said on Sunday that it had started trial operations at a new rubber plant it has built as a joint venture with a unit of Exxon Mobil. Trial operations had started at the carbon black and utilities unit of the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (KEMYA) rubber plant, it said in the statement. click here.

Apr 01 - World Pepper Bulletin Week 28 March/01 April 2016 - WPB
Pepper prices at most origins remained stable at high sight. Even in India the price increased on an average by 3%. Local price of Malabar black in Kochi increased from INR 639 per Kg last week to INR 649 this week. Prices at other origins were reported stable. In dollar terms however, local price in Sarawak increased due to strengthening of Ringgit Malaysia; while in Indonesia local price decreased marginally due to weakening of Indonesian Rupiah against US dollar. FOB prices of pepper were reported stable, except in India.

Apr 01 - Import of Pepper by Netherland - WPB
During 2015 Netherlands imported 13,562 Mt of pepper comprising of 8,635 Mt of whole and 4,927 Mt. of ground pepper. Total import in 2015 decreased by 14% when compare with export of 15,849 Mt in 2014. Import of whole pepper decreased by 23%; while for ground pepper increased marginally by 5%. It is interesting to note that portion of whole pepper imported into Netherlands has decreased from year to year; while export of ground pepper has been increasing. Total import of whole pepper in 2015 was the lowest recorded so far. Vietnam remained the main supplier for the Netherland, contributing around 55% in 2015, but decreased from 60% in 2014, followed by Indonesia and India. Ground pepper imported by Netherlands was mainly from Germany. Pepper imported by the Netherlands was mainly for re-export to the neighboring countries in the European countries.

Apr 01 - Drought hits Thai sugar, next year's crop dying
Prasert Jitkham stoops down and pulls a yellowed sugar cane shoot from baked soil. The worst drought in more than twenty years in Thailand has killed the plant he should harvest next year. The El Nino weather phenomenon has played havoc with crops across Southeast Asia and beyond. Thailand, the world's second-largest sugar exporter, will ship 20 percent less of the sweetener to international markets this year than last, and farmers fear the damage already inflicted on young cane plants could make next year worse. click here.

Apr 01 - ICE sugar contract launch delayed pending regulatory approval
The launch a new white sugar futures contract on ICE Futures Europe, which had been expected by the end of March, has been delayed pending regulatory approval by the Bank of England, trade sources say. The contract, which could eventually supplant the existing global benchmark, reflects the growing dominance of containerised trade. click here.

Apr 01 - Rising demand for cane strains U.S. sugar industry
A push by some U.S. food manufacturers to steer clear of genetically modified agricultural products has increased demand for cane sugar at the same time that cane refiners are having a difficult time securing supplies, potentially straining the country's controversial support program. Cane refiners like Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV's Imperial Sugar Co. and ASR Group - the maker of Domino Sugar - are scrambling to secure supplies to satisfy the growing appetite for cane sugar as an increasing number of food companies move away from ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). click here.

Apr 01 - Archer Daniels Midland in deal to sell Brazil sugar ethanol operations
Archer Daniels Midland Co has struck a deal to sell a sugarcane ethanol plant in Brazil after searching for a buyer for four years, the agribusiness company said on Thursday. ADM will sell a sugarcane plantation and an ethanol distillery, which is capable of crushing up to 1.5 million tons of sugarcane and producing 37,000 gallons of ethanol per year, to JFLim Participações S.A. Terms were not disclosed. click here.

Apr 01 - Brazil approves $1.3 bln financing for coffee sector
The monetary council of the Brazilian government said on Thursday it approved 4.6 billion reais ($1.3 billion) in funding for the coffee sector in the 2016 season, up from 4.14 billion reais in 2015 for financing producers and cooperatives. The funds will be administered by Funcafe, a fund which allocates subsidized credit for the coffee sector. click here.

Mar 31 - Cocoa Prices Take a Dive On Demand Woes (Dow Jones)
- Cocoa prices dropped to a one-month low after a trade house signaled that 2016 could be a challenging year for cocoa demand.
- Cocoa for May dropped 1.4% to $2,932 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, on track for the lowest close for the most actively traded contract since Feb. 26.
- Rotterdam-based Cocoanect said in a note that while it expects cocoa bean processing data for the first quarter--to be released next month--to show a small increase of 1% in North America and a 2% increase in Europe, the largest cocoa consuming regions in the world with Easter boosting sales. In Asia, the firm is predicting a 10% increase from a very low base last year.
- However, going forward, the firm said it thinks processing data will be more "subdued" as the upcoming midcrop in West Africa has been selling more cheaply, indicating sluggish demand. That harvest, in the world's largest growing region, will be fully underway in April.
- "On the whole, we continue to see a challenging consumption environment for cocoa in 2016 with no real pick-up in grind margins due to a still high price level and a sluggish global economy. In the absence of strong demand from emerging markets and the lack of volume growth, chocolate companies have turned to the premium sector and to pricing in order to protect their margins and profits," the firm said.
- The Hightower Report said in a note that the leg down for cocoa could be a short-term trend and that traders should expect a reversal before $2,920 a ton.

Mar 31 - Russia sugar surplus seen cutting CIS import demand
Russia's expansion as a sugar producer is likely to generate a surplus of the sweetener in 2016/17 with exports expected to be targeted at markets such as Uzbekistan within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The region remains well short of becoming a net sugar exporter because leading importers Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan will have requirements well in excess of the combined surpluses of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, trade sources said. click here.

Mar 30 - Ivory Coast rains welcome for upcoming cocoa mid-crop
Sunshine and the arrival of the rainy season have cheered farmers in Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions, which had been battered by strong Harmattan winds and a fierce dry season. Unfavourable weather conditions have led farmers to predict a small and delayed April-to-September mid-crop compared with the previous season but an agro-meterologist said heavy rains would start in coastal and southern regions in April. click here.

Mar 29 - Sinochem Intl, Halcyon Agri to create biggest natural rubber supply chain manager
A unit of Chinese oil and chemicals conglomerate Sinochem Group offered to buy a majority stake in Singapore's Halcyon Agri Corp in a deal that will combine their rubber assets and create the world's largest natural rubber supply chain manager. Sinochem International Corp said late Sunday that it has offered to acquire a 30.07 percent stake in Halcyon Agri for S$0.75 a share. The all-cash deal will be worth at least S$240 million ($175 million). click here.

Mar 29 - Brazil ethanol prices fall as cane crushing gathers pace
Brazil ethanol values fell almost 5 percent last week, the largest weekly drop so far this year, as more mills joined the early start to the 2016/17 center-south cane crop, think-tank Cepea/Esalq said on Monday. Hydrous ethanol index for Sao Paulo state, Brazil's largest fuels market, fell 4.7 percent last week compared to the week before to 1.842 real per liter ($1.92 per gallon). click here.

Mar 25 - World Pepper Weekly Bulletin, 21-25 March 2016 - WPB
Pepper prices at most origins were relatively stable during the week under review. In Vietnam local price of black and white pepper in HCMC stood at the level of around VND 150,000 per Kg for black and VND 197,500 per Kg. of white pepper. On average however, local price of black increased by 3%, while for white pepper remained stable. FOB price of Vietnamese black was reported sable while for white pepper decreased. In Kochi, India local price of black increased marginally from INR 665 per Kg at beginning of the week to INR 669 at the week's close. In Lampung, Bangka, Sarawak and Sri Lanka the prices were reported stable. A marginal decrease in dollar price in Sri Lanka was due to weakening of local currency against US dollar.

Mar 25 - Export of Pepper from Brazil - WPB
- In the last 43rd Session of IPC held in Mysore, India, on November 2015 it was reported that production of pepper in Brazil for the year 2015 is estimated at the level of 41,500 Mt, an increase of 2,500 Mt from 39,000 Mt in 2014. In line with the increase in pepper production, export of pepper from Brazil in 2015 also increased. As per the latest information received, the increase of export volume in Brazil reached 11% from 34,170 Mt in 2014 to 38,030 Mt in 2015. In terms of value, Brazil has realized export earnings from pepper of around US$ 348 million as against US$ 295 million in 2014. Out of the total export in 2015, a volume of 135 Mt was ground pepper. The United States and Germany were the main destination for Brazilian pepper. The two countries together absorbed 58% of Brazilian's pepper export (32% USA and 26% Germany).
- It is interesting to note that Brazil has taken opportunity of prevailing good price by releasing maximum quantity in the last three months in 2015. As a result, total export in 2015 was higher than targeted earlier of 36,000 Mt.

Mar 24 - Brazil main cane belt makes early run at harvest -Unica
Brazil's main center-south sugar cane belt is making an early start to the crushing season, which promises to be a race against rains for mills to harvest the expected record crop, the industry association Unica said on Wednesday. Crushing has reached a record 603.6 million tonnes of cane in the final month of what is technically the 2015/2016 season. Although Unica has not issued a formal estimate of the new crop, it is expected to be at least 5 percent bigger due to healthy rains in the cane belt, analysts have said. click here.

Mar 24 - Indonesia govt agencies to buy 500,000 T of rubber to support prices
Indonesian government agencies and state owned companies will buy 500,000 tonnes of domestically produced rubber to help support prices, the government said on Thursday as it launched a replanting program. The government gave no details on the timing of the purchases, but the Indonesian rubber association (Gapkindo) said it expected demand should come from infrastructure development, such as using rubber in asphalt mix for roads. click here.

Mar 22 - Brazil's arabica crop: Bigger and better after drought
Whichever of the many forecasts for Brazil's maturing arabica coffee crop end up on the mark, there is no doubt the harvest will be large and have more big screen beans. It will also likely to be of excellent quality as La Nina kicks in. On a recent trip by Reuters through the heart of Brazil's main arabica belt along the border between Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, the country's two leading growing states, agronomists said farms were fully recovered from two years of drought. click here.

Mar 22 - China sugar imports drop for a second month in a row in Feb
China's sugar imports fell in February for the second month in a row after posting a record year in 2015, customs data showed on Monday. China, the world's top sugar buyer, imported 110,000 tonnes of raw sugar in February, down 13.5 percent compared to the same month last year. click here.

Mar 22 - Helpful weather lifts prospects for Ivory Coast mid-crop cocoa
Abundant rains and sunny spells helped growth in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa-growing regions last week, triggering new foliage that is expected to continue into next month and lead to increased output from June, farmers said on Monday. The weather offers some relief after a long and fierce dry season, which has shrunk the April-to-September mid-crop. click here.

Mar 21 - Brazil political crisis darkens coffee belt's post-drought optimism
Farmers in the heart of Brazil's coffee belt are more optimistic after rains ended a two-year drought, but the country's growing political crisis was causing some to hold on to more beans than they normally would. The farm belt tends to take local crises in stride, with commodities like sugar, soybeans and coffee closely linked to the dollar and international prices. But recent unrest, and political upheaval stemming from investigations into Brazil's massive corruption scandal, have caused concern in the world's biggest coffee producer. click here.

Mar 21 - EU wants stricter position limits for food commodities
Tougher market share limits on food commodities traded in the European Union from January 2018 are needed, the bloc's executive body said in a letter this week. Position limits come under the umbrella of a new EU law called Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), with rules being fleshed out by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). click here.

Mar 21 - France moves towards full ban on pesticides blamed for harming bees
French lawmakers approved plans for a total ban on some widely used pesticides blamed for harming bees, going beyond European Union restrictions in a fierce debate that has pitched farmers and chemical firms against beekeepers and green groups. The EU limited the use of neonicotinoid chemicals, produced by companies including Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, two years ago after research pointed to risks for bees, which play a crucial role pollinating crops. click here.

Mar 21 - Speculators up bearish cotton bet to record, switch to coffee net long
Speculators upped a bearish bet in cotton to the biggest on record in the week ended March 15, as they switched to a bullish arabica coffee stance and again upped their bullish position in raw sugar, U.S. government showed on Friday.  click here.

Mar 18 - World Pepper Weekly report, 14-18 March 2016 - WPB
The market showed a mixed response during the week. Local price of black pepper in Vietnam increased, while in Lampung decreased. Local price of black pepper in HCMC increased from VND 140,000 per Kg last week to VND 150,000 per Kg this week. In Lampung, the local price of black pepper decreased by IDR 3,000 per Kg from IDR 104,000 per Kg last week, with very limited activities. Nevertheless, price increase in Vietnam has shown a positive signal despite of the drop in prices in last few weeks. In Sri Lanka, stable price was recorded this week. In the case of white pepper, price in Bangka has recovered and in Vietnam the price was reported stable as last week.
- It is reported that estimated production of pepper in Indonesia would be lower from last year. In addition to the death of pepper vines due to very dry weather in the last year drought season, heavy rains occurred in the last months in Lampung and Bangka has resulted in a drop of immature pepper spikes. In Kalimantan, production is also anticipated lower. Weather condition is reported not favourable for this year crop.

Mar 18 - Import of Pepper by Canada - WBP
Canada imported 6,287 Mt of pepper during 2015, comprising of 3,532 Mt of whole and 2,755 Mt of ground pepper. Import in 2015 increased by 6% from the 5,951 Mt in 2014 and slightly higher from the average import in the last ten years at around 6,100 Mt. Up to 2011 India was the main source of whole pepper for Canada, but since 2012 Vietnam has dominated as pepper export to the country. United States remained the main source of ground pepper for Canada.

 Mar 18 - Brazil 2017 coffee stocks to reach extremely low levels -Cooxupe
Brazil's coffee stocks are expected to dip to extremely low levels again in mid 2017, even after the bumper crop that will be harvested in the second half of this year, the head of the country's largest coffee cooperative Cooxupe said on Thursday."Whether we harvest 50 million, 51 million or 52 million bags in the coming months, stocks at this time next year will also be extremely small because demand far out strips that," Carlos Paulino da Costa, president of Cooxupe said on Thursday. click here.

Mar 18 - How much clarity do we have on transition to La Niña? -Braun
The potential for the massive El Niño to transition into La Niña later in the year is one of the hottest topics in commodities markets right now.These fluctuations of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean can have drastically different impacts on global weather depending on which phase is present - El Niño, the warm phase, or La Niña, the cool phase. They are one of the few clues to seasonal weather patterns several months or even years in advance. click here.

Mar 18 - Brazil's watchdog passes Raízen, Wilmar sugar joint venture
Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade approved a joint venture formed by sugar and ethanol producer Raízen Energia SA and trader Wilmar International Ltd to export sugar, according to the government's official gazette on Thursday.Cade approved the deal with no restrictions despite opposition from sugar trader Sucden, which said it would put 90 percent of the trade in very high polarization (VHP) sugar, the type commonly exported to refiners overseas, in the hands of just two players. click here.

Mar 18 - India has contracted to export 1.3 mln T of sugar - trade body
India has so far contracted to export 1.3 million tonnes of sugar in the 2015/16 marketing year started on Oct. 1, of which 1 million tonnes have already been exported, head of a trade body said on Thursday.Exports from the world's second biggest producer could limit a rally in global prices.Chinese imports via Myanmar are helping Indian mills in their efforts to sell overseas, said Abinash Verma, director general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association. click here.

Mar 18 - In sweet-toothed Britain, sugary soda levy may have limited impact
With its surprise move to tax sugary drinks, Britain joins several Western countries battling a key suspect in rising rates of obesity and diabetes, but health and industry experts say the levy is limited and its effect may be small.1To be serious about cutting calorie intake by reducing sugar consumption, they say, authorities would need to go in harder on sugary drinks and much broader too - taking on less obvious targets such as dairy products and processed savoury foods. click here.

Mar 17 - Myanmar Becomes India's Biggest Sugar Shopper (Dow Jones)
Myanmar has emerged as India's top sugar buyer as India looks to ramp up shipments amid rising domestic stockpiles and a shortage in international markets. Shipments of the Indian sweetener to Myanmar touched 950,000 tons so far in the marketing season that began in October, compared with just 1,040 tons during the same period a year ago, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association. Earlier this month, Indian sugar mills signed deals to export up to 100,000 tons of sugar to Myanmar and are negotiating a further 1 million tons of contracts, according to industry officials. The deals come as a relief to India's beleaguered sugar industry, as the government pushes mills to increase exports.

Mar 17 - UK Sugar Makers Fall on New Levy Announcement (Dow Jones)
Shares of U.K.'s sugar producers fell following the government's announcement to impose a new sugar levy on soft drink makers. The U.K. Treasury chief George Osborne in his annual tax-and-spending plan announced a new levy in an effort to reduce sugar content in soft drinks. The levy will be introduced in the next two years, giving companies time to change their product mix. Shares of sugar manufacturing giant Tate & Lyle PLC trade 1.1% lower at 564P, and stock of another large producer Associated British Foods PLC trade 0.2% lower at 3,365P.

Mar 17 - White sugar premium seen buoyant before May contract expiry
The white sugar refining premium is set to remain buoyant before the May expiry because of strong Chinese and pre-Ramadan demand and tight global supplies, traders said.Dealers quoted the May-May whites-over-raws premium, a measure of the profitability of refining, at about $101 a tonne on Wednesday, up from $92 at the most recent expiry of the March contract on Feb. 29. click here.

Mar 17 - Britain's surprise tax on sugary drinks delights health campaigners
Britain will introduce a sugar levy on soft drinks in two years' time to tackle a growing obesity crisis, finance minister George Osborne said in a surprise announcement on Wednesday, delighting health campaigners and angering drink makers.Just months after the government ruled out a sugar tax, Osborne said the levy, which would be imposed on companies and based on the sugar content in drinks, would raise about 500 million pounds ($704 million) annually.  click here.

Mar 17 - Senator's plea drags Brazil ethanol industry into graft scandal
The testimony released on Tuesday of a prominent Brazilian senator is leading prosecutors in the widening corruption scandal beyond the graft-ridden oil and electric sector that have been their main focus and into the ethanol industry.In a 250-page plea bargain of ruling Workers' Party Senator Delcidio do Amaral, who was arrested in November for obstructing a federal investigation, the lawmaker recounts how funds allegedly skimmed from state oil company Petrobras were channeled into a massive ethanol start-up. click here.

Mar 16 - Geopolitics Plays Mixed Role in Ivory Coast Cocoa Prices (Dow Jones)
It is sometimes said that the cocoa industry is less about the bean and more about politics in Ivory Coast, but an attack by gunmen on a beach in the world's largest producer appears to have had no immediate impact on the price of London-traded cocoa, which has been rising over the past month and a half.  The impact of geo-political events on front-month trading has been uneven. Certain shocks -- including an export freeze on beans during a political conflict more than four years ago -- sent the price of cocoa upwards, but a presidential election campaign in October, which was mostly peaceful, ultimately had little impact on prices.

Mar 16 - Robusta stocks seen drawn down due to high physical premiums
Ageing certified robusta coffee stocks are expected to be drawn down further as pre-harvest supply tightness underpins premiums in Brazil and Indonesia, the second- and third-largest robusta producers.Much of the robusta has been sitting in ICE-approved warehouses for many months, and is subject to age-related discounts, making it cheaper for the trade and roasters. click here.

Mar 16 - FAO chief expects food prices to fall further as growth slows
World food prices are seen falling further this year having settled near their lowest in 7 years pressured by slowing economic growth, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) director general said on Tuesday.The FAO's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, has fallen in each of the last four years. click here.

Mar 15 - Rabobank revises up 2015/16 global sugar deficit
Rabobank on Monday revised its 2015/16 global sugar deficit forecast to 6.8 million tonnes from its previous forecast for a deficit of 4.7 million tonnes."The evolution of the harvests in Thailand and India has disappointed," Rabobank senior commodities analyst Tracey Allen told Reuters. "The deeper deficit is largely due to a reduction seen in production in India and Thailand." click here.

Mar 15 - Vietnam Coffee-Drought lifts prices; Feb exports fall
Vietnam's domestic coffee sales have picked up on higher global prices due to concerns over dry weather, while exporters have not rushed to sell to foreign buyers, traders said on Tuesday.The dry season has entered its peak in Vietnam's Central Highlands coffee belt, affecting nearly a fifth of the coffee farms, according to an industry report. The rainy season could arrive 10-15 days later than usual this year. click here.

Mar 14 - Coffee Prices Unlikely to Post Significant Rally (Dow Jones)
Coffee prices are unlikely to see a significant rally, says brokerage Marex Spectron. "We are not proper bulls because we do not see a strong enough balance sheet argument for sustained higher prices," Marex says. The brokerage forecasts a 1.97 million bag deficit for the 2015-16 season, and notes there is widespread risk that dry weather could hurt coffee production across the major producers. But it also expects record arabica production in Brazil next season, and a surplus of 1.03 million bags. The brokerage forecasts a range of $1,350-$1,550 per metric ton for London-traded robusta, which is currently at $1,428 per ton. It sees a range of 115-145 cents per pound for New York-traded arabica, which is currently at 126 cents per pound.

Mar 14 - Marex sees global coffee surplus in 2016/17
Broker Marex Spectron on Friday forecast a global coffee surplus of 1.03 million 60-kg bags in 2016/17, compared with a deficit of 1.97 million bags in 2015/16."We would anticipate a small surplus in 2016/17," Marex said in its latest report to clients."We anticipate that this surplus is more likely to be revised down rather than up, as dry weather continues to threaten the conillon (robusta) crop in Brazil and potentially to threaten the Vietnamese crop.click here.

Mar 14 - Speculators hike bullish sugar bet, up huge cotton net short - CFTC
Speculators more than doubled their net long stance in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week ended March 8, as they lifted their bearish bet in cotton to the biggest in nearly a decade, U.S. government data showed on Friday.The noncommercial dealers halved a bearish bet in arabica coffee futures and options, as added to a bullish stance in cocoa, Commodity Futures Trading Commission. click here.

Mar 14 - France's Axereal picks ADM cocoa manager to head grain trading
French cooperative Axereal has appointed Nicolas Poyade, previously head of Archer Daniels Midland Co's cocoa business in Ghana, as its new director of grain trading, Axereal said on Friday. Poyade, 37, has worked for ADM's cocoa business for his whole career to date and brings experience of international trading, logistics and industrial processing, Axereal said in a statement. Poyade, who is due to join Axereal at the start of May, will be in charge of the Granit Negoce unit that is one of the biggest exporters of French grain. click here.

Mar 11 - World Pepper Market report, 07-11 March 2016 - WPB
- Except in Vietnam, local price of black pepper at most origins were reported stable. Strengthening of local currencies in Indonesia (IDR) and Malaysia (MYR) against US Dollar has pushed the price up marginally by 1%. In Sri Lanka, domestic price increased by LKR 15 per Kg to reach at LKR 1,223.5 per Kg this week. In Kochi, India, local price of pepper stood at the level of around INR 525 per Kg, which more or less same as prevailed in the last few weeks.
- In respect of white pepper, except in Bangka, the price was reported stable, both local as well as FOB price. The bustle of people in Bangka Belitung, the main white pepper producing regions, with regard to a happening of total solar eclipse, which was cantered in Belitung, has made the pepper market activity decreased. Thousands of tourists and researchers have come to this island to see the rare occurrence of total solar eclipse.

Mar 11 - Export of Pepper from Vietnam - WPB
During 2015 export of pepper from Vietnam totaled at 133,600 Mt, registering a decrease of 9% from 146,400 Mt of export in 2014. In terms of value however, the export earnings from pepper increased by 6% from US$ 1.2 billion in 2014 to US$ 1.3 billion in 2015. In the last 43rd Session of IPC held on November 2015 in Mysore, India, it was reported that production of pepper in 2016 is estimated at the level of 140,000 Mt, an increase of around 7% from 130,000 Mt in 2015. With this situation, it is predicted that export of pepper from Vietnam will be higher in 2016 than the last year and as per the VPA, total pepper export is expected to reach at 150,000Mt this year. This is also supported by reported less supply from India and Indonesia. Overall, world supply this year is estimated to be more or less same as last year and price will be more stable. The market will find a new equilibrium after Vietnam released major portion of its pepper from current harvest.

Mar 11 - EU seen in no rush to act to boost sugar supplies
The European Commission appears unlikely to move rapidly to alleviate tight sugar supplies in the EU, with any action expected to be delayed until the summer, trade sources said.High internal sugar prices following the lowest beet harvest in more than four decades in 2015/16 have sparked speculation that the EU might take steps to boost supplies.Trade sources said, however, the Commission might wait until evidence emerged of vessels loading sugar in Brazil under an existing preferential quota for the EU, and until the harvest outlook in drought-hit southern Africa, a supplier to the EU, became clearer. click here.

Mar 10 - USDA hikes outlook for 2015/16 sugar supplies on higher imports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday hiked its forecast for sugar supplies in the 2015/16 marketing year on a higher outlook for sugar imports, a move expected to ease concern over a raw supply shortage for the country's cane refiners.The USDA raised the closely watched stocks-to-use ratio to 13.5 from 12.8 last month on expectations of higher sugar imports after the U.S. government reallocated quotas to some producers this week. click here.

Mar 10 - Brazil 2016 ethanol demand fall seen likely as price rises
Brazil's ethanol demand, which soared 20 percent in 2015, is unlikely to make any gains this year and may fall as higher prices and the economic slump hit sales, raising the possibility of higher sugar exports, according to experts.The fuel's price advantage against gasoline could also evaporate in several Brazilian states as prices are unlikely to fall as low as last year when the cane harvest hit full swing. click here.

Mar 10 - Rabobank sees Brazil 2016/17 coffee crop below market expectations
Brazilian coffee output for 2016/17 is seen below market expectations largely due to the impact of severe drought on robusta crops, Rabobank said on Wednesday after conducting a crop survey.It forecast Brazilian coffee output at 51.8 million bags, up 2.6 million year-on-year.The forecast was below market expectations, in part due to a low robusta estimate of 12.6 million bags, down 3.9 million year-on-year, because of the impact of prolonged dry weather in the main growing areas. click here.

Mar 09 - Stronger Brazilian real slows forward sales of cane crop
A strengthening Brazilian real and uncertainty about the impact of wet weather on the cane harvest in the centre-south of the country have slowed the previously strong pace of forward hedging by mills of the 2016/17 crop. Trade sources estimated that at least 60 percent of the crop in the world's top producer and exporter had been sold forward so far, an above-average share for this time of year. click here.

Mar 09 - Poor Ivory Coast cocoa bean quality reduces purchases, exports
Purchases and exports of Ivory Coast cocoa beans fell sharply last week as a lack of rain and strong winds continued to reduce the quality of the crop, traders and farmers said on Tuesday.Mills which process the beans reduced purchases by 70-80 percent last week, while traders said they bought up to 90 percent less, because the beans were too small and high in acidity, they said. Sources in Cocoa Barry, Cargill, Sucden, Saf Cacao, Olam and Sourcing Africa said activity was reduced last week, in varing degrees. click here.

Mar 08 - Brazil Foreign Ministry prepares WTO case against Thai sugar
Brazil's Foreign Ministry is working with its sugar industry and outside legal counsel to put together a formal challenge of Thai sugar subsidies at the World Trade Organization, the lead counsel in the case said on Monday.Daniela Benjamin, coordinator of disputes at the ministry and lead counsel, said subsidies and price supports that Brazil believes have unfairly favored Thai sugar exports are complex and not a simple case of export subsidies.click here.

Mar 08 - Sugar flows to China via Myanmar slow after crackdown - traders
Flows of white sugar to Myanmar have started to decline following a crackdown on smuggling into China but will remain substantial this year, trade sources said on Monday.Volumes of white sugar shipped to Myanmar soared last year due to a jump in smuggling to China because of high domestic prices in the world’s top sugar buyer. click here.

Mar 08 - Coffee stocks held by exporters filling global deficit - ICO
The International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Monday it estimated coffee production would be 143.4 million 60-kg bags in the 2015/16 marketing year and said stocks held by exporting nations were filling a shortfall between output and consumption."Our analysis suggests that we are in a deficit this year but stocks in exporting countries have filled that gap," the ICO said in a statement, issued during a visit to coffee producer Ethiopia by ICO Executive Director Robério Silva.click here.

Mar 08 - Ivory Coast rains bring hope for much of cocoa-growing regions
Rains and humid weather has raised growers' hopes in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions, where a drought and severe Harmattan winds had battered plants ahead of the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.Ivory Coast's dry season runs from mid-November to March but farmers still rely on intermittent showers to aid the development of the mid-crop. An Abidjan-based agrometerologist said downpours would continue in forest and coastal regions, aiding plants' growth.click here.

Mar 07 - Speculators raise ICE sugar net long, 1st time in 6 weeks - CFTC
Speculators increased their net long position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. for the first time in six weeks, in the week ended March 1, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The noncommercial dealers also raised their net long position in cocoa futures and options, while they added to net short positions in arabica coffee and cotton, click here.

Mar 07 - Indian mills clinch sugar exports deals, first in 2 months - sources
Indian sugar mills signed export deals this week, the first in nearly two months, as an incentive by the top producing state Maharashtra and a rally in global prices of the sweetener made overseas sales attractive, industry sources told Reuters.A pick up in exports by the world's second-biggest producer could put a lid on world sugar prices, which climbed to more than one-month highs on Thursday amid worries about lower shipments from top supplier Brazil.click here.

Mar 07 - U.S. refiner biofuels costs top $1 bln, nearing 2013 record
U.S. oil refiners paid more than $1 billion to comply with rules to produce more ethanol-infused gasoline last year, the most in two years, according to filings that will likely intensify the debate over who should foot the bill for the nation's biofuels program.Eleven companies, including Valero Energy Corp and Marathon Petroleum Corp, shelled out $1.27 billion last year for credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers or RINs, as they raced to stock up on paper credits to meet ethanol quotas set by the government after years of delays, according to securities filings reviewed by Reuters. click here.

Mar 04 - European Commission considers steps to tackle tight sugar supplies - trade
The European Commission is considering holding at least one tender for additional raw sugar imports at reduced duty as part of efforts to alleviate tight supplies in the bloc, trade sources said on Thursday.Any temporary market-management measures would tackle limited availability of sugar in the European Union after the lowest beet harvest in more than four decades in 2015/16 because of a smaller planted area and a drop in yields following adverse weather. click here.

Mar 04 - World Pepper Market Report, 29 February - 4 March 2016 - WBP
- Pepper harvest in Vietnam is in progress. New material from the initial harvest has ready in the market. Trading however still not brisk, as overseas buyers are expecting to get more competitive price. As per the information from VPA, It is anticipated that output of this year harvest in Vietnam will be better than predicted earlier and Vietnam is likely to take this advantage to expand market by lowering price. Local price of Vietnamese black pepper decreased almost daily during the week. When compared to last week, the average price decreased significantly by around 8%. In the US market a decreasing trend is also witnessed during the week under review.
- Pepper crop from India has already in the market but no any significant effect on prices in India or the other countries. Supported by huge internal demand, pepper market in India remained steady. In Lampung and Sarawak pepper prices were reported stable and a marginal increase was recorded for white pepper in Bangka and black pepper in Sri Lanka.

Mar 04 - Export of Pepper from Malaysia - WBP
During 2015, total export of Malaysia was 13,910 Mt of pepper, consisting of 12,724 Mt of whole pepper and 1,187 Mt of ground pepper. The export was lower than targeted earlier at the level of 14,500 Mt, but increased marginally by 2% when compared to export of 13,638 Mt (12,374 Mt of whole pepper and 1,264 Mt of ground pepper) in 2014. Whole pepper increased by 3%, while for ground pepper decreased by 6%. In terms of value, export earnings of Malaysia from pepper increased by 6% from US$ 125 million in 2014 to US$ 132 million in 2015. Japan remained the most important market absorbing 24% of pepper exported by Malaysia. China, Taiwan and Vietnam also imported significant quantity of pepper from Malaysia.

Mar 03 - Indicator Price for Sugar to Increase on Declining Stocks (Dow Jones)
The world indicator price for raw sugar is forecast to increase in the short term, reflecting a decline in world stocks from record levels as world sugar consumption is forecast to exceed production, says the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences in its March update. "Over the medium term, world sugar consumption is projected to grow at a faster rate than production, further reducing world stocks." It adds that by 2020-21 the world stocks-to-use ratio for sugar is projected to be around 28%, compared with 43% in 2014-15. Raw sugar futures rose 2.6% to end the New York session at 14.36 cents a pound.

Mar 03 - Cocoa Price Helped by Weakening Sterling (Dow Jones)
Much of the gain in the London-traded cocoa price is due to the weakening of the pound against the dollar, according to Max Goettler, a trader at Cocoanect. The London-traded, sterling contract is up more than 6% in the last month, but remains down 2.5% since the year began, while the New York-traded, dollar-denominated contract is down 9.1%. Meanwhile, the pound has weakened 7.3% in the last three months against the dollar. The result has helped to give the London-traded contract a boost, according to Mr. Goettler.

Mar 03 - Delayed La Nina seen buoying U.S., Asia crops - MDA weather A delay in the onset of the La Nina weather pattern this year is likely to buoy crops across key growing regions in the United States, Australia and India, a leading weather forecaster said on Thursday.Another year of bumper production of crops such as corn, wheat and soybeans would boost global inventories that have risen near record levels following successive large harvests.  click here.

Mar 02 - Brazil to challenge Thailand sugar subsidies at WTO
Brazil will challenge Thailand at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over subsidies for sugar producers that it says have dragged down global prices for the sweetener, the Trade Ministry said.Brazil said the Thai government has given support to cane growers and sugar mills that is inconsistent with international trade agreements, allowing the Asian country to win market share at the expense of Brazilian producers. click here.

Mar 02 - Wilmar seen sole buyer of 600,000 tonnes in ICE sugar delivery
Wilmar International Ltd has bought 599,011 tonnes of sugar against the March ICE contract, its fourth straight raw sugar purchase through the Intercontinental Exchange, according to exchange data and traders.Data published on Tuesday showed 11,791 lots of raw sugar from Argentina, Brazil, and Central American origins was due to be delivered against the March contract on ICE Futures U.S. that expired on Monday, confirming a Reuters report. click here.

Mar 02 - EU may need special measures to tackle tight sugar supply -traders
The European Commission may need to take special measures in the next couple of months to tackle tight supplies of refined sugar in the bloc, including permitting raw sugar imports at reduced duty, traders said on Monday.They said the measures are likely to include a so-called tariff-rate quota (TRQ), whereby a specific tonnage of sugar imports are permitted at a discounted duty rate. click here.

Mar 01 - Brazil's north/northeast sugar output lags year ago by 15 pct - Sindacucar
Cane harvesting in Brazil's northern and northeastern states produced 2.41 million tonnes of sugar by mid-February, down 15 percent from the same time a year ago, as drought in the region curbed yields, milling industry association Sindacucar said on Monday.Crushing in the region that accounts for nearly 10 percent of Brazil's total cane crop reached 45.3 million tonnes by mid- February, down 8.5 percent from a year ago, Sindacucar said in a report. click here.

Mar 01 - EU may need special measures to tackle tight sugar supply - traders
The European Commission may need to take special measures in the next couple of months to tackle tight supplies of refined sugar in the bloc, including permitting raw sugar imports at reduced duty, traders said on Monday.They said the measures are likely to include a so-called tariff-rate quota (TRQ), whereby a specific tonnage of sugar imports are permitted at a discounted duty rate. click here.

Mar 01 - Brazil 2016/2017 coffee crop seen up 13 pct 56.25 mln bags - Comexim
Brazil's 2016/2017 coffee crop is seen at 56.25 million 60-kg bags, up 13 percent from the 49.9 million bags harvested from last year's drought-hit crop, trader Comexim said on Monday.Arabica beans are expected to make up 44.35 million bags of total output and robusta 11.9 million, as the return of rains to arabica-growing regions are expected to improve trees' output. click here.

Mar 01 - Rainfall provides some relief in key Ivory Coast cocoa regions
Patchy rains fell last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions, offering some relief after a persistent drought and hot weather had risked damaging the mid crop, farmers said on Monday."There should be rain on the coast and in the forest zone this week and next week," said an Abidjan-based agrometerologist who declined to be identified. The dry season in Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, runs from mid-November to March but intermittent showers are needed to help develop the April-to-September mid-crop. click here.

Mar 01 - Wilmar scoops up 4th straight ICE raw sugar delivery - traders
Wilmar International Ltd has bought about 600,000 tonnes of raw sugar against March ICE futures that expired on Monday, marking a fourth straight purchase through the contract, two U.S. traders said.The sugar, worth about $192 million based on Tuesday's closing prices, was expected from Central America, Argentina and Brazil, they said. click here.

Feb 29 - ICCO sees 113,000 T global cocoa deficit in 2015/16
Cocoa production is forecast to fall in the 2015/16 season (October/September), helping to fuel a global deficit of the commodity, the International Cocoa Organization said on Friday issuing its first forecasts for the period.The ICCO, in a quarterly update, projected there would be a global deficit of 113,000 tonnes in 2015/16 compared with a surplus of 42,000 tonnes in the prior season. click here.

Feb 29 - Speculators cut bullish raw sugar bet amid short-covering rally
Speculators slashed their bullish position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. by more than half in the week ended Feb. 23, when the market made a meteoric short-covering rally, government data showed on Friday.The noncommercial dealers raised their bullish stance in cocoa for the first time since December. They reduced their bearish position in arabica coffee futures and options but increased it in cotton, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed. click here.

Feb 26 - World Pepper Market Week 22-26 February 2016 - WPB
- The market has shown mixed response in the different region of the producing countries. In India, prevailed unfavorable weather has hit Pepper production in Kerala region. Current production is dependent on Pepper arrivals from Karnataka state.  Despite of the harvesting is started in Vietnam and continued in India, Pepper price is not so volatile. This may be due to the poor stocks from last year and expected higher prices in future months. It is obvious that, because of lower production than the expectations and robust demand, no decline in price can be expected due to harvesting continued in India till end April.
- In the Vietnam new crop arrival is lagging behind demand at the moment, though harvesting of Pepper is expected to be better and export revenue to hit higher than the last year as per market information. It is also understood that, the strong price increase in Pepper has led to the area expansion and supply side strengthening further. The FOB price in black Pepper has changed by around 5 to 6% during ongoing harvesting season in the country.
- Indonesia remains quite and globally price gap versus origin has narrowed and remained almost stable. The price change of -3% in black Pepper and -2% in white Pepper is seen ,this is due to the volatility in prevailing currency fluctuations in the market. Sri-Lanka price has slighted decreased by -1% over the week.

Feb 26 - Pepper Scenario in Cambodia - WPB
Cambodia is one of the emerging Pepper producing and exporting countries, the figures as depicted in the chart as below since year 2010 reflects the performance of the country. The Cambodian black pepper from the year 2000 has been growing in 17 provinces in Cambodia, including the main plantation area which is located in Tbong Khmum province , located closer to Vietnamese border in the north-east of Cambodia. Total area under Pepper is around 4,645 Ha and the production is around 9,000 Mt for the year 2015. It is expected that, Cambodia production is expected to be more than 10,000 Mt by 2016. Over 90% of its produce is exported and its local consumption is less than 1,000Mt. It is seen that Vietnam and Thailand are the major market for Cambodia Pepper and as well it finds its market to East Asia, Australia and European Union.

Feb 26 - Brazil sugar sector gears up for record season, at last
Heavily indebted sugar and ethanol companies in Brazil are gearing up for possibly one of the best seasons ever in 2016/17 as weather conditions point to excellent cane volumes, while prices in local currency hover near record highs. Brazilian mills appear likely to benefit the most from the first global sugar deficit in six years, which is widening as El Nino hits rivals such as India, Thailand and the European Union. Raw sugar's May futures jumped 8.9 percent on Tuesday on supply worries, the contract's biggest one-day gain. click here.

Feb 25 - Raw sugar seen heading higher after busting above downtrend
Do not be fooled by that spinning top. Raw sugar futures are headed higher after the benchmark contract's historical 9 percent rally highlighted a potential base and rocketed through a long-term downtrend, technical analysts said on Wednesday. The most-active May raw sugar futures contract surged 9.1 percent on Tuesday, its biggest one-day jump. This was followed by a "spinning top", which is a candlestick chart formation that trades in a range but closes near the price where it opened, creating the shape of the children's toy. Though prices rose to a one-month high at 14.06 cents per lb on Wednesday, the spinning top indicates that the market consolidated its violent spike higher, with indecision by both buyers and sellers. click here.

Feb 25 - South Africa's drought-hit sugar harvest to be smallest since 1995 - industry body
South Africa is expected to harvest 1.63 million tonnes of sugar in the 2015/2016 season, the lowest since 1995 and down 22 percent on the previous period as a severe drought hits production, an industry body said on Wednesday. The worst drought in a century has hurt sugar and maize producing regions, piling pressure on sugar producers who are also grappling with cheap imports, forcing some mills to remain closed and reducing jobs in the sector. click here.

Feb 24 - Soaring sugar bucks commodities slump as El Nino fans supply concerns
Sugar futures surged on Tuesday in their biggest one-day move since July last year, in stark contrast to most other commodities, as El Nino-linked drought conditions for key producers brought market fundamentals into sharp focus. After five years of global over-supply, a status hobbling the price of oil and some other key commodities, sugar's supply/demand balance has been moving further into deficit, prompting influential forecasters to adjust their figures.  click here.

Feb 24 - Kicking up a stink: Malaysia durian farmers demand mining clampdown
Malaysian farmers of the famously pungent durian fruit are calling for tighter regulations on mining they say is destroying arable land and tainting the water they need to churn out their yellow, spiky-shelled crop. Farmers in major growing state Pahang plan to spend nearly two weeks marching over 250 kilometres to parliament in Kuala Lumpur to protest the impact of bauxite mining on output of the food, sometimes described as Southeast Asia's 'King of Fruits'. click here.

Feb 24 - Blommer sees 2015/16 world cocoa deficit, rising demand
Blommer Chocolate Co, North America's largest cocoa processor, expects the world market to see a supply deficit of 128,000 tonnes in 2015/16 on lower output in West Africa and a slight increase in demand after last year's grind disappointing. There is a risk of a larger deficit if the dry weather in Africa causes greater damage to production and bean quality in Ghana and Ivory Coast, said Robert Weidner, Senior Strategic Sourcing Manager for Blommer, at the International Sweetener Colloquium in Miami. click here.

Feb 23 - U.S. mulls options as sugar refiners face supply crunch
The U.S. government is considering boosting raw sugar imports as refiners face a supply crunch due to a trade spat with Mexico and rising cane demand as food makers use less genetically modified ingredients, company and government officials said. The U.S. government is so worried about dwindling supplies that it is weighing options such as reallocating sugar to quota holders that have more sugar available, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Michael Scuse said at an industry conference in Miami on Monday. click here.

Feb 23 - Farmers fear for Ivory Coast's drought-hit cocoa crop
Ivory Coast's cocoa farmers fear that the hot, dry weather that continued for most of last week could reduce the size of the beans and of the mid-crop. Cocoa prices fell sharply in the early weeks of 2016 on a wave of fund selling linked to broad-based weakness in commodity markets but have begun to regain some ground this month on concerns that strong Harmattan winds could limit production in West Africa. click here.

Feb 23 - Cargill reaches deal to sell German chocolate unit
U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill said on Monday it had reached an agreement to sell its industrial chocolate production unit in Mannheim, Germany, to Dutch investment companies Nimbus and Varova. Cargill had agreed to dispose of the activities as part of European Union approval for its acquisition of the global chocolate business of U.S. group ADM in August 2015. click here.

Feb 23 - Kenya's Mumias Sugar sees better second half, losses widens in H1
Kenya's Mumias Sugar expected to perform better in the second half after posting a wider pretax loss for the six months ended Dec. 31, the company said on Tuesday, adding falling prices due to illegal imports could pose a challenge. The heavily-indebted firm has been struggling with cash flow problems in recent years, forcing the government to step in with bailout funds and has hired a new chief executive, Errol Johnston, to drive its turnaround.  click here.

Feb 23 - Michigan Sugar beet cooperative scoops up U.S. cane refiner
Beet sugar cooperative Michigan Sugar Co has agreed to buy the assets of AmCane Sugar Llc, one of the cane companies hardest hit by a trade deal with Mexico limiting U.S. imports of the sweetener, according to a company official and statement. The sale comes as AmCane is embroiled in litigation in the Court of International Trade over a 2014 trade deal signed by the United States and Mexico, which sets prices and a quota for the sweetener. Cane refiners including Louis Dreyfus Commodities' Imperial Sugar Co have said the trade deal threatens their supplies of raw sugar as well as their margins. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it was mulling options as concerns mount over raw supplies. click here.

Feb 23 - Sugar deficit forecasts to rise on reduced Indian and Thai output
Analysts are scaling back sugar output forecasts for India and Thailand because of drought-eroded yields, increasing the likelihood of upward revisions to global deficit forecasts for the 2015/16 season. The International Sugar Organization (ISO) is expected to publish its latest global sugar balance numbers in its quarterly report on Tuesday. click here.

Feb 22 - Indian sugar exports slow to Myanmar, smuggling gateway to China
Flows of Indian white sugar to Myanmar, a gateway for smuggling into China, are slowing down, while Brazilian sugar is becoming more competitive due to cheaper freight. Volumes of white sugar shipped to Myanmar soared last year and early this year due to a jump in smuggling into China because of high domestic prices in the world's top sugar buyer. click here.

Feb 22 - Australian avocado prices soar as supply goes pear-shaped
While prices for most Australian commodities are bumping along the floor, local avocados are fetching a king's ransom thanks to hostile weather, strict quarantine laws and a Christmas binge. Outside South and Central America, where the fruit is native, Australia has the highest per-capita consumption in the world, at an annual 3.2 kilogrammes (kg), or about 15 fruits, according to industry body Avocados Australia. click here.

Feb 22 - Speculators cut bullish raw sugar stance to 4-1/2-month low
Speculators cut their bullish raw sugar position on ICE Futures U.S. for the fourth straight week to a 4-1/2-month low in the week ended Feb. 16, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The noncommercial dealers cut their net long position in cocoa futures and options for the 10th straight week, while they increased their net short positions in arabica coffee and cotton, the data showed. click here.

Feb 22 - ADM expects to idle Brazil sugar ethanol plant this year
U.S. agribusiness company Archer Daniels Midland Co does not expect to restart its sugarcane ethanol plant in Brazil after a seasonal shutdown this year, the company said in a U.S. regulatory filing on Friday, as a broad review of its operations continues. Chicago-based ADM has been trying to sell the Brazilian plant in Limeira do Oeste since 2012 and on Friday said it was still looking at all options. click here.

Feb 22 - Yemen central bank stops guarantees for rice, sugar imports - sources
Yemen's central bank has told traders and local banks it will no longer provide lines of credit for the import of sugar and rice at the official exchange rate, merchants and local bankers said on Friday. The move takes immediate effect and is likely to further deepen the country's humanitarian crisis. Yemen is in the midst of a war between the Iran-allied Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa, and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government, which is backed by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia. click here.

Feb 20 - Pepper Weekly report, 15-19 February 2016 (WPB)
The market of pepper showed a mixed response at different origins during the week. Black pepper price in India and Sri Lanka increased, while in Sarawak and Lampung decreased marginally. Local price of white pepper in Bangka increased, while in Sarawak decreased.
- It is understood the increase of Malabar black in Kochi was due to significant fall of output from this year harvest. In Vietnam, initial harvest has begun and the output is expected to be better this year. Buyers have come back office from holiday and started doing business. Market was more active during the week. Under this situation, local price of Vietnamese pepper prevailed at HCMC decreased marginally. Market situation occurred in Vietnam, the largest supplier has likely influenced market situation in Lampung and Sarawak, where prices in these two countries also decreased marginally.

Feb 19 - Import of Pepper to the U.S. (WPB)
Supported by sufficient supply from producing countries, import of pepper by the United States of America increased in 2015 by 11,560 Mt (17%) from 68,800 Mt in 2014 to 80,360 Mt in 2015. Import of black pepper increased by 10% to 53,290 Mt and for white pepper increased by 3% to 5,480 Mt. A significant increase of 45% was recorded for ground pepper to 21,590 Mt in 2015. The increase in import was in line with the increase in production of pepper in producing countries, mainly in Indonesia and India. Although production of Vietnam decreased in 2015, Vietnam still maintained its position as the largest supplier (41%) of whole pepper for the United States, followed by Indonesia (25% and Brazil (22%). Import of ground pepper was mainly from India and Vietnam. These two countries supplied 76% of ground pepper to the United States. India 45 % and Vietnam 31%.

Feb 19 - Losing grip, Japan tyre makers target new rubber supplies
Fed up with rubber prices languishing at seven-year lows, Sunny Joseph, a farmer in India's southern state of Kerala, has uprooted his two-acre (0.8 hectare) rubber plantation to make way for a more lucrative crop. A similar trend among growers in Southeast Asia is alarming Japanese tyre makers and spurring them to seek new sources of supply away from traditional producers, amid fears that today's glut could turn to a shortage. click here.

Feb 19 - North Brazil cash sugar premiums jump as sales to EU contracted
Cash premiums of north-northeast Brazilian raw sugar have surged due to contracted sales of at least 300,000 tonnes of quota sugar to EU refineries and allocation of most drought-hit cane to ethanol. European traders on Thursday quoted physical premiums for north-northeast Brazilian raw sugar at 25 points over May futures, sharply up from 5 points over futures on Friday. click here.

Feb 19 - Brazil's Cooxupe debuts new coffee export packaging
Brazil's largest coffee cooperative Cooxupe said on Thursday it had started using a new kind of packaging to export arabica coffee in partnership with paper and pulp company Klabin SA, and sent its first shipment to Italy in December. click here.

Feb 19 - Nestle on "high alert" after JAB's spate of coffee deals
Nestle, which owns the world's largest coffee business, is stepping up investment there as it seeks to put more distance between it and fast-growing No. 2 player JAB Holding Co. JAB in December agreed with other minority investors to buy Keurig Green Mountain for about $14 billion, the latest in a spate of coffee deals that would give its owners, Germany's billionaire Reimann family, control of 21 percent of the global market, data from Euromonitor International shows. click here.

Feb 18 - Global 2015/16 sugar deficit could reach 7 mln tonnes - FCStone
The global sugar deficit in the 2015/16 crop year could reach 7 million tonnes, commodities brokerage and consultancy INTL FCStone said on Wednesday, as unfavorable weather worsened output prospects for important producing regions.The brokerage's previous estimate was for a 5.6 million tonne deficit. This year's sugar deficit will be the first since 2009/10. click here.

Feb 18 - Sinking prices, soaring inventories plague U.S. ethanol market
U.S. ethanol producers and traders are bracing for a bleak spring as sinking prices and record inventories punish margins, forcing some companies to suspend loss-making output and extend maintenance, executives said at a conference on Wednesday.One of the only glimmers of hope is the export market, but conditions will get worse before the summer driving season starts, boosting demand and helping to erode stockpiles and bolster razor-thin margins. click here.

Feb 18 - Italy's mafia harvests big gains from agriculture
Italy's mafia has infiltrated huge swathes of the country's agriculture and food business, earning more than 16 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in 2015 from the industry, according to a study released on Wednesday.The report by Italy's agricultural association, Coldiretti, the Eurispes think-tank and Agro-Food Criminal Observatory said organised criminals were taking advantage of the prolonged economic downturn to seize control of farmland and firms. click here.

Feb 17 - Brisk output, cheap container freight erode sugar refiner margins
A surge in refined sugar output and cheap container freight have driven down white sugar premiums sharply this month, but they still offer attractive margins to refiners, traders said on Tuesday. White sugar premiums, the difference between refined and raw sugar values, are a measure of the profitability of refining. click here.

Feb 17 - At least 300,000 T "CXL quota" sugar believed contracted -trade
At least 300,000 tonnes of so-called “CXL quota” sugar, are believed to have been contracted with suppliers in north Brazil and are likely to be shipped in March/April to refineries in Europe, European traders said on Tuesday. The CXL import quota is a supply of raw sugar cane that has preferential access to the EU market. click here.

Feb 17 - Amtrada sells off Ivory Coast cocoa exporter Cipexi to Swiss company
Dutch commodity firm Amtrada has sold Ivory Coast cocoa exporter Cipexi, which it fully owned, to Swiss trading house Origins for about 8 million euros ($8.9 mln), Origins said on Tuesday. The move, which puts an end to Amtrada's operations in the West African country, was finalised last week and marks an expansion for Origins, giving it a foothold in physical markets. click here

Feb 16 - Brazil to turn out bigger coffee beans in 2016 - Cooxupe
As it nears what is expected to be its biggest coffee harvest in history, Brazil will produce bigger sized beans than it has in the past two years when drought stunted bean size as well as crop volume, the country's largest coffee co-op said on Monday. Carlos Paulino da Costa, president of Cooxupe, told Reuters that abundant rain was helping trees fill out young coffee fruit which would create a greater percentage of larger beans, highly prized on international markets, especially Europe. click here.

Feb 16 - ICE confirms March white sugar delivery at 313,050 tonnes
ICE Futures said on Monday that 313,050 tonnes of white sugar had been tendered against the March contract which expired on Friday with the bulk of the supplies to be loaded in the United Arab Emirates, confirming earlier trade reports.  Traders said the main deliverer of the sugar was Al Khaleej, and the exchange had 206,600 tonnes of the total with a load part of Jebel Ali in Dubai where the refiner is based. click here.

Feb 16 - Severe drought to hit Vietnam's coffee production this year
Serious water shortages brought by the El Nino weather phenomenon are expected to hit coffee production in Vietnam's Central Highlands, the country's key growing region, in the first half of 2016, an industry body said on Tuesday. Water in the region's rivers would be 60-80 percent below the average level of many years from now to April, and 30-50 percent lower in May-June, the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association said, citing the national weather centre's forecast. click here.

Feb 16 - Brazil's Raízen 3rd-qtr profit soars on strong ethanol sales
Brazil's Raízen, the world's largest processor of sugar cane, on Monday reported that quarterly profit soared 230 percent as sales of higher-priced ethanol jumped 25 percent. Raízen, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Brazil's Cosan SA Indústria e Comércio, earned 1.05 billion reais ($263 million) in the third quarter of the 2015/16 crop year (October-December) as revenues rose 19 percent to 20.22 billion reais. click here.

Feb 15 - Back in the black, Biosev sees long positive cycle for sugar
Brazil's sugar and ethanol group Biosev SA believes sugar prices will remain strong, the chief executive of the world's second largest cane processor said on Friday, citing dismal prospects for expanding production capacity. Biosev, controlled by French commodities trader Louis Dreyfus, posted on Thursday its first quarterly profit since 2013, as revenues from sugar and ethanol sales soared compared with a year earlier. click here.

Feb 15 - Speculators slash bullish raw sugar bet to 4-1/2-month low
Speculators again cut their net long position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. the week ended Feb. 9, and they reduced a bullish cocoa position to the lowest since April 2013, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The dealers switched to a bearish stance in cotton futures and options for the first time in a year, and reduced their net short position in arabica coffee, the data showed. click here.

Feb 15 - Dubai sugar refiner Al Khaleej to sell majority of ICE delivery -traders
One of the world's largest sugar refiners has sold just over 200,000 tonnes of refined sugar through the ICE Futures U.S. exchange in a very rare move that underscored concerns over demand as prices sink, three U.S. traders said on Friday. Al Khaleej Sugar Refinery sold the majority of over 300,000 tonnes against the ICE March white sugar contract, worth about $200 million based on Friday's closing prices, the traders said. click here.

Feb 12 - Pepper Market report, 8-12 February 2016 - WPB
The market was quiet during the week under review, in view of long Tet holiday in Vietnam and Chinese New Year  holiday in China, Sarawak, Lampung and Bangka. Prices at those origins were reported unchanged, with very limited activities. In dollar terms, local prices in Lampung, Bangka and Sarawak increased marginally due to strengthening of local currencies against US dollar. It is expected that market will be changing in March, when significant quantity from this year harvest arrived in the market.    In India, the market was more active, supported by available new material from current harvest. Average price of pepper at Kochi decreased from INR 620 per Kg last week to INR 607 this week. In Sri Lanka, the price was relatively stable at the level of LKR 1,172 per Kg.

Feb 12 - IMPORT of PEPPER by JAPAN (WPB)
Import of pepper into Japan was at around 8-9,000 Mt annually. Up to the year of 2009, import of ground pepper increased from year to year, while import of whole pepper decreased. From 2009, import of ground pepper was relatively stable at around 3,650 Mt a year, while for whole pepper fluctuated between 4,600 to 5,400 Mt. During the last four years total import of pepper into Japan increased consistently from 8,100 Mt in 2012 to 9,100 Mt in 2015. The continuous increase of import during the years of high prevailing prices has indicated that demand for pepper in Japan has increased. Sarawak was traditionally the main source of whole pepper for Japan.  For ground pepper, Indonesia maintained its position as the major supplier of ground pepper in the last five years.

Feb 12 - Brazil sugar output jumps to 97,000 tonnes in late January - Unica
Late season sugar output from Brazil's main center-south cane belt jumped unexpectedly to 97,000 tonnes in the second half of January, after dropping to 29,000 tonnes in the first half of the month, milling association Unica said on Thursday.With 39 of the roughly 360 mills in the region still harvesting, crushing reached 3.93 million tonnes of cane in the fortnight, sharply up from 1.82 million tonnes in the first half of January, Unica said. click here.

Feb 11 - Shift to container ships to boost white sugar futures prospects
A white sugar futures contract, due to launch on ICE Futures Europe by the end of March, has a good chance to eventually supplant the existing global benchmark as it reflects the growing dominance of containerised trade, analysts and traders said.Traders estimate around 75 percent of global physical white sugar trade is carried in ship containers, a share which is likely to increase. click here.

Feb 10 - El Nino unites unlikely bedfellows in UBS play: cocoa and natural gas
Natural gas investors, used to trading on big freezes and scorching temperatures across the United States that can whipsaw prices, may have to extend their weather watch to west Africa if the latest trading call by UBS Group AG catches on.In an unlikely pairing of two vastly different markets, the bank has launched a new relative value trading strategy: go long cocoa and short U.S. natural gas. click here.

Feb 10 - Harsh winds, lack of rain to hit Ghana cocoa output
Ghana could lose as much as 25 percent of its projected cocoa output this season as harsh winds and a lack of rain confound efforts to boost yields in the world's second-largest producer, a government source said.The Harmattan wind, which blows off the Sahara, sapping soil moisture and spoiling seeds, came early this season and has intensified in recent weeks, stunting pod growth more than usual and stifling government plans for expansion. click here.

Feb 09 - Funds regaining taste for arabica coffee as ICE stocks fall
Investment funds are beginning to regain a taste for arabica coffee with a net short, or bearish, position shrinking fast as exchange stocks fall and the global market shifts into deficit. Arabica coffee futures have jumped since hitting multi-year lows in late January, partly because of brisk demand for certified stocks, compounded by speculative buying by funds. click here.

Feb 09 - ADM to buy Moroccan corn mill to boost sweetener footprint
Archer Daniels Midland Co, the U.S. agribusiness group, said it would buy a corn wet mill in Morocco from Tate & Lyle in the latest effort to boost its footprint in the sweetener and starch market after expanding in Eastern Europe last year. Terms of the deal announced on Monday were not disclosed. The plant in Casablanca, Morocco, would be ADM's first for corn processing in Africa. ADM did not disclose the size of the plant but expects the regional market for starches and sweeteners to grow by 8 percent in the coming years, spokesperson Jackie Anderson said. click here.

Feb 09 - Japan's Itochu enters cocoa market with stake in Transmar JV
Itochu Corp, one of Japan's biggest trading companies, said on Monday it has agreed to buy a stake in a new joint venture with privately-owned cocoa trader and processor Transmar Group, marking its first foray into the chocolate market. Under the terms of the deal, the companies will form a joint venture called Transmar Group Ltd, which will be based in Britain and hold the majority of Transmar's existing cocoa operations in the United States, Europe and South America, a joint statement said. click here.

Feb 09 - Dry Ivory Coast weather takes toll on cocoa trees
More dry and hot weather last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions damaged cocoa trees, young flowers and small pods, threatening to delay and reduce the next mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. The dry season in Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, runs from mid-November to March. Intermittent showers are needed to help develop the April-to-September mid-crop, but dry Harmattan winds and hot weather were reported in most regions. click here.

Feb 09 - Associated British Foods offers to buy South Africa's Illovo Sugar
South Africa's Illovo Sugar said on Monday it has received a non-binding expression of interest from its largest shareholder Associated British Foods in buying the rest of the company. AB Foods, which holds a 51.35 percent stake in Illovo, intends to make an offer of 20 rand ($1.24) per share for the stake it does not yet hold, Africa's top sugar producer said in a statement, in a deal worth around 4.1 billion rand ($253 million). click here.

Feb 08 - Sub-Saharan Africa to shift sugar sales to region as EU quotas end
Sub-Saharan African sugar producers will shift sales to growing regional and domestic markets when exports to the European Union become less attractive after production quotas are dismantled in 2017, industry sources and analysts said on Friday. EU sugar production is forecast to expand when quotas are lifted after Sept. 30, 2017, diminishing import needs. click here.

Feb 08 - Speculators slash bullish raw sugar stance by more than half
Speculators drastically cut their net long position in ICE raw sugar contracts by more than half in the week ended Feb. 2, when prices sank to a four-month low, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The noncommercial dealers also reduced their net long positions in cocoa and cotton futures and options, and sharply reduced their net short position in arabica coffee, the data showed. click here.

Feb 08 - Central America coffee smuggling increases and premiums soar - sources
Rampant coffee smuggling across Central American borders has fueled an increase in physical premiums to record highs and starved the U.S. market of the region's prized beans, market sources said. For the first time, beans are heading illegally into Mexico from Honduras, and smuggling of Guatemalan beans into Mexico - a reversal of the normal flow of beans out of Mexico in search of higher premiums - has accelerated to unprecedented volumes, the sources said. click here.

Feb 05 - Cocoa Processors Being Squeezed by Overcapacity, Low Chocolate Prices (Cargill Exec)
As cocoa prices have risen, cocoa processors' margins have been squeezed by a combination of overcapacity and low retail prices for chocolate, according to Willem Zimmerman, product manager at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.
- Cocoa prices remain historically high, spurring farm-gate prices in major producers in Ivory Coast and Ghana and benefitting farmers, said Mr. Zimmerman, speaking at the Chocoa cocoa conference in Amsterdam. In supermarkets, however, cocoa prices have stagnated or even fallen, he said. "What we also see is that there's a trend that more of the chocolate in the stores is being sold on promotions," he said.
- Meanwhile, the development of cocoa processing facilities, which process raw cocoa into butters and powders, has far outstripped demand, Mr. Zimmerman said.
- Over the last five years, he said capacity for processing cocoa has grown by 400,000 metric tons, while demand has only grown by 100,000 metric tons, stifled by a global economic slowdown, and putting pressure on the companies that process raw cocoa beans into the powder and butters used to make chocolate and flavour other products. "As a processor, we're in the middle," said Mr. Zimmerman.
- U.S.-based Cargill processed and traded roughly 12% of the world's cocoa beans over the 2014-2015 season, according to Cocoa Barometer and the International Cocoa International.

Feb 05 - 2016 expected to bring sugar price rally as deficit emerges
Raw sugar prices are poised to jump by more than one-quarter by the end of 2016, notching a second year of gains as a supply deficit emerges and persists during the next two years, according to a Reuters survey of 15 analysts and traders.That survey showed a decisive shift in the attitude of market players who previously expected only a meager price recovery even as climbing demand erodes the inventory built up from years of excess production. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 05 - Brazil mills likely to boost sugar output to near record - poll
Sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil are expected to boost the amount of cane they dedicate to the production of sweetener in the upcoming 2016/17 harvest, which should lift sugar output to near record levels, a Reuters poll showed.Producers in the main center-south cane belt will direct 43 percent of a more than 600-million-tonne cane crop to sugar, according to the median forecast of analysts and traders surveyed by Reuters. click here.

Feb 05 - Chocolate demand falls as candy bars shrink and Asia growth slows
Candy bars have shrunk and economic growth in Asia has slowed, meaning people are eating less chocolate and its key ingredient cocoa, which has seen its price fall this year after defying commodities trends to soar in 2015.High prices for ingredients last year - including nuts and milk as well as cocoa - helped make chocolate a less affordable treat for consumers in emerging markets such as China and India. click here.

Feb 05 - Brazil coffee crop to recover by 12.7 pct to 49.7 mln bags -IBGE
Brazil's coffee crop, which is expected to start harvest in May, is forecast to jump 12.7 percent from last year to 49.7 million bags with the return of normal amounts of rainfall after two years of drought, the country's IBGE statistics institute said on Thursday.The bulk of the recovery is expected from the main arabica growing areas in the biggest growing states, the government institute said in its monthly estimate of the crop. click here.

Feb 05 - No room on the plane: Antipodean food producers struggle to meet Lunar New Year demand
As Asian appetite for delicacies such as lobster and cherries soars for the Lunar New Year, some producers in Australia and New Zealand have been facing problems getting their lucrative cargo to consumers on time.Farmers and fishermen have been jostling for limited air freight space and trying to perfect the timing of production cycles for a peak in demand, as hundreds of millions of people in countries such as China prepare to eat lavish meals during next week's festival. click here.

Feb 05 -  Pepper Market Week 01-05 February 2016 (WBP)
Pepper price continued to be calm. Players are watching crop developments in India and Vietnam. In India the harvest is continuing. Local price at Kochi decreased at the beginning of the week to INR 607 per Kg from INR 624 last week. The price then moved up again on Tuesday and stood at the level of INR 624 per Kg till the week' close.  In Vietnam activities were limited in view of the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday. Local price of Vietnamese black pepper decreased by VND 3,500 per Kg to VND 155,000 at the week' close; while for white pepper, price was reported stable at VND 215,000 per Kg. In Indonesia and Sarawak the prices were relatively stable. In dollar terms, price have increased in local market due to strengthening of local currency against US dollar. In Sri Lanka, 3% decrease in black pepper price was reported during this week.  

Feb 04 - Import of Pepper by Germany (WBP)
Germany the most important pepper consuming country in Europe imported 26,000 Mt (23,500 Mt of whole and 2,500 Mt of ground pepper) in 2014 decreased from 32,200 Mt in 2013. The decrease was due to significant decrease in global production from 379,000 Mt in 2013 to 359,000 Mt in 2014.  During 2015, import of pepper into Germany is estimated to increase during the year as the supply from producing countries compared to 2014. Up to October 2015 Germany imported 23,960 Mt of pepper (21,710 Mt of whole pepper and 2,250 Mt of ground pepper), registering an increase of 10% from 21,700 Mt in 2014. Brazil and Vietnam were the main supplier of pepper into Germany together accounted for around 60% of the volume imported into Germany. Indonesia and India also supplied a significant quantity to Germany.  Up to December 2015, Germany is estimated to import around 29,000 Mt as against 26,000 Mt in 2014.

Feb 04 - Top rubber producers to cut exports from March to rescue prices
Asia's top rubber producers have agreed to cut exports by 615,000 tonnes for six months from March, moving to lift prices that have tumbled to their lowest since the global financial crisis amid excess supply.Benchmark rubber futures in Singapore and Japan rallied 2-3 percent on the news. The benchmarks sank in January to their lowest levels since end-2008 to early 2009. click here.

Feb 04 - Brazil's No. 1 coffee co-op expect exports to rise 12 pct
Brazil's largest coffee cooperative Cooxupe expects exports of the commodity to rise 12.5 percent to 4.6 million bags from the crop that will begin harvesting in May, the co-op's commercial director, Lucio Dias, told Reuters.The cooperative that is centered in Brazil's richest arabica growing region of southern Minas Gerais expects to export 4.09 million 60-kg bags from the drought-hit crop harvested in 2015. The new crop should start harvest in May. click here.

Feb 04 - Traders fear crackdown on white sugar flows to China via Myanmar
Growing imports of white sugar into Myanmar, which may be smuggled into China, are driving up premiums and raising concerns among physical sugar traders.Up to one million tonnes of sugar is trafficked into China every year, a Chinese agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday, and traders meeting at conferences in Dubai this week flagged the risks of default in physical trades in Myanmar if Chinese authorities stepped up border controls. click here.

Feb 04 - U.S. ethanol supplies rise to near-record high on demand ebb -EIA
U.S. ethanol prices fell on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration said stockpiles jumped 4 percent last week to the highest levels in roughly four years due to slowing demand.Ethanol supplies rose 926,000 barrels to 22.36 million in the week ended Jan. 29, the most since the record-large stockpiles seen in March of 2012, EIA data showed. click here.

Feb 03 - Pepper Market Review - December 2015 (IPC)
During the year 2015 the pepper market was very encouraging and active as global pepper production and export increased over the previous year and prices prevailed recorded highest achieved so far. Based on the latest information received by the IPC, total export of pepper from producing countries in 2015 excluding the raw materials used for manufacturing pepper oil and oleoresin for export was around 297,600 Mt valued at around US$ 2.8 billion, as against 278,600 Mt worth USD 2.3 billion achieved in 2014. Vietnam maintained his position as the largest exporters and received major portion of US$ 1.3 billion which is around 45% in the total earnings in 2015 followed by Indonesia, Brazil and India.

Feb 03 - POLL-First coffee deficit in years no savior for prices in 2016
Coffee bulls should not expect the first deficit in six years to usher in a return to the days of $2-a-lb arabica prices, a Reuters poll of 13 traders and analysts showed on Wednesday. The survey produced a median forecast of a global coffee deficit of 3 million 60-kg bags in the 2015-16 crop year, which ends in September. That would be the first deficit since the 2009-10 crop year's shortfall of nearly 10 million bags, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  click here.

Feb 03 - ICE targets end of quarter for sugar contract launch
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is targeting the end of the first quarter for the launch of a white sugar futures contract that will for the first time reflect containerised trade. David Farrell, senior director of global soft commodity operations at ICE, reiterated at the Dubai Sugar Conference that the contract's first maturity would be August 2016. click here.

Feb 03 - Worst Harmattan winds in decades to slash Ivory Coast cocoa mid-crop
Extreme temperatures and dry, dusty conditions in Ivory Coast, the result of the most severe Harmattan winds in three decades, will lead to a sharp drop in cocoa output from the top grower's upcoming mid-crop, exporters and farmers said on Tuesday. Ivorian cocoa arrivals at the ports were trailing last year's record crop by just 30,000 tonnes by the end of January, according to exporters estimates. But exporters and analysts said the April-to-September harvest could be reduced by 125,000 to 200,000 tonnes from the more than a half million tonnes produced last season. click here.

Feb 03 - Cuban sugar harvest bogged down by rain and humidity
Cuban farmers spent January slogging through mud to harvest cane with low sugar yields as unseasonal rain and heat dashed hopes of equaling last year's output. AZCUBA, the state-run sugar monopoly, had already reduced growth plans due to a severe drought last year but still hoped to equal the 1.9 million tonnes produced during the 2014-2015 season. Now, reaching even that reduced goal appears unlikely. click here.

Feb 03 - Vietnam coffee premiums stable; Feb exports to dip
Vietnam's coffee premiums were largely steady in the past week on bleak demand despite lower futures prices, and the volume of monthly exports was likely to drop due to the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, traders said on Tuesday. Robusta futures fell on Monday, with the May ICE contract closing at $1,408 a tonne, down 0.4 percent from last Friday. click here.

Feb 02 - Brazil mills hedge 17 mln tonnes of 2016/17 sugar output -report
Brazil sugar mills have hedged 17 million tonnes of sugar at the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in New York up to Jan. 31, the highest volume for this period in the last four crops, said a report released by local analyst Archer Consulting on Monday.According to the study, Brazilian mills fixed the equivalent of 68 percent of the total exportable sugar volume expected for the 2016/17 cane crop, which will start to be processed around March. click here.

Feb 02 - Honduras coffee exports up in Jan despite cross-border smuggling
Coffee exports from Honduras rose 1.9 percent in January compared to the same month last year, national coffee institute IHCAFE said on Monday, despite a new report of smuggling large quantities of beans to both Guatemala and Mexico.Coffee shipments from Honduras, Central America's biggest producer, totaled 535,628 60-kg bags in January. click here.

Feb 02 - Hot conditions, dry winds threaten Ivory Coast cocoa mid-crop
A week of hot conditions and intense dry winds across Ivory Coast cocoa-growing regions risks hindering the development of the upcoming mid-crop harvest and has prompted fears of bush fires, farmers said on Monday.Ivory Coast is in the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March. While intermittent showers are needed to help the development of the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said no rain had fallen in any of the top producer's cocoa-growing areas last week. click here.

Feb 01 - Cocoa Prices To Trend Lower Until 2019 (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices will trend lower until 2019 after peaking in 2015 "due to supply growing faster than demand until 2020 as production rebounds in West Africa," coinciding with demand in Europe growing only moderately, says BMI Research in a note. "We anticipate continued surpluses out to 2020." BMI research maintains its view for LIFFE cocoa prices to average GBP2,000 per metric ton in 2016, while forecasting lower prices for 2017-2019. It adds, however, that cocoa price forecasts are weighted to the upside: "Demand from Asia could expand beyond our current forecasts due to better-than-expected economic growth."

Feb 01 - World coffee exports rise in first quarter of 2015/16 -ICO
Global coffee exports rose 2.6 percent in the first three months of this marketing year and climbed 1.3 percent in December, year-over-year, the International Coffee Organization said on Friday, as prices traded around two-year lows.Exports of coffee rose by 2.6 percent to 26.9 million 60-kg bags in the first quarter of the 2015/16 crop year, which began in October, compared with the same period a year prior. They reached 9.31 million bags in December, up from 9.18 million bags in December 2014, the data showed. click here.

Feb 01 - Louis Dreyfus ring fences some units, considers options-source
Louis Dreyfus Commodities is ring-fencing its fertilisers and inputs, metals, juice and dairy units and is considering options ranging from joint ventures to the sale of certain assets, a senior company source said.In December, Reuters reported the trade house had been seeking buyers for its juice and fertiliser units for some months, as it focused on higher-margin activities. click here.

Feb 01 - Platts cuts sugar deficit forecasts on higher Brazilian output
Data provider Platts has cut its global sugar deficit forecasts for this and next season due to higher than expected production in top grower Brazil.It cut its 2015/16 (Oct/Sept) deficit forecast to 4.86 million tonnes, from a forecast it made last month for a deficit of 5.26 million tonnes. click here.

Feb 01 - Bunge says Brazil sugar expansion may come later than market needs
Brazil's sugar industry will expand to help fill a global supply deficit, but that process could take longer than hoped, the chief executive of Bunge Ltd. said on Sunday.Some 70 Brazilian sugar mills have filed for protection from creditors in the past three years as a long period of depressed sugar prices squeezed profit margins. click here.

Feb 01 - Iraq's Etihad Sugar looking to export to Syria and Turkey
Iraq's Etihad sugar refinery, which came onstream in February 2015, said on Sunday it was looking to double its production capacity to export to Syria and Turkey."With the planned expansion we can cover our increasing domestic demand and export to Syria and Turkey," Haidar Alnoumany, commercial director of Etihad Food Industries, told Reuters before the Kingsman Platts Sugar Conference in Dubai. click here.

Jan 29 - PEPPER Market, 25-29 January 2016 - IPC
The market remained calm this week, with limited activities. Buyers watched on the crop development in India and Vietnam which is now in the upswing trend of its harvesting season. Domestic market prices were relatively stable in all the producing countries. In dollar terms however, price increases were recorded at most origins due to strengthening of local currencies against US dollar. A marginal decrease was reported from Sri Lanka for black pepper and for white pepper in Hainan. In Sri Lanka, pepper price decreased by LKR 10/Kg to LKR 1,204.

Jan 29 - Import of pepper by the Netherlands - IPC
Netherlands, the most important pepper trading countries in Europe imported 15,850 Mt of pepper in 2014, comprising of 11,190 Mt of whole and 4,660 Mt of ground pepper, mainly from Vietnam. Out of the total import a volume of 12,850 Mt (9,190 Mt of whole and 3,660 Mt of ground pepper) was re-exported to neighboring countries like Germany, Poland, Austria, France and United Kingdom, leaving 3,000 Mt as net import. In 2015, import and re-export of pepper by Netherland showed a decreasing trend as indicated by import and export performance during the first 10 months of 2015. During January to October 2015 import of pepper into the Netherlands decreased by 2,900 Mt (21%) and for re-export decreased by 3,220 Mt (28%) to 11,190 Mt and 8,320 Mt respectively. More reduction in re-export is to keep sufficient domestic demand, following reduction in import. Although supply from producing countries increased in 2015, import of Netherlands decrease. This might be due to very high price prevailed during the year. Vietnam continued to be the main source of pepper into Netherlands supplying almost 60% of pepper imported by Netherlands during January-October 2015.

Jan 29 - Certified robusta coffee drawn down due to soaring Brazil prices
Soaring prices of Brazilian robusta coffee have prompted traders to take certified exchange stocks out of European warehouses, and further drawdowns are expected before the next Brazilian harvest. Traders, brokers and analysts said differentials for Brazilian robusta, also called conillon, were high because of tightness in supply before an expected smaller, drought-hit harvest due to start around April. click here.

Jan 29 - All eyes on spread as ICE March raw sugar premium slips away
Weak appetite from commercial buyers and bearish chart signals made ICE March raw sugar futures cheaper than May prices on Thursday for the first time in four months, raising speculation that sugar's heady rise could be over. The closely watched March-to-May spread saw March prices hit a discount of as much as 0.04 cent per lb, putting it into contango, before closing flat as investors liquidated longs and established new short positions. It had closed at a premium of 0.25 cent on Friday. click here.

Jan 29 - Debt-plagued Ghana cocoa grinder shuts for maintenance
Ghana's Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), the West African nation's largest domestically-owned processor, has shut its main facilities due to maintenance, the company said on Thursday, and not because of debt. The firm closed its two main plants, which have a total annual grinding capacity of 64,500 tonnes and produce semi-finished products including cocoa butter, liquor and powder for export mainly to Europe. click here.

Jan 28 - Cocoa Prices Likely to be Capped (Dow Jones)
Expectations of a cocoa surplus in the 2016/2017 season, following this season's expected deficit, will keep a cap on cocoa prices, says Rabobank. The bank notes that a selloff by speculators, partly over better-than-expected bean arrivals in West African ports, early in the year is likely to ease, and the market could see a "short-term bounce" in the next six months. However, the bank says higher prices should lead to increased production next year. "The closer we get to that surplus, the lower the market may go."

Jan 28 - Dong Devaluation Would Weigh on Robusta Coffee Prices (Dow Jones)
A further devaluation of the Vietnamese dong, which is pegged to the dollar, would be bearish for Robusta coffee prices, according to a London-based coffee broker. The price of Robusta coffee has fallen nearly 30% in the past 12 months, pushed in part by the strong dollar and weak Brazilian real, which has encouraged exports. But the dong has not been devaluated to the same extent, which has forced farmers in the country to grapple with the impact of falling coffee prices, and discouraged selling. As a result, a weaker currency could help increase exports.

Jan 28 - Buoyant domestic sugar prices drive NE Brazil producer buy backs
A surge in Brazilian sugar prices has boosted incentives for producers in the northeast of the country to buy back sugar sold earlier to international trade houses to get better returns from the domestic market. The northeast cane crop, which accounts for about 10 percent of Brazil's output, was harvested in the final quarter of 2015. The crop suffered mild to average shortfalls in rain in the main producer states of Alagoas, Pernambuco and Paraiba in five out of the eight months (January-August) before the harvest. click here.

Jan 28 - Coffee Holding sees JAB's Keurig buyout as potential risk
Coffee Holding Co Inc, a New York-based coffee merchant and roaster, said major customer Keurig Green Mountain's plans to go private could put the two companies' decades-long relationship at risk. Coffee Holding, a relatively small U.S. coffee importer, gets more than half its revenue from selling green, or unroasted, coffee beans to Keurig, the United States' leading single serve roaster, filings show. click here.

Jan 27 - Euronext to launch EU sugar futures this year
Euronext will launch sugar futures later this year to target hedging needs in a European market preparing to emerge from almost 50 years of production quotas, the exchange said on Tuesday. Euronext plans to unveil a euro-denominated white sugar contract that will be physically deliverable, Nicholas Kennedy, head of commodities business development at Euronext, told reporters. Like the ending of milk quotas last year, the abolition in the autumn of 2017 of the EU's sugar quota regime - which dates back to 1968 - is expected to lead to higher output and increased price volatility. click here.

Jan 27 - Buoyant white sugar premium seen linked to adverse China weather
Prospects for continued strength in the white sugar premium will depend on whether surging demand in China is sustained, but adverse weather there is likely to keep refining margins strong. The whites premium is a measure of refining profitability, with levels over $100 per tonne seen as very attractive margins. The nearby whites-over-raws premium traded above $110 per tonne on Monday for the first time since August, driven by strong import demand by China, the world's top sugar buyer. "The whites market continues to point to tight supply," said Nick Penney, a senior trader at Sucden Financial Sugar. click here.

Jan 27 - China 2015 ethanol imports surge to record on cheaper overseas prices
China's 2015 ethanol imports were 25 times larger than a year ago, as buyers sought to profit from low global prices and meet rising demand, customs data showed on Tuesday. China imported a record 686,904 cubic metres of ethanol last year, jumping from just 26,717 cubic metres in 2014, the data showed. Imports of 180,984 cubic metres in December far surpassed the previous monthly record set in November. click here.

Jan 27 - Thailand approves $419 million in loans to help rubber farmers
Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday approved 15 billion baht ($419 million) in soft loans for rubber production and processing in a bid to boost rubber use and support farmers hit by falling prices. Thailand, the world's top rubber producer and exporter, currently uses around 1.4 million tonnes of the 4 million tonnes of rubber it produces each year. Farmers in the mostly agrarian country have been increasingly affected by falling rural incomes which the junta that took power following a 2014 coup has struggled to reverse. click here.

Jan 26 - Ivory Coast rains don't end cocoa farmers' worries
Rain that has fallen in many of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions will aid the April-to-September mid-crop but damage caused by the Harmattan wind remained a concern for some, farmers said on Monday. The Harmattan is a wind that usually blows from the Sahara during December to March. At its peak it can destroy cocoa pods and sap soil moisture, making beans smaller. Ivory Coast is also in its dry season from mid-November to March. click here.

Jan 26 - Lukewarm response from Thai farmers to government rubber scheme
The Thai government's scheme to buy 100,000 tonnes of rubber at above-market prices kicked off on Monday but the farmers targeted by the state purchases showed little interest in selling at the terms on offer. Farmers in the world's biggest rubber producer and exporter threatened protests and demanded government help after a slowdown in top consumer China pushed rubber prices to a seven-year low. Thai rubber farmers from the conservative south are a politically powerful group. They were among the first to protest in 2013 against the civilian government led by Yingluck Shinawatra that was overthrown by the military in 2014. click here.

Jan 26 - Volcafe acquires coffee assets of Brazil's Custodia Forzza
Volcafe Brazil, a unit of ED&F Man, has acquired the coffee assets of Brazil's Custodia Forzza, Volcafe said on Monday. "The acquisition of the assets will more than double our Brazilian coffee business," a company official said. click here.

Jan 25 - Tight Brazil robusta supply boosts appeal of certified coffees
Tight supplies of Brazilian robusta coffee increase the likelihood that trade houses will draw down certified exchange stocks in Europe for potential shipment to U.S. roasters, analysts said Friday. Traders, brokers and analysts said differentials for Brazilian robusta, so-called conillon, were sky-high because of tightness in supply before an expected smaller, drought-hit harvest due to start around April. Rabobank forecast a 2016/17 conillon crop of some 16 million 60-kg bags, down from 16.5 million bags in 2015/16 when growing conditions were also extremely dry. click here.

Jan 25 - Illycaffe to steer clear of coffee industry M&A scramble
Illycaffe, the name of which is synonymous with Italian espresso, plans to stay independent even as consolidation in the global coffee sector heats up after a string of deals formed a new No. 1 player. JAB Holding, owned by Germany's billionaire Reimann family, is building a coffee powerhouse, announcing in December that it was leading a $13.9 billion buyout of U.S. company Keurig Green Mountain Inc after combining its D.E. Master Blenders 1753 business with that of Mondelez International Inc, and buying other smaller businesses too. click here.

Jan 25 - Starbucks still hot on China despite muted sales
Tepid growth in Asia might have taken some steam out of Starbucks Corp's latest quarterly sales, but both the company and analysts remain upbeat about the coffee chain's prospects in China. Starbucks has been investing heavily in the world's most populous country despite signs of cooling economic growth, and Chief Executive Howard Schultz said on Thursday that business in the country had never been stronger. click here.

Jan 22 - Pepper WPB Week, 18-22 January 2016
The market is quiet with limited activities. Buyers are likely watching on development of pepper harvest in India and Vietnam which is now in the upswing season. In India, Indonesia and Vietnam, prices of black pepper decreased; while in Sarawak and Sri Lanka, prices reported to be stable. Stable price was also recorded for white pepper in Bangka and Sarawak. In Hainan, average price of white pepper increased by 3% during the week.

Jan 22 - Import of Pepper by France
Import of pepper by France, one of the main important consuming countries of pepper in Europe increased annually  from around 8,000 Mt in 2012 to around 10,000 Mt in 2015. During January to November 2015, import by France has reached 9,414 Mt comprising of 6,923 Mt of whole pepper and 2,491 Mt of ground pepper, showing an increase of around 7% as against 8,764 Mt in the same period of 2014. Import of whole pepper increased by 15%, while import of ground pepper decreased by 10%. Up to December 2015, import of France is estimated to cross 10,000 Mt. Brazil was the most important source of whole pepper for France during 2015, replacing Vietnam to the second position. This was possible, since production of Brazil increased, while in Vietnam decreased in 2015. Indonesia also supplied significant quantity (17%) to France. Germany and Netherlands were the main suppliers for ground pepper into France during 2015.

Jan 22 - China imports record amount of sugar in 2015 - customs
China, the world's top sugar buyer, imported 4.85 million tonnes of raw sugar in 2015, beating a record reached two years previously, as cheap global supplies poured into the country.Imports were up 39 percent on the previous year, and slightly higher than the 4.5 million tonnes in 2013, customs data showed on Thursday. click here.

Jan 22 - Cheap freight erodes Thai, Australian sugar export advantage over Brazil
Cheap freight is eroding Thai and Australian sugar exporters' competitive advantage over Brazilian suppliers to Far Eastern markets, traders said on Thursday.Thai raw sugar for March/April shipment was quoted at 25 points ($0.25/lb) over ICE March futures, compared with 10 points over March for Brazilian supplies. click here.

Jan 22 - North American 2015 cocoa grind takes record hit after weak Q4
Cocoa processing in North America took its biggest annual tumble in 2015 after falling below expectations in the fourth quarter, National Confectioners Association data showed on Thursday, after chocolate makers raised prices.Cocoa processors in the United States, Mexico and Canada reported grinding 118,896 tonnes in the last three months of 2015, down 3.25 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. click here.

Jan 22 - Starbucks stock slips after profit forecast misses Street estimates
Starbucks Corp forecast current-quarter earnings below Wall Street estimates and reported slower growth in Asia than many had hoped, sending its shares down nearly 4 percent in extended trade despite a strong holiday performance.Investor expectations are usually high for the company after a more than 46 percent run-up in its stock in 2015, and Starbucks is betting heavily on China expansion despite some signs of cooling growth in the Asian market. click here.

Jan 21 - Brazil 2016 coffee crop could set record at 51.9 mln bags - govt
Brazil's Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday presented its first study of the new coffee crop, forecasting that harvest could reach 49.13 million to 51.94 million 60-kg bags. The high end of the forecast by the ministry's Conab crop supply agency would surpass 2012's record 50.8 million bags. The estimate is also 14 percent to 20 percent higher than last season's 43.2-million-bag harvest, which was curtailed by two years of drought. click here.

Jan 21 - India's top mustard producing state sees higher output
Mustard output in India's top producing state will rise more than a fifth this year, according to a government estimate, but some farmers voiced scepticism of the forecast as lower sowing levels and a warm winter could hurt the crop. Despite planting lagging behind in India's parched farms during a hotter-than-normal winter, the first official estimate of Rajasthan state that accounts for about half of the country's total output of the oilseed, suggests yields could still be better than last year. click here.

Jan 20 - Brazil sugar mix from cane seen rising in 2016/17 season
A greater share of Brazilian cane is expected to go to sugar in 2016/17 than in the previous season, providing a boost to tightening global supplies, with prices more remunerative for the sweetener than for cane-derived ethanol. Traders said the weakness of Brazil's currency, the real, against the dollar had helped to enhance the attractiveness of sugar production. click here.

Jan 20 - Potash Corp shuts Canadian mine, sees weak market continuing
Weak conditions in the potash market will not improve any time soon, the chief executive of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said on Tuesday as the crop nutrient company announced it would suspend operations "indefinitely" at a Canadian mine. Potash Corp said it was putting its Picadilly mine in the Canadian province of New Brunswick on care and maintenance, resulting in the loss of 420 to 430 jobs. click here.

Jan 20 - Brazil coffee exports may dip mid-year but recover in harvest
Brazil's coffee exports could fall somewhat around mid-year due to an expected decline in stocks but overall exports in 2016 could be similar to 2015 if there is a strong harvest as expected, coffee export association Cecafe said on Tuesday. Brazil exported a record 33.33 million bags of green coffee in 2015, surpassing 32.94 million bags in 2014, Cecafe President Nelson Carvalhaes told reporters. Brazil's December exports were 2.89 million bags, down from 3.23 million bags in November. click here.

Jan 19 - As climate change threatens CentAm coffee, a cocoa boom is born
Brimming with shade trees and bounded by the Tuma river, the lower climes of Roger Castellon's farm in Nicaragua's mountainous Jinotega department were long ideal for growing coffee.But with temperatures on the rise, the veteran coffee farmer is shifting his lower-lying land to a crop that, although new for him, enjoys a rich legacy in the region: Cocoa. click here.

Jan 19 - Inverse in sugar futures signals tight supply before Brazil crop
An unusual inverse in sugar futures, in which front-month March costs more than May, signals tight export supplies over the next few months, but Brazil’s next harvest will likely start early and wipe out the bottleneck.The inverse structure is rare on the sugar futures board as supplies are usually readily available for export, but a market shift into deficit after four years of surpluses, has eroded stocks, tightening supply, trade sources said. click here.

Jan 19 - Hot weather, lack of rain raise concerns for Ivory Coast cocoa
Persistently hot weather and a lack of rain last week in Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions have fueled concerns about shortages and a poor quality mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.With much of the main harvest already collected, farmers said current weather conditions would impact the quality of beans in coming months and preparations for the April to September mid-crop. click here.

Jan 18 - Buoyant whites premium to bolster refiners’ demand for raw sugar
Surging white sugar demand driven by China, and a buoyant whites-over-raws premium, are having a knock-on effect on the raws market, spurring refiners to step up production.The premium, a measure of the profitability of refining raw into white sugar, has risen to around $100 per tonne, buoyed by the strength of demand for whites. click here.

Jan 18 - EU fruit growers look to US market to offset Russian sanctions
European fruit growers could be able to export apples and pears to the United States later this year, the EU executive said on Saturday, following the publication of new U.S. rules.European Union producers, hit by Russian sanctions against them are keen for new markets.A joint statement by the EU health, trade and agricultural commissioners welcomed the publication by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of draft measures to be taken by EU growers and other authorities that it said were "a necessary step". click here.

Jan 18 - Speculators cut cocoa net long to near 9-month low - CFTC
Speculators cut their bullish bets in cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. to their lowest levels in nearly nine months in the week ended Jan. 12, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The noncommercial dealers also slashed their sugar and cotton net longs to multi-month lows, while they increased their net short position in arabica coffee futures and options, the data showed. click here.

Jan 15 - Global 2015/16 coffee output to rise slightly -ICO
Global 2015/16 coffee production is forecast to rise slightly as output in Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia compensate for a smaller harvest in top grower Brazil, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Thursday.In its first estimate for the 2015/16 crop, the ICO pegged it at 143.4 million 60-kg bags, up 1.4 percent from 2014/15, which in turn was revised down to 141.4 million bags. click here.

Jan 15 - Climate extremes threaten Australia's wine industry
Winemakers in Australia's oldest growing region fear a ruined harvest after heavy rainfall, while vineyards in the country's west are under threat from bushfires, undermining efforts to recover from a near decade-long run of lower exports.Just weeks out from the 2016 harvest, the contrasting events highlight the challenges from climate change, particularly extreme weather, faced by the world's fourth-largest wine exporter. Not only are wine growing regions getting hotter, weather is also becoming more unpredictable, scientists say. click here.

Jan 15 - Vietnam robusta exports seen picking up, reversing stockpiling
Vietnamese shipments of robusta coffee are set to pick up in January, reversing last year's stockpiling, with a softening dong boosting returns in local currency.The top robusta producer has just completed the harvesting of a smaller crop but also has stocks left over from the previous season when farmers held back supplies, hoping for a price rise which never materialised. click here.

Jan 15 - India govt starts debate on GM mustard launch despite opposition
India's chief scientific adviser has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to decide the fate of the country's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, mustard, and a recent meeting suggests authorities may support commercialisation.While the path to a commercial launch is fraught with political opposition, allowing GM crops is critical to Modi's goal of attaining self sufficiency in edible oils. India spends more than $10 billion annually on vegetable oil imports and GM mustard - with yields 38 percent higher than normal varieties - will give Modi a chance to slash this bill. click here.

Jan 14 - White sugar surging into Myanmar, smuggled to China - trade
Strong flows of white sugar are moving from India and Thailand to Myanmar, a fast-growing destination, and much of that is believed to be smuggled into China, trade sources said.They said a clampdown on raw sugar import licences by Chinese authorities, a disappointing start to the Chinese harvest due to adverse weather, and high import margins into China, have spurred the trade. click here.

Jan 14 - Head of U.S. sugar group resigns amid crackdown on sweetener
The head of the main U.S. sugar marketing lobby has stepped down after nearly 13 years, leaving the powerful industry group at a time of growing public concern about the health effects of excessive consumption of sweeteners.Andrew Briscoe III resigned on Friday from his post as president and chief executive officer of the Sugar Association, the chief Washington group that defends sugar marketing, according to a note sent to industry members seen by Reuters on Wednesday. click here.

Jan 14 - As India reservoirs run low, farmers slash sugar cane planting
Indian farmers in the country's top sugar growing state of Maharashtra are being forced to replace cane with less water intensive crops, as a scorching drought drives authorities to hold back water from dams.The drop in plantings for the 2016/17 season - which one official estimated means acreage could fall by about a third - comes after a faltering monsoon has damaged thousands of hectares of cane in the world's second-biggest producer. click here.

Jan 14 - EU food safety watchdog hits back at scientists in glyphosate row
The head of Europe's food safety watchdog has written to a group of nearly 100 senior scientists strongly rejecting their criticisms in a row about the safety of weed-killer ingredient glyphosate.The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises European Union policymakers, issued an opinion in November that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. That was at odds with a view from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), sparked outrage among environmental campaigners and divided the scientific community. click here.

Jan 14 - Thai govt to buy rubber, but below price farmers want
Thailand's government will buy 100,000 tonnes of rubber from farmers at 45 baht ($1.24) per kilo, the deputy prime minister said on Thursday, well below the level demanded by farmers threatening to protest.Politically powerful Thai rubber farmers are seeking a guaranteed price of 60 baht per kilo from the government as they struggle to deal with a slump in international prices to seven-year lows driven by a slowdown in China's economy. click here.

Jan 13 - Late crushing cane mills defy Brazil's rainy season - Uncia
Cane mills in Brazil's center-south produced 383,000 tonnes of sugar in the second half of December, up 210 percent from a year ago, as mills try to make up for weeks lost to rain this season, the crushing industry association Unica said on Tuesday.Although crushing in the region came in at 10.4 million tonnes of cane during the two-week period - roughly on par with market expectations - sugar production surpassed market forecasts, which ranged from 290,000 to 340,000 tonnes. click here.

Jan 13 - U.S. sugar companies face demand drop as Mexico moves to curb imports
U.S. sugar companies could see a big drop in foreign demand after Mexico moved to curb imports of U.S. sugar associated with a key government program, the latest blow to a cane refining sector facing tight supplies and crunched profits.U.S. shipments to Mexico are expected to fall sharply this year and long-term could fall more than 60 percent to less than 50,000 tonnes annually, after the Mexican government moved to block imports of sugar from the United States that have benefited from a little-known re-export program, which allows them to enter duty-free. click here.

Jan 13 - Indonesia targets 9 pct growth in 2016 coffee bean output - industry body
Indonesia's coffee bean production is targeted to increase 9 percent to 600,000 tonnes in 2016, up from 550,000 tonnes last year, the country's coffee exporters association said, amid a growing market for the drink domestically and overseas.According to Irfan Anwar, chairman of Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters and Industries, there is a bright future for coffee in Indonesia and Asia. click here.

Jan 13 - Thai cabinet will buy rubber at up to $1.65 per kg from farmers
Thailand's government will buy rubber directly from farmers at prices of up to 60 baht a kilogram, nearly double the market price, in a bid to placate increasingly disgruntled farmers as prices dip to a seven-year low, the cabinet said on Tuesday.The cabinet did not guarantee a price for 60 baht ($1.65) per kilogram (2.2 lb), as demanded by some rubber farmers groups, but said it would purchase up to 200,000 tonnes of rubber at up to 60 baht a kilo. click here

Jan 12 - Ivorian cocoa at risk from strong Harmattan, farmers warn Three straight days of strong, dry Harmattan winds last week in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions have damaged flowers and small pods, raising concerns about both the main and the mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.The Harmattan is a dusty wind that typically sweeps in from the Sahara from December to March. When strong, it can ruin small cocoa pods and sap moisture from the soil, reducing beans' size. click here.

Jan 12 - Thai govt promises help for rubber farmers hit by falling prices
Thailand's prime minister on Monday promised help for farmers in the world's top rubber producer and exporter, amid threats by the farmers to protest if their demands for a guaranteed selling price demands are not met.Prices have plummeted to a seven-year low amid a global commodities slump, testing the traditional support from rubber farmers in the south for the conservative royalist establishment championed by the generals who seized power in 2014. click here.

Jan 11 - Asian taste for instant coffee seen boosting robusta demand
World robusta coffee demand is expected to grow briskly in the coming months, driven by rising consumption in emerging economies, and will sharply outpace stagnant demand for arabica, analysts and traders said.Consumers in emerging economies, notably in Asia, are driving demand growth for robusta, used in cheaper instant coffees, while demand for arabica beans, blended in higher grade coffees, in the developed world is slower, they said. click here.

Jan 11 - Speculators cut cocoa net long to 2-mth low - CFTC
Speculators cut their net long position in cocoa to the lowest level in two months in the week ended Jan. 5, and also cut their raw sugar and cotton bullish bets, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The noncommercial dealers trimmed their net short position in arabica coffee futures and options, the data showed. click here.

Jan 11 - Thai rubber farmers threaten protest, set to meet Tuesday
Thailand's rubber farmers will mmet to call for help from the military government on Tuesday to deal with a slump in their incomes and threaten open defiance of its ban on protests if their demands are not met.The threat is an unusual challenge because rubber farmers have typically supported the conservative royalist establishment championed by the generals, who outlawed political gatherings of more than five people seized power in mid-2014. click here.

Jan 11 - Big Brazil coffee crop could create global surplus in 2016/17 - Marex
Commodity broker Marex Spectron said on Friday that it increased its estimate for a global coffee deficit in 2015/16 but projected that top grower Brazil's next crop could rise by around 8 million bags, helping to create a small global surplus."After two years of stress and heavy pruning, it is to be assumed that arabica trees will produce well this year," Marex Spectron said in a report, referring to Brazil. click here.

Jan 08 - New U.S. diet rules would take 20 pct bite out of American sugar use
If the U.S. government has its way, Americans would cut their consumption of sugar and corn syrup by more than 2 million tonnes a year, the latest blow for a sweetener industry facing an onslaught of criticism over negative health effects. The U.S. government on Thursday issued new dietary guidelines that suggested for the first time that consumers limit their consumption of added sweeteners at a specific level, less than 10 percent of a recommended daily intake of about 2,000 calories. Currently the average American consumes about 270 calories a day in the form of sweeteners, equal to about 13 percent, the guidelines said. click here.

Jan 08 - Thai govt says may cap rubber exports if prices keep falling
The Thai government threatened on Thursday to cut rubber export quotas if traders did not play their part in stemming a slide in prices that has taken the value of the raw material to a seven-year low. Thailand has rolled out several measures to support farmers struggling as their incomes are hit by the slide in global commodity prices. But rather than more hand outs, this time the government in the world's top producer and exporter of rubber has asked for help from industry players. click here.

Jan 07 - Tight supply, China demand trigger surge in white sugar premium
Increasingly tight white sugar supplies early in 2016, as well as buoyant Chinese physical demand and a very poor EU sugar beet crop, are powering the premiums of white sugar prices over raw sugar to contract highs. The spot whites-over-raws premium traded in excess of $90 per tonne on Wednesday, a comfortable profit margin for many sugar refineries around the world. click here.

Jan 07 - Widely used pesticide can harm bees in some cases - EPA
An insecticide widely used on cotton plants and citrus groves can harm bees that come into contact with those crops under certain conditions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday. The agency said a preliminary risk assessment of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide chemically similar to nicotine, found that chemical residues of more than 25 parts per billion would likely harm bees and their hives and result in the bees producing less honey. click here.

Jan 06 - Cocoa Prices Continue Downward Slide (Dow Jones)
London-traded cocoa is continuing its downward slide Wednesday, after closing at a more than two-month low on Tuesday. The March cocoa contract is currently down 0.7% at GBP2,147 per metric ton. Since the year began, cocoa prices have fallen 5.1%, a drop traders say is due to increasing arrivals of cocoa in ports in Ivory Coast in past weeks. The slowing pace of deliveries in early December had fuelled worry the West African cocoa crop would be smaller
than expected, pushing prices as high as GBP2,326 per ton early that month before they began to fall.

Jan 06 - Indian sugar export prospects fade as domestic prices soar
Indian domestic sugar prices have surged, boosting incentives for production of low-quality white sugar for the local market and giving Brazil a competitive edge in the export market. Sugar prices in India have risen more than 15 percent in a month on concerns over lower than expected output because of drought, making exports less attractive for mills even after export incentives, dealers said. click here.

Jan 06 - Sucafina-backed coffee trader enters U.S. to tap specialty market
European specialty coffee merchant 32cup, owned by global Swiss trader Sucafina SA, has opened a U.S. office and hired two traders there as the upstart firm aims to tap burgeoning demand for high-end coffee in the region, sources and the company said. 32cup recently set up an office in Fairfax, Virginia, its website says, and has hired Robert Babington Smith and Banks Thomas, who left the U.S.-based specialty division of Swiss rival Volcafe last year amid a shake-up, three industry sources familiar with the moves said. click here.

Jan 06 - Vietnam coffee harvest nearly ends; Jan exports may rise
Coffee supply in Vietnam, the world's largest robusta producer, is now ample as the 2015/2016 harvest is nearly complete, while wider premiums and low prices discouraged growers from unloading stocks, traders said on Tuesday. Coffee flow from Vietnam could influence global prices as the Southeast Asian country accounts for a fifth of the world's total production and its bitter beans, used mostly for making soluble coffee, are traded on London's robusta futures market. click here.

Jan 05 - Ivory Coast variable Harmattan wind, hot weather to trim cocoa crop size
The Harmattan dry winds have stopped blowing intensely in many of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions but the hot, dry weather last week caused worries about the size and quality of the crop, farmers said on Monday. The Harmattan is a dusty wind that typically sweeps in from the Sahara from December to March. When strong it can ruin small cocoa pods and sap moisture from soil, reducing beans' size. click here.

Jan 04 - Smallest agricultural markets biggest winners in commodities rout
Some of the smallest niche agricultural commodities were the biggest winners this year as weather and disease raised concerns about tightening supplies, spurring a buying spree as an exodus of institutional cash punished oil, metals and grains markets. Cocoa, cotton, sugar and frozen concentrated orange juice on ICE Futures U.S. were on track to be the only gainers this year in the 19-component Thomson Reuters Core Commodity Index. click here.

Jan 04 - Coffee goes from best to near-worst as rain, currency pressure prices
Arabica coffee prices dropped 24 percent to end 2015 as one of the biggest losers in the commodities sector, as much-needed rains in top grower Brazil helped boost crops and weak currencies in major producing countries spurred record exports. Second-month arabica coffee on ICE Futures U.S. settled on Thursday at $1.288 a lb. The losses partially offset the meteoric 50-percent rally in 2014, when it was the best performer in the Thomson Reuters Core Commodity Index, as the worst drought in decades scorched Brazil's crops, hurting output.  click here.

Jan 04 - Softer loans won't quicken Vietnam coffee replanting
Cheaper credit extended to Vietnamese coffee growers for replanting part of the world's biggest robusta production will not accelerate the process that has already been hindered by lengthy paperwork, traders and analysts said on Thursday. Vietnam aims to replace old coffee trees, now accounting for a third of its acreage, to boost yields by 2020, but the government-backed credit worth 12.5 trillion dong ($556 million) in place since May 2013 has attracted few growers. click here.

Dec 28 - Sugar Ends Lower as Oil Prices Encourage Sugar Over Ethanol (Dow Jones)

  Raw sugar prices followed oil prices lower as traders anticipate that lower oil prices will encourage more sugarcane producers to convert cane to sugar instead of ethanol.

  At the same time, year-end liquidation pulled the contract lower as asset managers moved money out of accounts to prepare for the coming year, weighing on sugar's attempts to break above a trading range that has recently flattened prices.

  Raw sugar for March delivery fell 2% to end at 14.76 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, the biggest percentage drop to the most active contract since Dec. 10.

  "Gasoline is cheaper than ethanol right now and with that being par or cheaper, the ethanol demand will decrease, and that's going to affect the price of sugar," said Nicholas Gentile, managing partner and head trader at NickJen Capital Management & Consulting LLC in New York.

  Ethanol futures have been trading at a premium to Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock futures since Aug. 18.

  While traders are anticipating that the world will produce less sugar this year than is consumed for the first time in six years, and will also begin unwinding from large stockpiles of sweetener, Mr. Gentile said he would rather sell sugar at this level and risk a higher close than buy it given the various factors weighing on sugar.

  A political corruption scandal and recent debt downgrades by major ratings agencies have hurt the currency of Brazil, the world's largest sugar producer and favorable exchange rates are encouraging sales of dollar-denominated goods.

  At the same time, while wet weather delayed harvests in Brazil and helped push sugar prices higher over the last two months, producers there have now extended the usual cane crushing season rather than leave cane in the ground.

  However, commodities brokerage Marex Spectron said many sugar mills in Brazil are living hand-to-mouth and are continuing to produce ethanol over sugar, even when sugar prices are higher because they are paid quicker for ethanol.

  "Despite many mills being in bankruptcy protection and unable to pay their bills, very few mills have closed, and even those which have closed have been moth-balled, rather than destroyed, and their cane processed by other mills," the firm said in a note.

  In other markets, cocoa for March dropped 0.5% to end at $3,194 a ton, arabica coffee for March fell 0.5% to close at $1.1915 a pound, March cotton ended up 0.5% at 63.97 cents a pound and frozen concentrated orange juice futures rose 2% to close at $1.4995 a pound
.

Dec 24 - Sugar flows to Syria pick up as cargo traffic surges
Syrian raw sugar imports have jumped in recent weeks as the country bolsters local stocks at the same time as Russia has stepped up its support for ally President Bashar al-Assad, trade sources said. The flows of sugar are part of a surge in shipping traffic to the country with more than 100 cargo vessels carrying goods arriving recently in the biggest buildup ofshipping for over a year. click here.

Dec 24 - EU sugar producers seen shunning second export licence tranche
A second tranche of European Union sugar export licences is expected to be issued in early 2016, but producers will be reluctant to apply for them after a poor beet crop, trade sources said on Wednesday. Traders said some producers may eschew the next round of export licences, likely to total around 650,000 tonnes, after the poorest EU sugar beet harvest in more than four decades. click here.

Dec 23 - Indonesia's 2016 cocoa output may linger near 2015's record low
Next year's cocoa bean crop in Indonesia will likely stay near the record low output of 2015 as wet weather in 2016 may damage crops, the head of the industry group for the world's third-largest producer said on Tuesday. Output fell to 320,000 tonnes this year due dry weather from the El Nino weather pattern, the chairman of the Indonesian Cocoa Association (ASKINDO), Zulhefi Sikumbang, told reporters, the lowest level since the alliance of growers and exporters began recording data. click here.

Dec 23 - India doubles ethanol blending target to help sugar mills
India has doubled its target of blending ethanol with gasoline to 10 percent, a minister said on Tuesday, as the government tries to promote the cleaner-burning fuel to check pollution and help money-losing sugar companies. Oil companies have never met the current 5 percent blending target as ethanol derived from molasses - the thick syrup produced by boiling down sugarcane juice in sugar refining - costs more than gasoline without including taxes. India does not allow ethanol imports. click here.

Dec 23 - Brazil's center-south sugarcane crush keeps pace in 1st half Dec
Mills in Brazil's center-south region crushed 18 million tonnes of sugarcane in the first half of December, maintaining the pace of the final half of November, the main cane industry association Unica said on Tuesday. The crush was 77 percent higher than the first half of December last year, when many mills had already finished their harvest. click here.


Dec 22 - Don't get too used to El Niño, it's already fading - Braun
Hidden beyond the current El Niño hype, solid evidence exists that the demise of the record-breaking event has already begun and that all traces of it will have vanished by next August. The warm sea surface temperature anomalies in the central-east Pacific Ocean, which characterize El Niño and have been steadily rising since early March, have reached a plateau in recent weeks. click here.

Dec 22 - China Nov sugar imports fall 14.5 pct, 2016 still seen firm
China's sugar imports fell 14.5 percent in November as import restrictions curbed buying, although shipments are still up strongly this year and are expected to remain firm in 2016. Imports totalled 259,987 tonnes, customs data showed on Monday, after months of rising purchases by the world's top sugar importer as Chinese refineries took advantage of cheap global prices. click here.

Dec 22 - Wild bee populations dwindle in main U.S. crop regions - study
Wild bees, crucial pollinators for many crops, are on the decline in some of the main agricultural regions of the United States, according to scientists who produced the first national map of bee populations and identified numerous trouble spots. The researchers on Monday cited 139 counties as especially worrisome, with wild bee numbers decreasing while farmland for crops dependent on such pollinators is increasing. click here.

Dec 22 - China's Nov ethanol imports soar to record 135,865 tonnes -customs
China imported 135,865 tonnes of ethanol in November, soaring from just 26 tonnes in the same month of last year to hit a record after buyers sought to profit from low global prices. The imports almost doubled from October's 68,961 tonnes and surpassed the previous record reached in September, official customs data showed on Monday. click here.


Dec 21 - Global 2015/16 coffee exports, consumption set for record –USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday that global 2015/16 coffee exports and consumption were on track to reach record highs and take a bite out of inventories, while output was forecast just slightly higher year over year. In its biannual report, the USDA pegged world coffee production at 150.1 million 60-kg bags in 2015/16, down 2.5 million bags from their June forecast but up 600,000 bags from 2014/15. click here.

Dec 21 - Brazil ditches standard jute coffee bags, leading move toward bulk
The humble jute bag, long the distinctive packing for Brazil's coffee exports, is rapidly being edged out as traders and cooperatives face rising wage bills and borrowing costs, weak global prices and a deepening economic crisis at home. By introducing massive plastic sacks to replace the 60-kg (132-lb) jute bags that have dominated coffee shipments for more than two centuries, firms are saving millions of dollars a year, in a move so successful it is expected to reshape the global industry. click here.

Dec 21 - Louis Dreyfus seeks buyers for juice, fertiliser units - sources
Louis Dreyfus Commodities is seeking buyers for its orange juice and fertiliser units as the global merchant focuses on higher-margin activities, sources said, the latest firm to take steps to weather weak commodity markets. The company had been actively marketing the orange juice and fertiliser businesses for some months, having appointed banks to lead the sales processes, sources said. Another source said the trading group was also looking to spin off its metals and dairy businesses. click here.

Dec 21 - EU on track for lowest sugar beet crop in more than 40 years
The European Union could be heading for its smallest sugar beet crop in more than four decades in 2015/16 due to a smaller planted area and a drop in yields triggered by adverse weather. "The key reasons for the drop in EU sugar production in 2015/16 are the decrease of beet area by more than 200,000 hectares, combined with a drop in yield per hectare of 8 percent (year-on-year)," said Ruud Schers, sugar analyst with Rabobank. click here.

Dec 18 - Brazil coffee crop seen up 3 pct from Sept view
Brazil's 2015/16 coffee harvest is estimated at a total 43.24 million 60-kg bags, up 2.7 percent from a September estimate, the government crop supply agency Conab said on Thursday in its fourth report on the world's largest grower. The crop is the smallest since 2009 and output will still be down 5 percent from the 2014/2015 season's 45.64 million bags due to the ongoing damage from two consecutive years of dryness over important growing areas, Conab said. click here.

Dec 17 - Large pre-holiday U.S. coffee stocks raise bearish eyebrows
U.S. coffee warehouse stocks were at their highest levels for a November for at least the last 13 years, according to the most recently released data, as Brazil aggressively shipped coffee amid a tumbling local currency and traders question the strength of demand in the United States. Overall inventories still fell in November, as is typical ahead of the peak consumption period in the U.S. winter. But the drawdown was much smaller than average, which traders said was a bearish sign for a market that has seen prices tumble 30 percent this year, as the rise of more efficient single-serve coffee has dented demand. click here.

Dec 17 - India's sugar stockpile to deplete by a quarter as exports rise
India is likely to start the 2016/17 marketing year with 6.7 million tonnes of sugar, 26.4 percent lower than at the beginning of the current year, as rising exports will pull down inventories in the world's second biggest producer. The higher Indian exports will put pressure on global prices, but harden the local market and help mills pay farmers at the support levels set by the state for sugar cane. click here.

Dec 17 - Louis Dreyfus appoints cotton veteran Tancredi to run sugar
Louis Dreyfus Commodities said on Wednesday it has appointed Anthony Tancredi, its former cotton chief and 30-year company veteran, to run its global sugar business, the latest management shake-up at one of the world's biggest agricultural merchants. In his first foray after 30 years in the clubby cotton industry, Tancredi is taking on one of the most powerful jobs in the global sugar market. He will oversee 16 operations from Singapore to Brazil to Switzerland that handle raw and white sugar as well as ethanol, the second-biggest U.S. refiner Imperial Sugar and two plants in Asia. click here.

Dec 16 - Platts Kingsman forecasts sugar deficit rising in 2016/17
Platts Kingsman forecast that the global sugar deficit would increase to 7.8 million tonnes in 2016/17, due to higher than expected consumption, the information provider said on Tuesday. Platts Kingsman had forecast the global sugar deficit at 5.3 million tonnes in 2015/16. click here.

Dec 16 - Analysts cut Brazil sugar views, signaling tight inter-crop
Analysts have cut their 2015/16 center-south Brazil sugar output and sugar content forecasts because of heavy rains in the fourth quarter, signaling tight availability in the inter-crop period between December and March. Data provider Platts Kingsman on Tuesday cut its cane production estimate for the 2015/16 (April/March crop year) to 594.0 million tonnes from its previous estimate of 599.1 million tonnes. click here.

Dec 16 - Philippines set to resume sugar imports for first time in 6 years
The Philippines expects to import sugar for the first time in six years in 2016, the industry regulator told Reuters, seeking to shore up domestic supplies because of declining output due to dry weather linked to an El Nino weather pattern. Raw sugar imports in 2016 may reach as much as 169,385 tonnes, Regina Bautista-Martin, the administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said in a telephone interview. click here.

Dec 16 - Cocoa that failed exchange grading cannot be resubmitted –ICE
ICE Futures U.S. said on Tuesday it has amended a rule so that cocoa beans that have failed exchange grading cannot be submitted for grading a second time, effective immediately. Warehouse record keeping requirements and procedures to prevent failed cocoa from being submitted for grading a second time will also be bolstered, the exchange said in a notice. click here.

Dec 16 - India's sugar stockpile to deplete by a quarter on rising exports - trade body
India is likely to start the 2016/17 marketing year with 6.7 million tonnes of sugar, down 26.4 percent from the current year, as rising exports will help the world's second biggest producer to bring down the inventory, the chief of a leading trade body said on Wednesday. Higher Indian exports would put pressure on global prices, but harden local prices and help mills in paying farmers state-fixed support price for sugar cane. click here.

Dec 15 - Exporters launch price war for Ivory Coast cocoa supplies
Cocoa exporters in top producer Ivory Coast are paying high premiums to suppliers in an effort to secure scarcer beans and fears that especially harsh Harmattan weather could make things ever worse. After a solid start to the 2015/16 season, arrivals at Ivory Coast's ports of Abidjan and San Pedro have fallen behind last year's levels, raising concerns among exporters that they will struggle to fill contracts. click here.

Dec 15 - Brazil mills cut debt as domestic sugar prices jump
Cash-strapped Brazilian mills, which struggled for years with weak sugar prices due to a global glut, say they are now locking into a surge in domestic prices to cut debt. The domestic sugar market is tightening in Brazil after heavy rains cut sugar content in cane, while the global market is shifting into deficit after years of surpluses, driving up world raw sugar futures prices to near 10-month highs. click here.

Dec 14 - Tighter Brazilian sugar supplies augur slowing exports, Centam sales
Tightening Brazilian sugar supplies as the centre-south harvest wraps up signal slowing Brazilian exports early in 2016, creating opportunities for Central American sales on the world market. Brazilian raw sugar has been offered at shrinking discounts to world ICE raw sugar futures. click here.

Dec 14 - Saudi's SABIC says commissioning to start at new rubber plant
Saudi Basic Industries Corp said commissioning would begin at parts of its affiliate's new elastomers facility Kemya Complex on Sunday following the completion of construction and mechanical works. Full commercial operations at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company, a 50-50 joint venture between SABIC and Exxon Chemical Arabia, are expected to start during the second quarter of 2016, SABIC said in a statement to the stock exchange. click here.

Dec 14 - Speculators boost raw sugar net long to record high – CFTC
Speculators boosted their net long positions in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. for the fourth straight week in the week ended Dec. 8, to another record high U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. They also raised bullish bets in cotton and cocoa futures and options to the highest levels in more than a year, while they trimmed their arabica coffee net short, the data showed. click here.

Dec 11 - Global sugar supply tightens as Brazil cash discounts shrink
Global sugar supplies are tightening as mills wind down the cane crush in the centre-south of Brazil, forcing buyers in the world market to pay shrinking discounts to futures.European traders this week quoted Brazilian raw sugar for December shipment at 61-63 points (0.61-0.63 U.S. cents) below ICE March futures, and quoted discounts against January shipment at just 20 points, signalling a tightening of supplies in the first quarter of 2016, Brazil's inter-crop period. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Dec 11 - World cocoa market to see supply deficit in 2015/16 -JSG
The world cocoa market will move to a supply deficit of 100,000 tonnes in the current crop year, on the back of a small surplus in 2014/15, an influential softs broker said on Thursday.At JSG Commodities' annual symposium, Eric Bergman, a cocoa trader at the Connecticut-based brokerage, said the world will see a deficit as production falls by 150,000 tonnes. That would be down from 2014-15 production of 4.2 million tonnes, he said. click here.

Dec 11 - New ICE white sugar contract to feature fewer eligible ports
Intercontinental Exchange's new contract for white sugar shipped in containers will feature fewer eligible delivery ports than the current break bulk contract, an executive said in a presentation on Thursday.Last month, ICE announced plans to launch a new contract to allow for delivery of sugar in containers, which has grown in recent years to account for around two-thirds of exchange-quality refined sugar imports, Tim Barry, vice president for product development, said during the JSG Commodities symposium. click here.

Dec 11 - Record 2015-16 U.S. beet sugar output could put premium on cane - JSG Record U.S. beet sugar output in the 2015/16 crop year will reduce the need for imports from Mexico and potentially push prices of refined cane sugar to a premium, the head of JSG Commodities said on Thursday.The forecast from the NAFTA sugar trader for beet output of 5.2 million tons (4.7 million tonnes) is slightly above an official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for beet sugar production and will leave total U.S. production at nearly 9 million tons in the crop year that began on Oct. 1. click here.

Dec 10 - USDA cuts forecast for 2015/16 domestic sugar supplies
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday cut its forecast for domestic sugar supplies in the 2015/16 marketing year on lower imports from Mexico and higher demand. The USDA pegged the closely watched stocks-to-use ratio at 13.5 in its monthly supply/demand report, down from 15.3 last month and 14.4 in the previous marketing year. click here.

Dec 10 - Brazil coffee exports stay strong despite droughts in November
Exports of coffee from Brazil, the world's biggest producer, stayed strong in November despite the impact of two years of drought on output, with arabica shipments firm and robusta easing off from heavier sales earlier in the year. Cecafe, the local coffee exporters association, said on Wednesday that Brazil exported 3.14 million 60-kg bags of green coffee in November, following closely behind upwardly revised October total shipments of 3.15 million bags. click here.

Dec 09 - Keurig deal gives coffee traders jitters about payments
The steady drip of additions to JAB Holding Co's coffee empire is threatening to leave a bitter taste for traders who supply its growing network of roasters with beans, who say they now have little choice but to wait unusually long to get paid.After being purchased by JAB - the investment vehicle of the billionaire Reimann family - roasters ranging from U.S. specialty chain Peet's Coffee & Tea to European mass market conglomerate Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) increased their net financing terms to 120 days or more, up from an industry standard of 30 days or less, more than a dozen industry sources told Reuters. click here.

Dec 09 - Slumping ICE arabica, NY cocoa markets trigger circuit breakers
A sharp selloff in New York coffee and cocoa futures early Tuesday triggered circuit breakers that halted trade for 30 seconds, the exchange said.While coffee futures quickly rebounded, dealers said cocoa prices remained depressed as the market was ripe for a correction after Monday's rally to the highest levels since March 2011. click here.

Dec 09 - Brazil drought could heighten competition for Vietnam robustas
European coffee roasters are bracing for increased competition from their U.S. counterparts for Vietnam's robusta crop as a severe drought in Espirito Santo state cuts the availability of beans from Brazil, European traders said on Tuesday."U.S. roasters could suck out quite a bit of coffee from Vietnam," one European trader said.North American roasters traditionally rely heavily on number two robusta supplier Brazil while the European market is dominated by Vietnam, the top producer of the bean species. click here.

Dec 09 - Rains slow Brazil's late-season center-south sugar output -Unica
Rains slowed Brazil's main center-south sugar output in late November to 704,000 tonnes, down from an already meager output of 1.2 million tonnes in the first half of last month, the main cane industry association Unica said on Tuesday.Unica's report fell below market production forecasts of around 760,000 tonnes during the second fortnight of November. click here.

Dec 08 - JAB-led investor group to buy K-Cup maker Keurig for $13.9 bln
Europe's JAB Holding Co is leading a $13.9 billion buyout of Keurig Green Mountain Inc  in a deal that would give it 60 percent control of North America's single-serve coffee market and advance its ambitions to build a global coffee powerhouse.The transaction, pitched at a rich 78 percent premium to Keurig's Friday closing price, would be the biggest coffee acquisition by JAB, the investment vehicle of Germany's billionaire Reimann family, as it tries to become a formidable competitor to world coffee market leader Nestle SA. click here.

Dec 08 - Nigerian cocoa grinders say face fight for survival
Nigeria, already hit by low oil prices, faces a threat to its cocoa sector with industry officials saying its few remaining grinders could close. The rise in the cost of raw beans coupled with a sharp depreciation in the naira currency made it unattractive for them to tap export demand for butter, grinders say. click here.

Dec 08 - EU drops Shell, BP, Statoil from ethanol benchmark investigation
EU antitrust regulators have dropped Shell, BP, and Statoil from an investigation into suspected rigging of ethanol benchmarks, focusing instead on three producers of the biofuel.The European Commission said on Monday it had opened a formal antitrust investigation into the actions of Spanish company Abengoa SA, Belgium's Alcogroup SA and Lantmännen ek för of Sweden. click here.

Dec 08 - India sugar mills prioritise whites exports as cane subsidy confirmed
Indian sugar mills are prioritising exports of low-quality white sugar and could focus on raw sugar exports early in 2016 after the government confirmed it will pay a cane production subsidy, European traders said on Monday. An official notification published in the Gazette of India, dated Dec. 2, confirmed a cane production subsidy will be payable to farmers after mills export 80 percent of their quotas. The subsidy will be 45 Indian rupees ($0.7) per tonne. click here.

Dec 08 - Brazil 2016 coffee crop seen at 47 mln-49 mln bags - CNC chief
Brazil, the world's largest coffee producer and exporter, could harvest between 47 million and 49 million 60-kg bags next year, around 15 percent more than this year, if the weather remains favorable in coming months, Silas Brasileiro, head of Brazil's National Coffee Council (CNC), told Reuters on Monday."If it were not for the dryness in Espirito Santo, we could have an even bigger crop," said Brasileiro in an interview, referring to a harsh drought that will likely hit output from the mainly robusta-producing state. click here.

Dec 08 - Poor rains, dry Harmattan winds affect Ivory Coast cocoa regions
Light rains and dry Harmattan winds in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions last week could blunt the main crop if the trend continues, farmers said on Monday.The dry season in the world's top cocoa producer runs from mid-November to March, at which point farmers and analysts' concerns circle around the behaviour of the Harmattan, a seasonal dry dusty wind that blows from the Sahara. click here.

Dec 07 - El Niño may not soak parched California - Braun
This year’s El Niño may not deliver drought-busting rains to California as is popularly believed.The ongoing drought in California has been one for the record books. Southern California has not met yearly average rainfall since 2010, and the central and northern parts have not achieved this since 2012.Californians are hoping that this rainy season, which lasts from November through April, will be wetter than normal thanks to the record-strong El Niño, which has delivered sizable winter rainfall to the state in the past. click here.

Dec 07 - China sugar refiners to negotiate 2016 import permits next week
Chinese sugar refiners will meet with industry officials next weekend to hammer out the key details of next year's import permits, a decision widely watched by the global trade.Imports by the world's top buyer of the sweetener have surged 45 percent so far this year, fuelled by a large gap between international and domestic prices. click here.

Dec 07 - Speculators boost raw sugar net long position to record high - CFTC
Speculators boosted their net long position in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. to a record high in the week ended Dec. 1, while they trimmed their net short in arabica coffee contracts, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The noncommercial dealers boosted their bullish bets in cotton and cut their net long position in cocoa futures and options, the data showed. click here.

Dec 07 - Russia closer to self-sufficiency in sugar, imports slide
Russia, once the world's biggest raw sugar importer, will slash its imports by more than expected in 2015/16 after a bumper beet harvest, moving the country closer to self-sufficiency.Russia's harvest is expected to be close to a record due to attractive domestic sugar prices, a larger planted area and favourable weather, crop analysts said. click here.

Dec 07 - Tereos says to delist unit from Sao Paulo stock exchange
French sugar group Tereos said on Friday it plans to make a tender offer for the remaining shares of its Tereos Internacional  unit, with a view to delisting it from the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange during the second quarter of 2016.The unit's shares soared 130 percent on the Sao Paulo exchange to 51.90 reais. The offer of 65 reais per share is subject to review by an independent appraiser. click here.

Dec 04 - New Zealand's kiwifruit heading home to China
More than a century after the kiwifruit arrived in New Zealand, the fuzzy-skinned food is heading back to its roots in Asia.The world's largest kiwifruit exporter, New Zealand's Zespri International Ltd, already sells around 20 percent of its output to China and is now preparing the ground to start producing there, looking to cut costs at a time when it expects its overall exports to hit record highs. click here.

Dec 04 - Volcafe Specialty to consolidate U.S. coffee operations; traders leave
Volcafe's specialty coffee importing division will close its two U.S. offices and move traders to a single New York office, three industry sources familiar with the move said, in a sign of changes at the company since a new managing director took over.Volcafe, the Swiss-based coffee division of London commodity trade house ED&F Man, opened Volcafe Specialty in 2001 to serve the U.S. specialty coffee market as consumers flocked to higher-end chains like Starbucks Corp and Peet's Coffee & Tea. click here.

Dec 03 - Australia largest sugar producing state passes law that scuppers industry shake-up
Australia's largest sugar producing state Queensland on Wednesday passed legislation allowing growers to choose who sells their sugar, undermining plans of several of the world's largest sugar producers to sell the sweetener via in-house marketing arms from 2017.Wilmar International Ltd, MSF Sugar, owned by Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol, and the Australian unit of Chinese agribusiness COFCO Corp had planned to stop selling sugar through the industry-owned marketing body from 2017. click here.

Dec 03 - Global coffee deficit to continue on slowing Brazil exports
A global coffee deficit is expect to continue for a second year in 2015/16 due to an expected slowdown of exports from top grower Brazil, reducing supplies to the world market, analysts said.Brazilian exports had exceeded expectations in recent months, encouraged by a weak Brazilian currency and strong roaster demand.But they could slow down in early 2016, Rabobank said in its latest Outlook report on prospects for agricultural commodity markets in 2016. click here.

Dec 03 - EU sees rise in sugar output lasting long after quotas end
White sugar output in the European Union should rise to almost 18 million tonnes in 2025, around 5 percent above an average of the years preceding EU quota expiry in 2017, and more than 15 percent above 2015, the European Commission said on Wednesday.The 2025 production forecast, made at the EU Agricultural Outlook Conference, compares with an estimate of 15.3 million tonnes for 2015 published by the Commission in its autumn forecasts.  click here.

Dec 02 - Brazil coffee, corn, sugar exports ease but still strong
November shipments of Brazilian coffee, corn and sugar eased slightly compared with October but remained firm compared with a year ago as the weak real kept commodities exports competitive abroad, Trade Ministry data showed Tuesday.Several days of rain at the key southern ports of Santos and Paranagua slowed loading of bulk commodities such as corn and sugar but exports were still well up for both crops from last year in November, traders said. click here.

Dec 02 - Vietnam's 2015/16 coffee output seen nearly flat in Daklak
Vietnam's top coffee growing province of Daklak is expected to produce 440,000 tonnes (7.33 million bags) of the commodity in the current 2015/16 crop year, almost unchanged from the previous season, the provincial government said.The central highland province will strive to maintain its coffee area at around 200,000 hectares (494,200 acres) and raise the quality of exportable beans, the Daklak People's Committee said in a report published late on Tuesday. click here.

Dec 02 - Australian sugar industry shake-up threatened as grower-backed bill set for vote
Australia's largest sugar millers had hoped to sell the sweetener via in-house marketing arms from 2017 but the plan is under threat as legislation allowing farmers the right to choose who sells their sugar is set for a critical vote on Wednesday.Wilmar International Ltd, MSF Sugar, owned by Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol MIDSMP.UL, and the Australian unit of Chinese agribusiness COFCO Corp CNCOF.UL plan to stop selling sugar through the industry-owned marketing body from 2017. click here.

Dec 01 - Petrobras Scandal Hurting Coffee Prices (Dow Jones)
The Petrobras scandal is hurting coffee prices once again. The weakening of the Brazilian real against the dollar is pushing down coffee prices in New York and London, says Commerzbank. "This is putting additional pressure on coffee prices because Brazil is the world's leading coffee producer and exporter by far," the bank says. Both Robusta and Arabica coffee are denominated in dollars, which makes the relationship between the two currencies particularly significant. A series of arrests and resignations last week and early this week have pushed down the real once again, with the currency falling nearly 4% this morning against the dollar.

Dec 01 - High prices prompt Brazil producers to buy back sugar exports
A tightening domestic market in Brazil for white sugar and ethanol biofuel has led producers in the country to buy back raw sugar that was sold to trade houses for export, trade sources said. Buoyant demand for low-quality white, 150-ICUMSA sugar and for anhydrous ethanol in Brazil, the sources said, had boosted incentives for the producer buy-backs, or 'washouts' as they are called in the trade. click here.

Dec 01 - Vietnam's 2015/16 coffee output expected to drop 10 pct y/y – Vicofa
Vietnam, the world's largest robusta producer, is forecast to produce 1.08 million tonnes, or 18 million 60-kg bags, of coffee in the current 2015/16 crop, down about 10 percent from the previous crop, a senior industry official said on Tuesday. "With prices lower, growers have not taken enough care of the trees," said Chairman Luong Van Tu of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, adding that a large proportion of old coffee trees had also added to lower yields.  click here.

Dec 01 - Ivory Coast rains bode well for cocoa but Harmattan fears loom
Rain in much of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions bode well for the quality of beans next year despite concerns about the incoming dry Harmattan wind, farmers and analysts said Monday. The world's top cocoa producer is in the dry season, which stretches from mid-November to March, so downpours are rare and light. click here.

Dec 01 - Speculators boost bullish cocoa stance to more than 1-yr high – CFTC
Speculators boosted their net long position in cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to the highest level in more than one year in the week ended Nov. 24, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Monday. The noncommercial dealers added to their raw sugar bullish bets, trimmed their net short in arabica coffee contracts and cut their net long position in cotton futures and options, the data showed. click here.

Dec 01 - Colombian Coffee Growers Federation to consider stabilization fund
The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation said on Monday it will consider whether to set up a stabilization fund for internal coffee prices, to help farmers offset unexpected declines in income due to international price volatility. Growers will debate the proposal at their annual congress in Bogota this week, federation chief Roberto Velez said. click here.

Nov 30 - Planned sugar contract reflects increasing containerisation
A white sugar contract due to be launched by ICE Futures Europe early next year reflects the increasing dominance of containerised trade in refined sugar.The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said last week the physically delivered contract, whose launch was expected in the first quarter of 2016, will trade alongside its existing physically delivered white sugar futures contract. click here

Nov 30 - As the heat rises, the wines are a-changing
It's a $200 billion industry that prides itself on being rooted to a particular spot and doing things they way they've always been done. But global warming is forcing the world's wine growers to change. As a U.N. conference in Paris next week tries to limit climate change, wine makers from France to Australia are already changing their time-honoured methods, or even uprooting whole vineyards, as long-established weather patterns alter and the temperature rises. click here

Nov 27 - Sudan emerges as regional hub for sugar imports, smuggling rife
Sudan has long been known for its sweet tooth, but is now importing far more sugar than it can consume after the removal of customs duties with some supplies smuggled across its porous borders to neighbouring countries such as South Sudan and Chad.The government opened up sugar imports to the private sector and removed customs duties in 2012, following complaints about shortages, but shipments into the country now far exceed domestic needs and are even threatening the country's producers. click here

Nov 27 - Cosan chairman: No plans to part ways with Shell on Raízen venture
Brazilian energy and transportation group Cosan SA Industria e Comercio has no plans to part ways with Royal Dutch Shell on their Raízen joint venture, the world's largest cane processor, Cosan Chairman Rubens Ometto said on Thursday.Asked by Reuters to comment on a local newspaper report that Shell, the oil major, would exercise a contractual option to buy out Cosan's stake in Raízen, Ometto said the story was completely unfounded. click here

Nov 27 - Extreme weather poses growing threat to food security - UN's FAO
Drought, floods and other extremes of weather have become more frequent and severe in the past 30 years and pose a rising threat to food security in developing countries, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.Natural disasters caused worldwide damage worth $1.5 trillion, more than the annual GDP of Australia, between 2003 and 2013 and hit agriculture hard, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report. click here

Nov 26 - Coffee traders eye market bottom amid commercial players' net long
Coffee prices may not have much more room to fall after a year-long rout, importers said this week, noting that a record-high commercial net long position showed concern over low inventories and a still-uncertain production outlook in top producer Brazil.The bullish bet among coffee producers, roasters and physical traders, who have held a consistent net short position for years, reflects growing expectations that the 23-month price low hit earlier this month may represent a bottom for the market, the importers said. click here

Nov 26 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers say main crop target hard to reach
Ivory Coast cocoa farmers say they doubt the country can achieve its target for the 2015/16 main crop even though abundant recent rainfall should provide a boost to production in the world's top producer.Insufficient June to September rainfall hampered the main crop's prospects and it is now unlikely it could match production of 1.257 million tonnes in the 2014/15 main crop season. click here

Nov 26 - U.S. ethanol output tops 1 mln bpd as industry awaits EPA mandates
U.S. ethanol production topped 1 million barrels per day for the first time last week, data showed on Wednesday, ahead of a government deadline to issue a plan for the country's hotly debated biofuels program.The largest boost in production rates since May showed U.S. ethanol makers capitalizing on a recent uptick in profit margins, five traders and analysts said, as the industry awaited policy direction from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expected on or by Nov. 30. click here

Nov 26 - Indonesia raw sugar imports seen up 4 pct in 2016 -govt
Indonesia is expected to need to import 3.22 million tonnes of raw sugar in 2016, Panggah Susanto, Director General of Agriculture at the Industry Ministry, said on Thursday, up from the 3.1 million tonnes targetted for import this year.No reason was given for the year-on-year increase.Earlier on Thursday, Indonesia's Trade Minister, Tom Lembong, said as of November the country had imported 2.64 million tonnes of raw sugar but had issued permits to import 3.1 million tonnes. click here

Nov 25 - Ivory Coast aims to process half its cocoa, publish more data
Top cocoa producer Ivory Coast is aiming to process 50 percent of its cocoa crop inside the country within the next decade, up from about 30 percent now, Guillaume Soro, President of the National Assembly of the Ivory Coast said on Tuesday."In the next five to 10 years, we will rise to the challenge to process 50 percent inside the country," he said in an interview during a visit to London. click here

Nov 25 - Trade sceptical over below-consensus India sugar output estimate
Analysts are standing by 2015/16 Indian sugar production forecasts in a 26-27.5 million tonnes range despite a sharply below-consensus farmers' estimate that drove a rally in ICE sugar futures.Analysts for Green Pool, Sucden and the International Sugar Organization (ISO) said they stuck to their 2015/16 Indian sugar output forecasts, well above a survey of around 900 farmers last week that estimated output at 23 million tonnes. click here

Nov 25 - Platts Kingsman sees higher global sugar deficit in 2016/17
Data provider Platts Kingsman on Tuesday forecast a 2016/17 (Oct./Sept.) global sugar deficit of 6.4 million tonnes, up from a 3.3 million tonnes deficit in 2015/16.It said in a report that production would be revised down in India, centre-south Brazil and the United States, while consumption would continue to eat into surpluses and steadily increase in different parts of the world. click here

Nov 25 - Mexico suspends sugar mill auction after judge grants injunction
Mexico on Tuesday suspended the sale of five state-held sugar mills after a judge signed an injunction brought by the former owners to suspend the auction.The court's decision does not cancel the sale of the mills, which together produce around 10 percent of Mexico's sugar output, but it does postpone the auction for a few days, said Javier Dorantes, one of the government officials charged with managing the sale. He did not specify for how many days.  click here

Nov 24 - Brazil robusta drawdown from Europe warehouses seen in 2016
A glut of Brazilian robusta coffee in European warehouses is expected to begin easing in the second quarter of 2016, traders said, as an accrual of age penalties cuts prices.A large volume of the robusta, also known as "conillon", was tendered from late 2014 on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) after a bumper crop. That has created a challenge for European roasters that had turned increasingly to Asian beans as Brazil's domestic coffee consumption rose. click here

Nov 24 - Brazil mills boost sugar hedging; higher output seen - analyst
Brazil mills sharply increased their sugar hedging for the new center-south cane crop compared to the same period last year, locking in positive margins in expectation of higher sugar production in the new season, according to independent sugar and ethanol consultant JOB Economia.Brazil's main cane belt is finishing the 2015/16 cane crop, which has been impacted by excessive rains. Higher humidity, however, is boosting prospects for the 2016/17 crop that will likely start earlier next year than normal, around March. click here

Nov 23 - Global rubber output to drop as farmers curtail tapping
Global natural rubber output could drop for a second straight year in 2015 as prices near six-year lows have prompted Asian farmers to curtail tapping during their peak season.Lower production this year - which would be the first time in at least a decade that output has fallen two years in a row - would help reduce stockpiles and allow prices to rebound after losing more than 25 percent so far in 2015. click here

Nov 23 - Sugar vs corn syrup lawsuit settles mid-trial
Major sugar companies and corn refiners, including Archer Daniels Midland Co, have settled high stakes litigation that probed the health claims of each industry amid falling demand for sweeteners.Terms of the settlement, which was reached in the middle of trial, were not disclosed in a joint statement on Friday. click here

Nov 23 - Sugar refining margins under pressure, demand to absorb over-capacity
Sugar refiners' margins are coming under pressure as capacity increases, but any excess production should be absorbed by rising world consumption, European trade sources said on Friday.The benchmark front-month premium of white sugar over raw sugar futures, a measure of refining profitability, was relatively steady at $70-75 per tonne this week, down from just over $100, a much more comfortable margin, in mid-September. click here

Nov 23 - Speculators boost bearish arabica coffee stance to 2-yr high - CFTC
Speculators boosted their bearish bets in arabica coffee to a two-year high in the week ended Nov. 17 as prices tumbled, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The noncommercial dealers raised their net long positions in raw sugar, cocoa and cotton futures and options, the data showed.The dealers boosted their net short in arabica coffee for the fourth straight week, adding 6,904 contracts for a bearish bet of 36,106 contracts, the largest level since November 2013. The move came as prices tumbled to their lowest levels since January 2014. click here

Nov 20 - Cocoa Prices Out of Touch With Fundamentals (Dow Jones)
The London-traded cocoa market is deeply out of touch with the fundamental market, according to a London-based cocoa trader. As the market has soared to levels not seen since March 2011, when the world's biggest producer was embroiled in civil war, the market looks increasingly out of touch with the supply and demand picture, the trader says. Arrivals of beans from West Africa are strong and the region is seeing rain, the trader notes. The trader says there are concerns about slowing arrivals and dry weather, but the price gains are outsized. "Does it really justify the market trading where it does today? No, absolutely not."

Nov 20 - El Nino indicator hits record high, adds to weather risks - NOAA
A key indicator for the strength of El Niño has reached a record high, the U.S. weather agency said, adding to signs that a weather pattern known for causing extreme droughts, storms and floods could become one of the strongest ever. El Niño, the "little boy," is driven by warm surface water in the eastern Pacific Ocean and its strength is measured by how much higher temperatures are over three-month averages. click here.

Nov 20 - Indian sugar exports unlikely to trigger Brazilian discounts
An expected influx of Indian sugar exports to the global market is unlikely to spur rival exporters in Brazil to increase discounts because Indian tonnages are likely to be moderate, European trade sources said on Thursday. They said that shipments of Indian raw or low=quality white sugar for export were likely to represent only a small fraction of Brazilian raw sugar tonnages. click here.

Nov 20 - Cameroon cocoa farmgate prices steady but rise in output expected
Farmgate cocoa prices in Cameroon, Africa's fourth largest grower, have held steady from mid-October but farmers said this week they expected an increase in output because fungicides have been delivered on time. "The price of a kilo of cocoa is 1,500 francs," said Joseph Mama, a manager at a production cooperative in Nkolzibi, in the Centre region.

Nov 20 - Suedzucker lifts earnings view, but sees bioethanol hit
Suedzucker  raised its full-year earnings forecast for a second time in as many months on Thursday, citing a significant improvement in bioethanol prices, but warned forward prices pointed to steep falls next year. Europe's largest sugar refiner said it now saw its operating profit rising to 200-240 million euros ($214-256 million) in its financial year through end-February, compared with previous guidance for 180-230 million euros.  

Nov 19 -  Indian miller sees big sugar export opportunities in Asia
China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh offer big potential for Indian sugar exports, a senior Indian miller said on Wednesday, with his country on track to become a net exporter of the sweetener in coming years. Abinash Verma, director general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), said Indian sugar exports to those four markets are still modest, but could rise. He gave no figures. click here.

Nov 19 - Biggest coffee co-op sees Brazil new crop at 50-55 mln bags - Cooxupe
Brazil's biggest coffee cooperative Cooxupe expects the country's new crop that will be harvested in mid 2016 to produce 50 million to 55 million 60-kg bags, sales director Lucio Dias said on Wednesday. He said arabica output would recover to 38-43 million bags with improved but still irregular rains in the South Minas region of the main growing state Minas Gerais. But robusta output would continue to struggle at 12 million bags due to drought in the north of the main producer state Espirito Santo. click here.

Nov 19 - High domestic prices seen prolonging Brazil cane crush – Datagro
The cane crush in centre-south Brazil is likely to extend into next year as cash-strapped mills take advantage of high domestic sugar prices and robust demand for ethanol biofuel, a senior analyst said on Wednesday. Plinio Nastari, president of Sao Paulo-based consultancy Datagro, also said that sugar output in centre-south Brazil was forecast at 31.9 million tonnes in 2015/16, compared with 32 million tonnes in 2014/15. click here.

Nov 18 - Glencore can’t delay with $2 bln agri-sale
Glencore  is slimming down in agriculture. But one potential buyer says he thinks the grains, oil seeds, cotton and sugar business is "not really on the market". With copper hitting a fresh six-year low and wheat prices weak, Glencore can’t afford to drag its feet. Talks between Glencore and prospective buyers including a Saudi Arabian fund and China’s state-backed grain trader COFCO started over a month ago, according to a Reuters report Oct. 2. But COFCO Chairman Ning Gaoning told Reuters on Nov. 17 it was no more than a "rumour" that Glencore's soft commodities' stake sale was happening. click here.

Nov 18 - Warm winter ahead? Polar vortex says maybe not - Braun
The Northern Hemisphere may be subject to more cold outbreaks than usual come January thanks to the polar vortex. “Polar vortex” became a household phrase in North America during the bitterly cold winter of 2013-2014, but this phenomenon has always existed and can also impact both Europe and Asia. The polar vortex is one of the factors that control how much cold Arctic air is allowed to infiltrate the mid-latitudes during the winter, when the vortex is at maximum strength. click here.

Nov 18 - Sugar shines in gloomy commodities firmament - Kingsman
Sugar has strong market fundamentals and will benefit from a shift by investors away from commodity indices into individual commodities, a leading industry consultant said on Tuesday. Its move into a global deficit in 2015/16 after years of surpluses, combined with a negative impact on output in Asia and north Brazil from the El Nino weather pattern will support sugar, Jonathan Kingsman said while attending an International Sugar Organization (ISO) seminar.  click here.

Nov 17 - Brazil arabica output to mitigate El Niño harm to robusta
Robusta coffee in leading producers Brazil and Indonesia is likely to bear the brunt of the El Niño weather pattern, which will also potentially help boost arabica output in 2016/17. The current El Niño, a phenomenon associated with extreme droughts, storms and floods, is expected to strengthen before the end of the year and become one of the strongest on record, the U.N. weather agency said on Monday. click here

Nov 17 - Indonesia's 2016 raw sugar imports seen up 5 percent y/y -industry
Indonesia's overseas purchases of raw sugar will rise 5 percent next year due to growing demand from the food and beverages sectors, an industry group said on Monday. Higher purchases by the world's No.2 importer, which has been aggressively pursuing food self-sufficiency policies, could underpin global raw sugar prices  that hit a 10-month top in November amid worries the world market was shifting into a deficit after several years of surpluses. click here

Nov 17 - El Niño strengthening, will be among biggest on record - WMO
The El Niño weather pattern, a phenomenon associated with extreme droughts, storms and floods, is expected to strengthen before the end of the year and become one of the strongest on record, the U.N. weather agency said on Monday. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said this El Niño was already "strong and mature" and the biggest in more than 15 years. click here

Nov 17 - Speculators take bullish sugar stance off 2-year high - CFTC

Speculators cut their most bullish position in two years in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. in the week ended Nov. 10, as prices tumbled from a nine-month high on automatic sell orders, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Monday. The noncommercial dealers reduced their net long position in raw sugar futures and options by 18,247 contracts to 134,851 contracts, cutting it for the first time since turning net long six weeks prior. click here

Nov 16 - Cocoa Prices Continue to Rise (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices continue to rise to levels not seen since March 2011, during a civil war in the world's largest producer Ivory Coast, even as arrivals from West Africa have remained steady. The March London-traded cocoa contract is up 0.8% Monday morning, at GBP2306, extending five consecutive days of gains. The market closed on Friday at GBP2288, after gaining 4.2% over the course of the week. Traders and analysts say the gains have been driven largely by technical buying, as fundamental supply remains strong. However, some traders have suggested that arrivals could drop off this week, as the impact of dry weather in recent months becomes evident.

Nov 16 - Commodity trader Cargill restructures, cuts jobs -sources
Cargill Inc  one of the world's largest privately held corporations, has launched a restructuring that includes job cuts, one company source and four industry sources said on Friday, the latest casualty of a downturn in the farm economy.The 150-year-old company, a top commodities trader, is also closing offices, two of the industry sources said. click here.

Nov 16 - Louis Dreyfus, RCMA buy small ICE December white sugar delivery
Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV  and RCMA Commodities scooped up 896 lots, or 44,800 tonnes, of refined sugar against the December contract on ICE Futures Europe that expired on Friday, traders said. The cash delivery of sugar, worth about $17.7 million based on closing prices, was due from origins including India and Guatemala and was broadly in line with expectations for a small delivery, according to three U.S. traders. click here.

Nov 16 - Brazil 2016/17 coffee crop to rise, but world to stay in deficit -Olam
Brazil's coffee production in the 2016/17 crop year could rise to between 60 million and 62 million 60-kg bags, Vivek Verma, head of coffee at Singapore-based trade house Olam International  said on Friday. Despite the potential bumper crop, the world will still be in a deficit for the third consecutive year because of rising consumption, Verma told participants at the Sintercafe conference. That means coffee at current prices is "extremely undervalued," he added. click here.

Nov 16 - Brazil mining flood could devastate environment for years
The collapse of two dams at a Brazilian mine has cut off drinking water for quarter of a million people and saturated waterways downstream with dense orange sediment that could wreck the ecosystem for years to come. Nine people were killed, 19 are still listed as missing and 500 people were displaced from their homes when the dams burst at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil on Nov. 5. click here.

Nov 16 - U.S. FDA issues final rules on produce safety, imported
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued new rules designed to prevent foodborne illnesses caused by tainted produce that sicken millions of Americans each year, the agency said on Friday. The final rules put teeth into the FDA's ability to enforce food safety by establishing safety standards for produce farms and making importers accountable for verifying that imported foods meet U.S. safety standards. The FDA said the new rules will help produce farmers and food importers take steps to prevent problems before they occur. The changes are part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, a sweeping package of food safety reforms governing produce safety, preventive controls for food produced in facilities, and the safety of imported food. click here.