Softs

Jun 27 - Funds Slightly Less Negative on Cocoa Prices (Dow Jones)
Managed money slightly became slightly less bearish on London cocoa prices, according to market data released Monday by ICE. In the week to June 19, the net-short position decreased by 6.2%. This represents a small reversal after funds reduced their net-long positioning by 84.5% the previous week. Both London and New York cocoa prices have seen volatility, with weather-watching and low volumes producing some big moves. Funds are bracing for very large crops in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, their question now is how big they will be. London cocoa futures fell 4.4% in the week to June 19. In New York, the net-short position on New York traded cocoa rose by 2.7% in that same week. London traded cocoa was last up 0.87% at $1,503 a ton and the New York price was up 0.81% at $1,861.

Jun 27 - Heavy rain damages Ivory Coast cocoa crop 

Heavy rains and inadequate sunshine in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions last week damaged cocoa pods and flooded plantations, posing a risk to the size of the mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.The world's top cocoa producer is in its rainy season and downpours are expected until at least July. Farmers said the weather was hurting the April-September mid-crop and cocoa pods were rotting on trees. They also reported a tightness of supply. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 27 - Cuban farmland lies fallow, production languishes 

More than half of Cuba's arable land remains fallow nearly a decade after a government pledge to cultivate it, and food production is sluggish, according to a government report.Cuba has yet to publish an overall figure for last year’s agricultural output. But the report released over the weekend by the National Statistics Office indicated only minor improvement in 2016 over the previous year. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 27 - Ghana cocoa output boosted by smuggling from Ivory Coast -exporters 

Up to 80,000 tonnes of cocoa beans have been smuggled into Ghana from neighbouring Ivory Coast since the start of April, as Ivorian growers take advantage of higher prices in the neighbouring country, exporters said on Monday.Further trafficking is expected to inflate Ghanaian output from its 11-week light cocoa crop, which opened on June 9. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 26 - Tanzania Arabica, Robusta Seen Up 9.5% in 2017-2018 Season (USDA)
Tanzania's Arabica and robusta coffee output is forecast to rise by 9.5% in the 2017-2018 season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.
  In the new season, which runs from May 2017 to April 2018, Tanzania's production of arabica and robusta is expected to reach 69,000 metric tons, up from 63,000 tons the previous season. Exports are expected to increase by 9.7% to 67,800 metrics tons, the USDA's Dar es Salaam bureau said in Tanzania's annual coffee report.
  Almost all of Tanzania's arabica and robusta coffee beans are sold at a weekly auction run by the Tanzania Coffee Board. The auction is currently in recess until late July due to reduced volumes of beans offered between seasons, said Primus Kimaryo, the acting director general of the Tanzania Coffee Board.
  Tanzania is currently in the middle of a ten-year strategic plan to support coffee production. The program, which began in 2011 and will finish in 2021, involves increasing yields in existing farms and facilitating the private sector to start new farms.
  "The Coffee industry in Tanzania suffers from several factors, including a lack of access to irrigation systems, a large number of older coffee trees, and highly volatile coffee prices--which causes dramatic fluctuations in production," the USDA report said. "It also suffers from poor agricultural practices adopted by many smallholder producers, limited access to credit, lack of adequate farming inputs, and low use of inputs by producers."
  Tanzania, like the rest of East Africa's coffee-producing nations, excluding Ethiopia, exports nearly 98% of its coffee. The country's beans mainly go to the European Union, Japan and the U.S.   Tanzania is Africa's fourth-largest coffee producer after Ethiopia, Uganda and Ivory Coast.

Jun 26 - Droughts, Declining Rains Threaten Ethiopia Coffee Output (Dow Jones)
Frequent droughts and declining rainfall threaten coffee growing across Ethiopia, stocking fears about future supplies of highly sought-after Arabica beans from Africa's No.1 grower. Changing weather patterns could render half of Ethiopia's coffee regions unsuitable for coffee cultivation by the end of the century, according to a study published this week in Nature Plants. It's more bad news for Ethiopia, which suffered the worst drought in 50 years last year, crippling its agricultural heartlands. The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that Ethiopia's coffee output has stagnated at around 6.5 million bags over the past 5 years, despite relentless efforts to boost output. The study notes that there has been a "15-20% reduction in rainfall" across Ethiopia since the mid-1970s.

Jun 26 - Workers at South Africa's Illovo sugar farms to strike over pay 

Around 1,000 workers at sugar producer Illovo are set to go on strike over wages and other benefits after talks with employers broke down, the trade union representing the staff said on Sunday."The Food and Allied Workers Union and employers from eight Illovo farms in Kwa-Zulu Natal province have failed to reach an amicable agreement under the auspices of the CCMA and a strike certificate has been issued," an FAWU statement said. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 23 - Uganda Coffee Exports Climb 42% on Year in May as Rains Boost Yields(Dow Jones)
Uganda's coffee exports rose for the seventh month in a row in May, boosted by maturing plantons and favorable rains across Africa's top exporter of the beans, the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority said Thursday. Coffee shipments from Africa's top exporter of the beans reached 408,454 60-kilogram bags worth $47.5 million, representing a 42% rise in volume and a 72% jump in value compared with the same month last season, UCDA said in a report.
  Exports in May brought the cumulative total shipments since the 2016-17 season started in October to 3 million bags, a 31% increase compared with the corresponding period last season. Despite higher export volumes, monthly earnings were lower compared with what the country registered in the initial months of the season due to dropping prices.
  Global coffee prices dropped by 3.8% in May, extending a streak since February amid easing fears of weather‐related supply concerns, as well as a general downturn in commodity markets, according to the International Coffee Organization.
  Uganda grows mainly the bitter-tasting robusta coffee variety, used in instant drinks and espressos. The country's coffee exports could hit 3.8 million bags this season, from 3.32 million bags last season as the country reaps big from maturing trees planted five years ago, according to UCDA.

Jun 23 - Tereos sees emerging markets key to growth post-EU sugar quotas

France's Tereos, the world's third largest sugar group, has expanded its trading desks in emerging countries as it looks to find new export markets for higher output after the European Union ends quotas later this year, its chief executive said. The EU will abolish its production and export quotas on Sept. 30, which has encouraged sugar companies in the bloc to raise production from next season by what analysts have estimated will be around 15 percent in total. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 23 - Minnesota will still engage with Cuba despite Trump setback

Minnesota's government and businesses will continue to engage with Cuba in the areas they can, like agricultural trade, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's partial rollback of the detente, Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith said on Thursday. The first U.S. state representative to make an official visit to Communist-run Cuba since Trump's announcement on Friday, Smith said authorities there were worried about the setback to bilateral relations. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 23 - Brazil's coffee, cane, corn harvests to speed up with dry weather 

Forecasts of dry weather in Brazil for at least the coming week are expected to allow farmers to speed up their harvesting of coffee, cane, winter corn and other crops after a slow start due to seasonally unusual rains in the nation's center-south region. Marco Antonio dos Santos, an agricultural meteorologist working with Rural Clima in Uberlândia in Minas Gerais state, said a dry polar mass over most of Brazil will guarantee dry conditions for at least a week and possibly longer. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 23 - UK faces shortage of seasonal workers for fruit, vegetable harvest

Britain is facing a shortage of seasonal workers this year to harvest fruit and vegetables linked to the decision to leave the European Union and the related weakness of sterling, according to a survey issued by the National Farmers Union. The survey found the proportion of workers returning to undertake seasonal work has fallen a record low of 33 percent while labour providers were unable to meet their recruitment targets in May by 1,515 people or 16.7 percent. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 22 - Cameroon Arabica Coffee Prices Fall for Third Straight Week (Dow Jones)
Low demand for arabica coffee at Cameroon's chief port of Douala has pushed prices lower for a third consecutive week, exporters and traders said Thursday. One kilogram of arabica coffee awaiting shipment sold for 1,452 Central African francs ($2.47) this week, down 6.3% from XAF 1,549 last week, figures from the West African country's cocoa and coffee board showed.
  The small volume of coffee available at the port gates has deterred traders and exporters from seeking out the beans, lowering prices, industry participants said. Official statistics show that arabica prices fell by 2% last week and 3.15% the week before. Coffee beans are scarce as farmers ready themselves for the new season's production, industry participants said.

Jun 22 - Road network to Ivory Coast cocoa port San Pedro reopens 

Roads leading to Ivory Coast's major cocoa port of San Pedro have reopened after a week-long closure caused by heavy rains, the prime minister's office said on Wednesday. San Pedro, the West African country's second largest port, is located in the southwest near the main cocoa growing regions and most of the cocoa beans are exported from it. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 22 - Copersucar boosts earnings as Alvean, Eco-Energy gain market share

Brazilian sugar firm Copersucar reported on Wednesday a profit of 254 million reais ($76 million) for the crop year 2016/17, versus 32 million reais a year earlier, due to higher sugar prices and larger sales from subsidiary Eco-Energy and the joint venture Alvean. Copersucar, a cooperative formed by more than 20 sugar and ethanol companies in Brazil, ended the 2016/17 cane crop year with total revenues of 28.3 billion reais, 7.6 percent more than in the previous season. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 21 - Tocom Natural Rubber Prices End Lower As Commodities Weaken (Dow Jones)
Tocom natural rubber prices end Wednesday's session slightly lower, as a number of commodities came under pressure in Asian markets following overnight falls in oil, while the dollar-yen pair weakened, making the yen-denominated commodity more expensive. Investors will likely continue to look at oil prices over the next week as a guide to how synthetic rubber prices will be trading going forward. The Tocom benchmark natural rubber contract ended down 2.1% at Y186.3 per kilogram.

Jun 21 - China Increasing Efforts to Stem Sugar Smuggling (Dow Jones)
China is increasing its efforts to crack down on sugar smuggling in an effort to protect its domestic industry from cheaper foreign imports, the government says. Global prices sit well below those in China, encouraging smugglers to try and cash in higher prices there. The market estimates around 2 million tons could make their way illegally into China each year; official imports last year totaled 3.2 million. The China General Administration of Customs says so far in 2017 it's seized 6,526 tons, worth CNY79 million ($11.6 million).

Jun 20 - ECF Data Sees Arabica Prices Continuing to Slide (Dow Jones)
Coffee prices are yet again on the wane, with premium arabica prices slipping 2.5% to $1.24 a pound and London-traded low-grade robusta beans off their recent gains, dropping 2.1% to $2,048 a ton. Today's price drops are the consequence of several factors, Societe Generale says. An illiquid market during the usual weather-watching season, broader commodities price declines and a market which is less-than-committed to buying arabica are all factors, the firm says, adding European Coffee Federation figures showing a further increase in stocks has kept up pressure on both bean-types. "If everything goes well, Brazil is lining up for a massive arabica crop," the firm adds. Arabica prices may have further to fall.

Jun 20 - Indonesia's 2017 white sugar production may rise to 2.5 mln T - ministry 

Indonesia's white sugar production is forecast to rise this year to 2.5 million tonnes from 2.2 million tonnes in 2016 on better weather conditions, an Agriculture Ministry official said on Tuesday. "This year (weather) condition is a bit dry, we are hoping (production) could be higher," said Bambang, the director general of estate crops at the ministry. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 20 - Glencore to move sugar trade to Rotterdam 

Glencore will move its global sugar trading desk to Rotterdam from London early in 2018, an industry source said on Monday. The relocation, first reported by Bloomberg, coincides with the retirement of Glencore's long-standing Global Head of Sugar Michael Rembaum and follows the company's decision last year to spin off its agriculture business and sell nearly 50 percent to Canadian pension funds. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 20 - France's Cristal Union says dry weather to hit sugar output 

Cristal Union, the European Union's fourth largest sugar producer, said on Monday its sugar production and exports would likely be lower than expected because of weeks of dry weather in Europe. The French cooperative group had initially forecast exports in the 2017/2018 campaign of 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes, up from 200,000 to 300,000 tonnes under EU quotas rules on output and exports. Those rules end in October.  Click here to read full stories.

Jun 20 - Ghana's 2016-17 cocoa main crop reaches six-year high 

Ghana's main 2016-17 cocoa crop hit a six-year high of 882,175 tonnes, up 12 percent from the last main crop and above official forecasts, according to a provisional tally from industry regulator Cocobod on Monday. The tally means the world's second largest cocoa grower behind neighbouring Ivory Coast has already beaten Cocobod's forecast for total 2016-17 output of 850,000 tonnes, which includes the smaller mid crop which has yet to be counted. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 20 - Ivory Coast heavy rains damage cocoa mid-crop 

Heavy rains and scant sunlight last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions led to flooding and soggy beans, harming the quality of the mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, is in the middle of its rainy season and frequent heavy downpours are expected through until at least July. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 20 - Droughts, Declining Rains Threaten Ethiopia Coffee Output (Dow Jones)
Frequent droughts and declining rainfall threaten coffee growing across Ethiopia, stocking fears about future supplies of highly sought-after Arabica beans from Africa's No.1 grower. Changing weather patterns could render half of Ethiopia's coffee regions unsuitable for coffee cultivation by the end of the century, according to a study published this week in Nature Plants. It's more bad news for Ethiopia, which suffered the worst drought in 50 years last year, crippling its agricultural heartlands. The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that Ethiopia's coffee output has stagnated at around 6.5 million bags over the past 5 years, despite relentless efforts to boost output. The study notes that there has been a "15-20% reduction in rainfall" across Ethiopia since the mid-1970s.

Jun 20 - Tokyo Rubber Prices Finish Lower Amid Concern Over China Demand (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber future prices continue to fall Tuesday mirroring weakness in Shanghai futures amid concerns over sluggish imports from automobile companies in China, the world's biggest rubber buyer. There's also a growing "feeling of disappointment" toward measures by the main rubber producing countries to support prices, says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The benchmark Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for November delivery ends down Y4.9 or 2.5% at Y190.3/Kg.

Jun 19 - USDA sees record 2017-18 coffee demand, stocks at 6-year low

Record global coffee consumption and flat production in 2017-18 will cause ending stocks to fall to a six-year low, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday. Global coffee consumption will set a fresh record high at 158 million 60-kg bags in the 2017-18 marketing year (October/September) while output was forecast steady at 159 million bags, the USDA said in its biannual report. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 19 - U.S. farmers slam Trump's Cuba clampdown, press forward with trade visit

U.S. farm groups criticized President Donald Trump's decision to retreat from his predecessor's opening toward Cuba, saying it could derail huge increases in farm exports that totaled $221 million last year. A trade delegation from Minnesota, one of the largest U.S. agriculture states, vowed to carry on with its planned visit to Cuba next week. "We're going to continue to beat the drum and let them (the Trump administration) know that trade is good for agriculture," said Kevin Paap, a farmer in the delegation. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 19 - Speculators boost bearish ICE raw sugar, coffee bets - CFTC 

Speculators continued to build a net short position in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to June 13, bringing it the August 2015 highs, as they lifted their bearish arabica stance to a 17-month high, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The dealers cut a bullish stance in cotton and trimmed a bearish bet in cocoa futures and options, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 19 - Raízen wins auction for two sugar mills in Brazil -company

Brazil's Raízen Energia SA, the world's largest sugar maker, on Friday won a judicial auction for two sugar mills owned by Tonon Bioenergia SA, after its bid of 823 million reais ($250 million)was approved by creditors, Raízen said in a securities filing. The bid presented by Raízen, a joint venture between Cosan SA Industria e Comercio and Royal Dutch Shell, beat the only other offer in the auction of 434 million reais from Suem do Brasil, a company which packages and export sugar. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 19 - Saudi Arabia bans imports of Egyptian strawberries

Saudi Arabia is banning imports of Egyptian strawberries due to pesticide residues, said Abdel Hamid al-Demerdash, the head of Egypt's Agriculture Export Council, the latest such ban to hit Egypt as it struggles to revive its economy. The temporary ban comes into effect on July 11, Demerdash told Reuters on Sunday, adding that the memo received from Saudi Arabia did not specify the levels of residues detected or name the companies that have committed violations. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 19 - India Sugar Millers Want Higher Import Taxes (Dow Jones)
Sugar millers in India want higher import taxes to check what they contend is unwanted overseas supplies amid abundant local production. "We have urged the government to raise the import duty on raw sugar to 60% from 40%. We don't need imports anymore," says G Sarita Reddy, a member of the Indian Sugar Mills Association. India allows up to 500,000 tons of imported sugar for this growing season, which ends Sept. 30, and domestic production is seen being down about 20% this season at 20.3 million. With stockpiles of 7.5 million tons, "supply would be enough be cater to local demand," Reddy says. India consumes about 22 million tons of sugar annually. Global prices of sugar have fallen 31% this year, thanks to oversupply from No. 1 producer Brazil.

Jun 19 - Tokyo Rubber Slides as Sentiment Sours Again (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures slid amid oversupply concerns. "A feeling of disappointment spread among investors about export-reduction measures," said Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji. November futures on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange dropped 2.9% to Y195.2/kilogram.

Jun 16 - Robusta Jumps on Rumours of Vietnamese Supply Problems (Dow Jones)
London-traded robusta coffee is up 1.7% at $2,126.00 a ton and has leapt more than 6% so far this week. "Robusta really took off after we started hearing that some of the guys in Vietnam are having trouble coming up with product to deliver," a trader says. With "very little" activity expected from Indonesia in the near future and the Brazilian crop a "disaster," robusta prices could continue to rise next week. The price of higher quality arabica beans, meanwhile, is down 1% at $1.27 a pound. "It's a tale of two beans," the trader says, pointing out that with prices at their closest in more than three years, low-grade robusta could soon cost more than its premium cousin.

Jun 16 - Brazil Coffee Harvest Almost One-Third Finished (Safras)
Brazil's coffee growers had completed 31% of their harvesting work as of June 13, according to agricultural consultancy Safras & Mercado. That's slightly behind the 34% completed on the same date last year and the 32% five-year average for the date, Safras says. Farmers have harvested 15.8M 132-pound bags of coffee, and the total harvest will be 51.1M bags, the consultancy says. The harvest is progressing reasonably well despite recent rains, but the amount of new coffee entering the market is still low because of delays in drying the crop, Safras analyst Gil Barabach adds. Excess humidity in the coffee crop could affect the quality of the beans going forward, he also says.

Jun 16 - Arabica and Robusta Prices Are Converging (Dow Jones)
The difference in cost between the lowly robusta coffee bean--typically used in instant coffee and cheaper blends--and the pricier arabica bean is the narrowest it has been in nearly 3.5 years. The price of robusta beans has soared 6% over the last three sessions, with exporters in Vietnam, the largest robusta producer, struggling to find coffee after many farmers sold their harvests at the beginning of the year when prices reached a five-year high. Meanwhile, arabica prices have been stable this week, leading some traders to buy arabica futures in anticipation that there could be bean switching.

Jun 16 - Cocoa Futures Dragged Back Down by Selling, Low Volumes (Dow Jones)
London-traded cocoa futures have slumped over the last hours and are down 1.16% at $1,612.00 a ton. New York-traded futures are also down 1.64% at $2,035 a ton. Those falls have erased any upward progress made by London prices over the past week. In what is mostly a weather-watching part of the calendar, cocoa futures had been displaying a little less volatility in recent days, a Europe-based trader says. With "very low" trading volumes though, he says, it's only taken some fairly garden variety selling to strip back prices, leaving them close to where they were a week -- and indeed a month -- ago.

Jun 16 - Kenya Arabica Coffee Seen Up 7.1% in 2017-2018 Season (USDA)
- Kenyan arabica coffee output may rise 7.1% in the October 2017 to September 2018 crop year as farms recover from a drought in the previous season and on higher market prices, the U.S Department of Agriculture services said Friday.
- Kenya's coffee production is expected to increase to 45,000 metric tons in 2017-2018 from 42,000 tons the previous season, while exports are expected to increase 7.7% to 42,000 metric tons, USDA's Nairobi bureau said in the Kenya coffee annual report. Coffee production in Kenya is smallholder-dominated as large plantations, especially in the growing areas that border Nairobi are being uprooted to give way to more profitable housing developments, the report said.
  "In addition, the sector continues to grapple with other challenges, including increasing cost of labor and inputs; erratic weather conditions; high incidences of pests and diseases; competition from other farm enterprises; and poor governance of marketing cooperatives," the report said.
- Kenya's domestic coffee consumption has remained low at about 3% of the total production, the report said.
  "The low consumption is attributed to the predominant tea drinking culture and non-affordability of coffee due to low purchasing power for a majority of the population," the report said.
- Kenya produces much less coffee than Brazil and Vietnam but its specialty beans are sought for blending with those from other countries.  Nearly 97% of coffee produced in Kenya is exported to the European Union, U.S., Canada and South Korea. Coffee production in Kenya has been in decline from a peak of 129,926 tons in the 1987-1988 crop year.

Jun 16 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 12-16 June 2017 (WPB)
  The market showed a mixed response during the week. Pepper price in Viet Nam showed a positive signal, where price in HCMC increased during the week, both local price as well as FOB price. Price at other sources, such as India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka decreased further.  Activities in these sources however were very limited as material in the domestic market has exhausted.
  In Viet Nam local price of black pepper increase by 3%, while for white pepper was reported stable. FOB price of black pepper increased by 7% and for white pepper increased marginally by 1%. Increased price in Viet Nam is a good signal for pepper market. It is expected entering second semester 2017, the market will be recovery.
  As reported earlier, production and export of pepper in Viet Nam increased significantly in 2016 and out put of recent harvest (2017) is also reported to have good and huge quantity of pepper has been shipped. In Indonesia the harvest is only expected to begin in July. The output however is not promising. Some sources reported that a significant decrease of more than 50% in Lampung is anticipated this year. 

Jun 16 - Pepper's Export from Malaysia (WPB)
In 2016 Malaysia exported 12,550 Mt, a decrease of 10% from 13,900 Mt of export in 2015. Supported by sufficient stock at the beginning of the year and reported good harvest this year, export of pepper in 2017 is estimated to increase. Indication of the increase has shown by increased export in the first quarter of the year. In March 2017 Malaysia exported 1,070 Mt of pepper, an increase of 33% when compared to export in March 2016. The export also increased from 792 Mt in January 2017. During January-March 2017 export of pepper from Malaysia was 2,840 Mt, recording an increase of 34% when compared to export in the same period last year. Japan and China were the main markets of pepper for Malaysia, absorbing 22% and 20% respectively of Malaysian pepper in the first quarter. Singapore and Taiwan also imported significant quantity of Malaysian pepper.

Jun 16 - U.S.'s Ross welcomes producer backing for sugar deal 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Thursday commended sugar producers for signing onto a "fair" sugar trade deal a day after the United States and Mexico finalized details of the agreement. The deal, which was reworked from a 2014 pact, averts large duties on U.S. sugar imports of Mexican sugar and addresses industry demand for protection from cheap, subsidized sugar from its foreign supplier. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 16 - TRS raises forecast for 2017/18 global sugar surplus

Tropical Research Services on Thursday raised its forecast for a projected global sugar surplus in the 2017/18 season to 3.57 million tonnes, raw value, from last month's projection of 1.90 million tonnes. The analyst also saw a smaller deficit in 2016/17 (October/September) of 5.64 million tonnes, down from last month's forecast of 7.72 million. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 15 - United States and Mexico finalize sugar trade deal 

The United States and Mexico on Wednesday finalized terms of a sugar trade pact that seeks to resolve a years-long dispute between the governments before a North American trade deal is renegotiated. The sugar deal, which was reworked from a 2014 pact, averts imposition of large duties on U.S. imports of Mexican sugar while also addressing U.S. industry demands for protection from cheap, subsidized sugar from its top foreign supplier. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 15 - Sucden forecasts sugar surplus of 3.5 million tonnes in 2017/18

The world sugar market is on course for a surplus of 3.5 million tonnes in the 2017/18 season, commodity trade house Sucres and Denrees (Sucden) said in a quarterly report on Wednesday. The sugar trader pointed to higher output in the European Union, India, Thailand and China as a key driver. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 15 - Heavy rains cut access to Ivory Coast's San Pedro cocoa port 

Heavy rains have cut off routes from Ivory Coast's cocoa belt to the port of San Pedro, which exports more than half of the cocoa beans from the world's biggest producer, farmers and exporters said on Wednesday. Exporters said the roads and bridges that connect Grabo, Para, Tabou, Grand Bereby in the extreme southwest to San Pedro have all been cut off, as has the bridge linking the port to the cocoa centres of Soubre, Daloa and Duekoue. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 15 - Raízen set to win auction for two sugar mills in Brazil - creditor

Brazil's Raízen Energia SA, the world's largest sugar maker, is set to win on Friday a judicial auction for two sugar mills owned by Tonon Bioenergia SA, having made the highest bid, a manager at a group of cane producers told Reuters on Wednesday. Fabiana Valencise Olmedo said the 823-million reais ($250 million) bid presented by Raízen, a joint venture between Cosan SA Industria e Comercio and Royal Dutch Shell, was almost double the size of the only other offer. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 14 - Central Cameroon Cocoa Prices Rise as Farmers Hoard Crops (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices have increased around 10% compared with last week in Cameroon's key cocoa-growing region, farmers and traders told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.
  A kilogram of cocoa beans sold for between 800 and 700 Central African francs ($1.36 to $1.28), up from XAF720 and XAF67 last week.
  "Prices have started to rise because many of us stored our cocoa while waiting for prices," said Alphonse Emmanuel Nguile, vice president of the 50,000-member cocoa and coffee farmers' organization.
  Prices have continued to fall as supplies rose in all parts of the third-largest African cocoa producing nation that has seen steady rainfall for months, in contrast to last season when extensive dry weather hit output.
  The country's trade minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana said this season's harvest is expected to reach 300,000 metric tons, up from 269,000 tons the previous season.

Jun 14 - Brazil center-south produces 1.75 mln T of sugar in late May 

Brazil's center-south, the world's largest sugar producing region, made 1.75 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of May, an amount considered small for the period based on historical data but above market estimates. Mills in the center-south produced 2.106 million tonnes of sugar in the previous two-week period, according to data released on Tuesday by cane industry group Unica, which said crushing days were lost due to above-average rains. This drove sugar production lower. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 14 - Brazil's Raízen offers Tonon Bioenergia $248 mln for two ethanol mills

Brazil's sugar and ethanol company Raízen SA, a joint venture between Cosan SA Indústria e Comércio and Royal Dutch Shell Plc has offered 823 million reais ($248 million) to buy two ethanol mills from Tonon Bioenergia SA. Cosan said in a securities filing on Tuesday that Tonon Bioenergia, which has been going through an in-court reorganization, is expected to sell two ethanol mills, Santa Cândida and Paraíso, in an auction. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 14 - Shanghai Fuels Jump in Tokyo Rubber Prices (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures rose sharply amid gains in Shanghai. But concerns about weak demand from automobile companies in China will continue to weigh, said Gu Jiong of Yutaka Shoji in Tokyo. He notes the country's high inventories, "and rubber prices might not be able to catch up." November futures on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, which have been under pressure, jumped 5.5% to Y195.5/kilogram.

Jun 14 - Food Prices Pull Down India Wholesale Inflation (Dow Jones)
Falling food prices slowed India's wholesale inflation in May, just as it did on the consumer side. PPI rose 2.2% form a year earlier last month, versus April's 3.9%, amid a 20% slide in vegetables and pulses. Production of the latter is set to hit a record this year. The benign wholesale-inflation reading provides fresh evidence that overall price increases are running comfortably below the central bank's target and could strengthen the case for a rate cut to support weakening economic growth.

Jun 14 - Spot Natural Rubber Prices Dominated by Moves in Futures (Dow Jones)
Spot prices of natural rubber are increasingly dominated by sentiments in Shanghai and Tocom futures, which are vulnerable to fluctuations in currencies, crude oil prices and geo-political developments, says Nguyen Ngoc Bich, Secretary-General of the Asian Natural Rubber Producing Countries; "Analysis reveals the prevailing bearish trends in natural rubber prices are largely due to unexpected fall in crude oil prices and sharp appreciation in Chinese yuan and Japanese yen." He adds that speculative investors' expectation of an upward revision in U.S. policy interest rates in June is another major constraint for recovery in Asian commodities including natural rubber. The Tocom benchmark natural rubber contract is currently trading up Y2.0/kg at Y187.3/kg.

Jun 13 - New Zealand Grape Harvest Down 9% on Year (Dow Jones)
Industry group New Zealand Winegrowers says the 2017 grape harvest is down 9% on-year after bad weather, particularly during Autumn. "Given strong demand in overseas markets, wineries had been looking forward to a larger harvest this year. With the smaller vintage however, export volume growth is likely to be more muted in the year ahead," says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries and wine exports are currently valued at NZ$1.65 billion (US$1.19 billion) annually. It's the country's fifth-largest export category.

Jun 13 - Heavy rain batters Ivory Coast's cocoa mid-crop 

Heavy rain continued last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regions, raising fears of flooding and crop disease that could disrupt mid-crop production, farmers said on Monday. It is the rainy season in Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, and regular downpours are expected until next month. The mid-crop runs from April to September while the main crop runs from October to March. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 13 - Vietnam's exporters hunt for robusta coffee as supplies dwindle 

Vietnamese coffee exporters, faced with dwindling robusta supplies in the world's top producer, are paying up to buy beans from international trade houses who scooped up much of the crop early in the season. Local exporters in Vietnam are struggling to find coffee to fulfil their contracts, trade sources said, after farmers sold forward much of the harvest early on in the season when global prices hit their highest in more than five years. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 12 - U.S. Commerce chief seen imposing Mexico sugar deal over industry objections 

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is likely to impose a new sugar trade deal with Mexico even if final revisions to it fail to win support from the U.S. industry, trade lawyers and experts say. After announcing a deal this week that would dramatically cut the amount of refined sugar that Mexico ships to the United States, officials from the two countries are working with their industries on final language that would govern its operation. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 12 - Speculators boost bearish sugar bet to Sept 2015 highs 

Speculators hiked their net short position in raw sugar contracts in the week to June 6, as prices struck their lowest in over a year, and they also boosted a bearish stance in coffee to an over 1-year high, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The dealers reduced a bullish stance in cotton futures and options to the lowest since November 2016 and also cut a bearish stance in cocoa, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 12 - U.S. slashes forecast for sugar supplies on lower Mexico outlook 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday sharply cut its forecast for U.S. sugar supplies amid expectations of lower imports from Mexico due to tighter supplies in the top exporter to the United States in the upcoming 2017/18 crop year. The USDA slashed the outlook for U.S. imports from Mexico more than one-fifth to 1.77 million (short) tons on expectations of lower sugar production in Mexico. The reduced forecast raises the prospect the agency will ultimately have to raise import quota to meet demand in the United States, one of the world's top sugar consumers. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 12 - Brazil coffee exports stable in May; larger volumes seen 

Brazil green coffee shipments in May were barely changed from 12 months ago, exporters association Cecafé said on Friday, and estimated volumes would rise in coming months and possibly reach a record next season. Brazil exported 2.21 million (60-kg) bags of green coffee, compared to 2.23 million bags in May 2016, with arabica shipments accounting for almost all that volume (2.19 million bags), Cecafé said at a news conference. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 09 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 5-9 June 2017 (WPB)
The market remained quiet and price at most origin decreased further. Selling pressure in Vietnam still continued since material from recent good harvest has flooded the market. Limited overseas demand is also a factor influencing the prices to continue falling. In Viet Nam the price decreased significantly during the week.  In Indonesia, the market continued to freeze, since material has exhausted and market is only expected to be more active in July/August, after Iedul Fitri celebration.  Currently Ramadhan festival is continuing and price of most commodities is tending to increase. In the case of pepper however, the price continued to fall influenced by the situation occurred in Vietnam.

Jun 09 - Pepper's Import by South Korea (WPB)
In the last few years import of pepper into South Korea increased year by year from 4,300 Mt in 2013 to 5,500 Mt in 2016. Out of total pepper imported by South Korea, around 6-8% was ground pepper. Major share of pepper imported by South Korea was from Vietnam. Malaysia, India and Indonesia also exported pepper to South Korea.
In 2017, import of South Korea is estimated to increase further. Indication of the increase is shown by the import performance achieved during the first quarter of the year from 1,150 Mt to 1,430 Mt. Anticipation of the increase is also supported by the situation of good harvest realized by Viet Nam this year.

Jun 09 - Ivory coast cocoa port arrivals up 21 pct by June 4 

Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast reached about 1,631,000 tonnes by June 4 since the start of the season on Oct. 1, 2016, exporters estimated on Tuesday, up 21 percent from the same period of the previous season. Exporters estimated that some 15,000 tonnes of beans were delivered to Abidjan and 16,000 tonnes to San Pedro, for a total of 31,000 tonnes delivered between May 29 and June 4. That compares with 15,000 tonnes during the same period last season. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 09 - Mexico sugar deal hard to swallow for last U.S. candy cane maker 

For the last U.S.-based manufacturer of the red and white striped candy cane that is a ubiquitous North American holiday season treat, the sugar supply deal struck between Mexico and Washington is anything but sweet. The competitors of Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co have, over the years, moved their plants south to Mexico and beyond to gain unfettered access to the cheaper sugar supplies there. That was part of a shift in manufacturing out of the United States that President Donald Trump has vowed to reverse. Click here to read full stories.

Brazil approves world's first commercial GM sugarcane - developer CTC 

Brazil has approved commercial use of a genetically modified sugarcane, setting a milestone for the country's highly competitive sugar industry as this is the first time such permission has been granted anywhere in the world. Authorization was obtained by CTC Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira SA, which developed the technology and made the application seeking approval in December 2015, Chief Executive Officer Gustavo Leite told Reuters in an interview. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 09 - Food, families and flights: anxiety and confusion descend on Qatar 

When 31-year-old Ali al-Mohanadi heard Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other nations were cutting ties and severing all transport links with his home country Qatar, he emptied the back of his Land Cruiser SUV and drove to a nearby supermarket. Tensions had been building for days between Qatar and its powerful Gulf Arab neighbours and Mohanadi feared Saudi's closure of Qatar's only land border on Monday could lead to price hikes and food shortages in the import-dependent country. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 08 - Mexico sugar lobby says still wants dumping probe of U.S. fructose 

Mexican sugar producers still want an investigation into suspected dumping in Mexico by U.S. fructose producers even after a U.S.-Mexico deal on access to the U.S. sugar market, the head of the Mexican sugar industry group said on Wednesday. The sugar lobby last month said it had asked the Mexican economy ministry to investigate U.S. high-fructose corn syrup imports, saying there was "solid" evidence of dumping. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 08 - Ghana to begin cocoa mid-crop purchases on Friday - regulator 

Ghana will begin its minor cocoa mid-crop purchases on Friday and will keep the price at which it buys beans from farmers at 7,600 cedis ($1,914) per tonne, industry regulator Cocobod said on Wednesday. Cocobod has projected to buy around 70,000 tonnes of beans through the usually 11-week mid-crop harvest which is discounted to local grinders. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 08 - China sugar output up at 9.3 million tonnes by end-May 

China had produced 9.3 million tonnes of sugar by the end of May, up from 8.7 million tonnes at the same time last year, a government report said. The 8 percent jump in output comes after farmers planted more cane to benefit from higher prices and as favourable weather boosted yields.Click here to read full stories.

Jun 07 - U.S., Mexico reach sugar pact despite U.S. producer resistance 

Mexico on Tuesday conceded to U.S. demands for changes in the terms of Mexican access to the lucrative U.S. sugar market, striking a deal with Washington that will likely lift prices of the sweetener to U.S. food processors and consumers. Sugar producers in the United States refused to endorse the agreement in principle between the two governments after pushing for even more concessions from Mexico, raising the possibility that the deal could collapse. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 07 - Sugar slump poses threat to U.S. ethanol exports - USDA official 

A sharp fall in global sugar prices poses a threat to U.S. ethanol exports and related demand for corn, Seth Meyer, chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's World Agricultural Outlook Board, said on Tuesday." That is certainly one area we will certainly keep an eye on because it is an area of risk. We are doing a fair amount of export business," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the International Grains Council's annual conference. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 07 - Ghana's cocoa production threatened by plant disease, unproductive trees 

A re-emergence of swollen shoot disease in Ghana has affected at least 17 percent of cocoa trees, further threatening output in the world's second largest producing country where nearly a quarter of farms are moribund, industry regulator Cocobod said on Tuesday. Cocobod Chief Executive Joseph Boahen Aidoo said around 23 percent of Ghana's cocoa tree stock, covering some 411,000 hectares, is over 30 years and had become unproductive. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 06 - U.S. and Mexico sugar talks go into overtime after day of drama 

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday extended the deadline for U.S.-Mexico sugar trade negotiations by 24 hours, and sources on either side of the spat said U.S. industry added new demands after the governments struck a provisional deal. Ross said extra time was needed to complete "final technical consultations" for a deal. At stake is the possibility of stiff U.S. duties and Mexican retaliation on imports of American high-fructose corn syrup ahead of wider trade talks expected in August. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 06 - Qatar food imports hit after Arab nations cut ties - trade sources 

A decision by the Arab world's strongest powers to break off diplomatic ties with Qatar is already hitting food imports into the small Gulf state with reports that Qataris are beginning to stockpile supplies, trade sources say. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut relations with Qatar on Monday over alleged support for Islamists and Iran in a coordinated move. Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives joined in later - opening up one of the worst rifts in years. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 06 - Corruption, mismanagement hurt Ghana cocoa industry - World Bank 

Corruption and regulatory mismanagement of Ghana's cocoa industry are denting production and harming farmers, underlining the need for reform, the World Bank said in a draft report seen by Reuters. Ghana produced a record 1 million tonnes of cocoa in the 2010-11 season, but output has since declined to around 800,000 tonnes due to poor management and underpayment of farmers, the World Bank said. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 06 - Brazil's Copersucar cuts estimate for center-south sugar output 

Brazil's Copersucar SA, one of the world's largest merchants of sugar and cane-based ethanol, has reduced its outlook for the sweetener's production in the 2017/18 center-south cane crop due to a steep drop in sugar prices. Copersucar Chief Executive Officer Paulo Roberto Souza told reporters on the sidelines of a biofuels conference on Monday that the company cut its estimate for Brazil's center-south sugar output to 35.5 million tonnes from 36 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 05 - Anger in Mexican sugar cane fields, harbinger of NAFTA risks 

Anger is simmering across a lush swathe of Mexico among poor sugar cane farmers who face a major blow from trade talks in Washington on Monday, in an ominous preview of the high-stakes re-negotiation of the NAFTA agreement set to begin in August. The United States and Mexico have until Monday to modify a 2014 agreement that set quotas and a price floor on Mexican sugar. U.S. sugar refiners say Mexico's exports are subsidized, undercutting their business and that the agreement failed to stop dumping. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 05 - Uncertain road for EU sugar as Ukraine exports gain traction 

Ukraine's emergence as a player in the world sugar market, boasting cheap prices and an expanding global reach, could crimp the European Union's ambitions to regain its mantle as a major exporter after it liberalises its market this year. A weak currency is helping Ukraine rebuild its sugar industry, which declined in the post-Soviet era, while the EU wants to regain its former prominence as an exporter. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 05 - Speculators boost bearish ICE raw sugar stance - CFTC 

Speculators hiked their net short position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to May 30, as they upped a bearish stance in cocoa, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The dealers cut a bullish bet in cotton futures and options and raised a bearish stance in arabica coffee, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 05 - Ivory Coast and Ghana to create joint cocoa body - draft document 

West African neighbours Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top cocoa producers, are to set up a joint industry body, according to a document to be signed by the heads of their marketing boards on Friday. The Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire Sustainable Cocoa Initiative will, among other things, aim to set farmer prices that will discourage cross-border smuggling and enhance collaboration between the two countries' cocoa marketing departments. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 05 - Early harvests of Madagascar's vanilla crop to erode quality 

Premature harvesting of Madagascar's vanilla crop to ward off theft of the pricey beans will lower their quality, industry officials said. Farmers in Sambava, the crop's main growing region in Madagascar, the world's biggest producer, have been harvesting before time due to fear of thieves. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 05 - Tocom Rubber Ends Down, Hurt by Stronger Yen (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended lower Monday, weighed by a stronger yen against the US dollar. Investors took to heavy selling amid uncertainty about the Chinese economy, notes Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for November delivery ended Y2.59 lower at Y191.5 per kilogram.

Jun 05 - China Sugar Imports to Be Weaker in 2016/17 After Government Moves (Dow Jones)
China's sugar imports are going to be weaker in 2016/17 due to the government's fight against smuggling and the sale of its state reserves on the domestic market, says BMI Research in a note. However, it notes that in spite of Beijing's ongoing crackdown on smuggled sugar from India and Thailand, "illegal imports will not disappear" and a recovery in Thai and Indian sugar domestic production in 2017/18 following the long-lasting impact of El Nino on production in these countries "may prompt a pick up in smuggled sugar in 2018."

Jun 02 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 29 May-2 June 2017 (WPB)
- The market was quiet. Price in Viet Nam remained unchanged at the level of VND 81,000 per Kg for black and VND 127,500 for white traded locally. In Lampung, the market was very quiet. Almost no trading activity took place, due to very low price coupled with scarce stock available at farms. Upcoming harvest in Lampung is not promising.
- Unlike in Kochi, India; the price of Malabar black remained high at the level of INR 500 (US$7.75) per Kg. High internal demand has kept prices at higher site. When compared to average price in the last week, a marginal increase of 1% was recorded. In Sri Lanka, the price also increased.

Jun 02 - Pepper's Import by United Kingdom (WPB)
In the last ten years, import of pepper into the United Kingdom increase year by year. In 2007, the import was 7,200 Mt and in 2016 increased to 14,275 Mt, consisting 7,450 Mt of whole pepper and 6,825 Mt of ground pepper. Vietnam was the main supplier for the United Kingdom. In 2017 the import is estimated to remain high, since output of current harvest in Viet Nam is reported to be good.

Jun 02 - ISO sees global sugar market moving to surplus in 2017/18 

The International Sugar Organization sees a modest sugar surplus emerging in 2017/18 as Brazilian producers allocate more cane to sugar over ethanol, the ISO said on Thursday in its first preliminary forecast for next season.The inter-governmental body said it anticipated a surplus of roughly 3 million tonnes in the 2017/18 season, which runs from October to September. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 02 - U.S., Mexico moving closer to sugar trade deal -Mexican minister 

The United States and Mexico have moved closer to a deal in talks over a prolonged sugar trade dispute, but there is no guarantee that an accord will be reached, Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday."Dialogue is continuing, nobody can guarantee we have a deal in hand," Guajardo told reporters at an event in Mexico City. "We've done a lot of work to get one, our positions have moved closer, but we can't say yet we've got it," he added. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 01 - Cameroon's Arabica Coffee Price Rebounds at Douala Port - Industry
- The price of Cameroon's arabica coffee at its chief port of Douala rose more than 3% Thursday, compared with the previous week, according to industry figures and several exporters and traders. A kilogram of arabica coffee sold for 1,619 Central African francs ($2.76), up 3.85% from XAF1,574/kg a week earlier, according to data from the country's cocoa and coffee board on Thursday.
- Prices rose in response to scarce supplies, traders and exporters said, as well as difficult trading conditions due to weeks of intermittent protests that were hampering boats docking at the port.

Jun 01 - Coffee Prices Fall as Brazil Crop Forecasts Improve (Dow Jones)
- Coffee prices fell Wednesday as speculators piled into short bets on the back of forecasts that call for a better-than-expected coffee production in Brazil, the world's largest growing region. Arabica coffee for July delivery fell 1% to $1.294 a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.
- In a note released before the open Wednesday, Citi Research upgraded its Brazil harvest forecast for the 2017/2018 season to 48.3 million bags, saying favorable weather was aiding crops in Espirito Santo and Bahia. The firm said they still foresee global demand outstripping supply by 3 million bags. Still, J. Ganes Consulting said coffee stocks in the U.S., one of the largest consuming regions for arabica coffee, continued to swell and are at their highest level since 1994.
- At the same time, the Brazilian real is down 1.8% this month against the dollar, which has encouraged sales of dollar-denominated goods such as coffee. "Arabica coffee is among the crops most impacted and sensitive to depreciation in the Brazilian real," Citi Research said, adding that prices below $1.30 a pound appear to be oversold beyond the fundamentals of the market.
- Political turmoil in Brazil has weighed on the country's currency and fresh short-positioned traders in the market have helped move prices lower. Hedge funds and other money managers betting on lower coffee prices are at their highest level so far this year, with the bears outweighing the bulls by 13,585 contracts as of Tuesday last week, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Jun 01 - Keeping sweet: India sugar output expected to jump on decent monsoon 

India's 2017/18 sugar production will likely jump a quarter from the previous year to 25 million tonnes as decent monsoon rains are forecast, the head of an industry body told Reuters.That rebound in output to volumes near consumption levels could sap demand for imports from the world's biggest consumer of the sweetener, dragging on international prices that are already near their lowest in over a year. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 01 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers neglect plantations as price drop bites 

Cocoa farmers in top grower Ivory Coast are passing up fertiliser and pesticide treatments and are instead spending their reduced earnings this season on essentials like food, healthcare and school fees as a drop in world prices hits home.The failure to invest in preparing plantations for the next season, which opens in October, risks making them vulnerable to pests and disease and could lead to reduced output. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 01 - ICCO sees global cocoa surplus of 382,000 T in 2016/17 

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) lifted its forecast on Wednesday for a global cocoa surplus in the current 2016/17 season to 382,000 tonnes, citing higher than previously expected output in top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana.Its previous projection, issued in February, was for a global surplus of 264,000 tonnes Click here to read full stories.

May 31 - Rout in Rubber futures triggered a panicky sellof in Iron Ore and Coal (Dow Jones)

- Chinese industrial commodities slumped Wednesday following a 4-day holiday weekend as a rout in rubber futures triggered a panicky selloff in iron ore and coal. Analysts say the action underscores a pessimistic 2H demand outlook. Rubber, traded in Shanghai, fell 5% at around 10:30am, triggering wider jitters. "In a weak market, any major fluctuation in one commodity can easily cause a contagion of fear," said Fan Qingtian at Nanhua Futures. Iron ore had already been weak, falling the last 4 days of last week. September futures skidded 6% to put prices at the lowest level in nearly 7 months. Meanwhile, coke and coking-coal futures slumped 7.6% and 9%, respectively.
- Tokyo rubber futures slid, following losses in Shanghai, amid thin trading after a 4-day holiday weekend in China. But analysts say tight supplies in the Tokyo commodity markets might lift prices near-term. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for November delivery ended down 2.5% at Y202.5/kilogram.

May 31 - Cuban sugar harvest disappoints despite added tonnage 

The Cuban sugar industry produced 20 percent more raw sugar (an estimated 300,000 tonnes)during the just concluded harvest, but that was less than was planned, state-run media said on Tuesday.Central Villa Clara province became the only one of 13 sugar-producing provinces to meet its production plan on Monday, ending the harvest. Click here to read full stories.

May 31 - Tokyo Natural Rubber Lower as Crude Oil Remains Under Pressure (Dow Jones)
Tokyo natural rubber prices are lower early Wednesday, continuing to take their lead from crude oil prices, which are a feedstock for synthetic rubber. The benchmark contract is now sitting just above the key psychological level of Y200/kg so if it falls below this it could see a further track lower. The Tocom benchmark 6-month contract is trading down Y4.3/kg at Y203.4/kg.

May 30 - Cocoa Prices Jump on Bargain-Hunting, Weather, Positioning (WSJ)
Cocoa prices are sharply higher, with the London-traded commodity up 3.55% at $1,547.00 a ton. The price in New York has also risen, and is up 3.66% at $1,982.00 a ton. Traders are reticent to put forward any one reason behind the jump, although one trader lists short-covering among the major drivers. Heavy rains and fears of flooding in the south-west of the Ivory Coast -- the world's largest cocoa producer -- add to pre-existing jitters surrounding military unrest in the same country, the trader adds. On top of this, data released earlier in the day by ICE and Rabobank showed that traders in both London and New York were raising long positions on cocoa. Today's move is a continuation of a rally which started Friday after sell-offs earlier in the week.

May 30 - Cameroon Cocoa Price Drops on Abundant Supply (Dow Jones)
- Exporters were paying less for cocoa beans at Cameroon's main port of Douala this week, many exporters and traders there told Dow Newswires Tuesday.
- Ready-for-shipment cocoa beans sold for 1,074 Central African francs ($1.82), down 3.5% from XAF1,113 a week earlier, according to figures sent to Dow Jones Tuesday by the cocoa and coffee board of Africa's third-largest cocoa producer.
- The price of cocoa beans has kept falling largely because of abundant supplies at the port during the continuing mid-crop harvest, which started earlier than expected in some parts of the West African nation, traders said. Favorable weather conditions have also caused rising yields, middlemen traders said.

May 30 - Uganda Robusta Exports Extend Rising Streak (Dow Jones)
Uganda robusta coffee shipments continue to rise after posting monthly gains over the past six months, boosted by harvests from new maturing plantations across Africa's no.1 grower, says Uganda Coffee Development Authority. Exports rose 9% in April to 243,160 bags, bringing cumulative shipments for 2016-17 season to 1.9 million bags. But Arabica shipments dropped 20% in April, weighed down by a lower yielding tree cycle. Total 7-month coffee shipments are 29% on year, as Uganda reaps well from maturing tress planted 5 years ago. Higher robusta shipments from Uganda offer some relief to concerns over global supplies of the bitter tasting variety from producers in the Americas and Asia.

May 30 - Iraq's Etihad Food Ind negotiating long-term raw sugar deals 

Iraq's Etihad Food Industries is still negotiating with international trading houses for long-term raw sugar contracts, at a time when it is selling less to the ministry of trade, its main domestic customer, a senior company official said. Etihad's supplies to Iraq's ministry of trade have been hit by budget constraints caused by lower oil prices, said the company's commercial director Haidar Al Noumany. Click here to read full stories.

May 30 - Heavy rain in Ivory Coast raises flooding fears in cocoa areas 

Abundant rainfall fell last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions, sparking fears that flooding could hinder harvesting of what is otherwise expected to be a strong mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. The mid-crop marketing season opened on April 1. The world's top cocoa grower is now in its rainy season and heavy downpours are expected over the coming weeks. Click here to read full stories.

May 30 - India's monsoon rains arrive at southern Kerala coast - weather office source 

Monsoon rains arrived at southern Kerala coast on Tuesday, a weather office source said, making it the earliest since 2011 and setting India up for higher farm output and robust economic growth. "All the required conditions have been met," the source, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters. An official announcement is expected shortly, the source said. Click here to read full stories.

May 30 - Drop in India, Kenya tea output brews price rises 

The price of tea is likely to climb further this year after dry weather slashed production of the commodity in key suppliers India and Kenya, while recent deadly flooding could disrupt shipments from Sri Lanka, another key exporter. Output in top tea shipper Kenya dropped by over a third from a year ago in the first quarter after drought ravaged parts of the country, while production was down over 16 percent during that period in India, the world's biggest black tea producer. Click here to read full stories.

May 29 - Brazil center-south sugar output up despite rains 

Sugar output at Brazil's center-south region, the world's largest producer of the sweetener, came in higher than expected in the first half of the month, with mills managing to keep a good pace despite some days lost to rains.The figures put pressure on New York raw sugar prices on Friday. Click here to read full stories.

May 29 - Speculators slash bearish ICE raw sugar stance -CFTC 

Speculators nearly wiped out the net short position in raw sugar futures and options on ICE they had been building since the start of the month in the week ended May 23, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The dealers reduced a bullish bet in cotton and a bearish stance in cocoa, while they upped a net short stance in arabica coffee, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

May 29 - El Salvador's coffee exports fall by 24 percent in April 

Coffee exports from El Salvador fell by 24.3 percent in April compared to the same month last year as producers waited for international prices to improve, the Salvadoran Coffee Council said on Friday.El Salvador shipped 61,555 60-kg bags in April, compared with 81,330 bags during the same month in the previous harvest. Click here to read full stories.

May 26 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 22-26 May 2017 (WPB)
- The market continued to weak and price decreased further. In Viet Nam price decrease was recorded very fast in the last few months. This week the price has touched the low historical level of VND 81,000 per Kg for black recorded in the last seven years (since 2010). In India the price also decrease but was relatively better than price at other sources (give price level of India as well). Very drastic fall in price has made farmers depressed. Many farmers in almost all producing countries have loaned money from banks for investing pepper farms and expanding the gardens. If the price continues to decrease, it would loss farmers' spirit to maintain the gardens. This situation is hitting seriously pepper farmers in Indonesia, especially in Lampung where production of pepper will be down this year. It is expected all stake-holders to look in to this seriously, to avoid of further decrease and maintain price at remunerative price level. 

May 26 - Pepper's Imports by France (WPB)
- France is one of the important consuming countries in Europe. In 2016 France imported 11,500 Mt of pepper comprising of 8,500 Mt of whole pepper and 3,000 Mt of ground pepper, an increase of 13% when compared to 10,200 Mt of pepper (7,520 Mt of whole pepper and 2,680 Mt of ground pepper) imported in the previous years (2015). Viet Nam emerged the most important supplier of pepper for France in 2017, replacing Brazil and Indonesia to the second and third position. Germany also supplied significant quantity of pepper into France mainly ground pepper, recording 47% of ground pepper imported into France was from Germany.
- In 2017 import of France is estimated to remain high as indicated by total import in the first quarter of 2017. During January-March 2017, France has imported 2,800 Mt (2,100 Mt of whole pepper and 700 Mt of ground pepper), as compared to 2,780 Mt imported in the same period last year. In the first quarter, Brazil and Indonesia were the main suppliers for France, together supplying 43% of pepper into France and Viet Nam alone followed by about 15%.

May 26 - Rains slow down Brazil coffee harvest, may hurt quality - Safras 

Above-average rains for this time of the year in Brazil's coffee producing regions have slowed down harvesting of this year's crop and might hurt the beans' quality, consultancy Safras e Mercado said on Thursday. The coffee harvest in the world's largest producer and exporter has advanced only 4 percentage points from last week and is now behind the stage seen at this time last year, as well as when compared with a five-year average, said Safras. Click here to read full stories.

May 26 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers sell below base price amid slump 

Cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast are selling beans at below the government guaranteed minimum price as a global price decline squeezes revenues for buyers and exporters, farmers and buyers told Reuters. To shelter farmers from steep price dives, the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) regulator in the world's top cocoa grower sets a minimum price for cocoa beans. But enforcing the base price in the sprawling industry is difficult in practice. Click here to read full stories.

May 26 - Tokyo Rubber Slides With Chinese Futures (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures skidded ended amid continued decline in Shanghai. "Investors have been unsettled by the Shanghai Futures Exchange's decision to raise intraday transaction fees," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. Further, the overnight pullback in oil added further pressure. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for October delivery slumped 5% to Y216.2/kilogram.

May 26 - Ethiopia Coffee Exports Seen Being Flat (Dow Jones)
The USDA Bureau sees Ethiopia's 2017-8 coffee production rising some 4% but exports from Africa's No. 1 producer being flat. It adds while Ethiopia is hoping to more than double current coffee production by 2019-20, low yields are unlikely to allow that. But "if Ethiopia could manage to use the existing area planted and double productivity to match Brazilian yields, the country's coffee production would climb upwards... bringing it closer to its production goal."

May 25 - India Raises Sugarcane Purchase Price; May Help Output (Dow Jones)
India's federal cabinet raises the state-fixed purchase price of sugarcane paid to farmers by 11% for the season starting October, which could boost declining sugar output. Farmers are likely to increase their cane plantings in the world's top sugar consumer because sugar mills will have to pay more for their feed stock. Meanwhile, sugar prices in India have firmed up, boosting stocks of local sugar refiners. Shree Renuka Sugars (532670.BY) is up 2.7%, Triveni Engineering & Industries  2% higher and Dhampur Sugar Mills climbs 2.5%.

May 25 - Ivory Coast cocoa bean acidity still too high - farmers, exporters 

Insufficient rain has dented the size and quality of cocoa beans delivered to Ivory Coast's main ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, despite recent improvements, growers and exporters told Reuters.Acid levels have fallen in recent weeks but remain above European Union standards in the world's top grower because of a lack of rain while bean sizes remain small. Click here to read full stories.

May 25 - China slashes out-of-quota sugar import permits - sources 

China has slashed its out-of-quota sugar import permits this year to almost half of last year's allowance, according to two sources familiar with the matter, the latest step by the world's top sugar importer to curb shipments from abroad.China will grant permits for 1 million tonnes of sugar imports, down from 1.9 million tonnes last year, the sources said. Click here to read full stories.

May 25 - Mexican sugar lobby calls for US fructose antidumping probe-source 

Mexico's sugar industry association (CNIAA) submitted a request last week for a government investigation into suspected anti-dumping by U.S. fructose producers selling to Mexico, a person familiar with the matter said.The CNIAA said earlier this month there was evidence to carry out a "solid" probe on fructose, which enters Mexico tariff-free, unlike Mexican sugar going to the United States. Click here to read full stories.

May 25 - India raises 2017/18 sugar cane price by nearly 11 pct - finance minister 

The Indian cabinet has raised by nearly 11 percent the price sugar mills must pay to cane growers in the next sugar season beginning October, the country's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, has asked mills to pay at least 255 rupees ($3.93) per 100 kg from Oct. 1, 2017, when the new sugar season begins, up from 230 rupees in the previous year. Click here to read full stories.

May 25 - Germany’s Nordzucker plans international expansion - CEO 

Germany's second largest sugar refiner Nordzucker is in discussions about international expansion projects in Europe, South America and Asia, its CEO said on Wednesday."We are considering everything: takeovers, shareholdings and joint ventures," CEO Hartwig Fuchs told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

May 24 - "War on sugar" takes toll; Asia, Brazil struggle to make up shortfall 

The "war on sugar" being waged by governments and consumers to combat public health emergencies like diabetes is slowing growth in global demand, which along with other factors could signal a fundamental shift in consumption ahead. Consumption may grow at its slowest pace in seven years in 2017/18, according to analyst group Platts Kingsman. It forecasts a rise of 1.04 percent, nearly half the average growth of about 2 percent per year over the last decade. Click here to read full stories.

May 24 - Vietnam's Coffee Production Expected Down 10% in 2016-17 (Dow Jones)
Vietnam's coffee production is expected to be 10% lower at 26 million bags in the year to September 30, as unusual rain during the harvest resulted in further losses for the expected smaller Robusta production, says the US Department of Agriculture in a note. Furthermore, it notes that during the past 2-3 years, more farmers have stopped growing coffee in order to produce cash crops such as black pepper, avocado and passion fruit, to generate higher incomes. However, with black pepper prices halving over the past 18 months the move out of coffee has slowed.

May 24 - Tokyo Rubber Reverses Early Gains On Chinese Moves (Dow Jones)
Tokyo natural rubber futures reversed early gains to end the session lower, as Chinese commodities fell sharply after Moody's downgrade of the country cast a pall over trading sentiment just when the market was stabilizing. With China the largest buyer of natural rubber, concerns about demand there tend to push down prices. The Tocom natural rubber benchmark 6-month contract is trading down Y4.4/ per kilogram at Y228.7/kg.

May 23 - Brazil sugar sales to China to fall by 800,000 tonnes on higher tariffs 

Brazilian sugar exports to China could fall around 800,000 tonnes in the next 12 months as a result of higher import tariffs imposed by the Chinese government, local sugar industry group Unica said on Monday. Unica's director, Eduardo Leão, said China's decision to apply safeguards on sugar imports to protect its industry was not justified. He said the Brazilian government will discuss the measures in talks with the Chinese government in the following weeks. Click here to read full stories.

May 23 - China April sugar imports down 14.1 pct y/y at 190,000 tonnes - customs 

China imported 190,000 tonnes of sugar in April, down 14.1 percent from the same month last year, customs data showed on Tuesday. Imports in the first four months of the year rose to 1.09 million tonnes, up 30.9 percent from the same period a year ago, boosted by low global prices.  Click here to read full stories.

May 23 - Ivory Coast rain, sun improve prospects for cocoa mid-crop 

Plentiful rain and sun last week in most regions of top cocoa grower Ivory Coast improved prospects for the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday, although eastern regions continued to suffer the effects of a previous dry spell. In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers reported three heavy downpours and said that if the rain continues with good sun, there will be plenty of maturing pods on the trees by mid-July. Click here to read full stories.

May 23 - Sugar Unsurprised By China's Import-Tax Hike (Dow Jones)
The global sugar market "was probably not all that surprised" by China's decision to nearly double duties on some imported sugar as it had been in the works for some time, says CBA analyst Tobin Gorey. That as the move will cut official imports and leave the market looking for a home for some 1 million tons of sugar, all while raising domestic prices. "Two groups will enjoy those higher prices," he adds--domestic sugar firms and smugglers. Sugar futures actually rose overnight in the US amid wet weather in southern Brazil's cane regions seen hampering near-term production.

May 22 - Indonesia Coffee Production Seen Rising Some (Dow Jones)
Indonesian coffee production is expected to increase 300,000 bags to 10.9 million bags of green-bean equivalent in the just-started year (which runs through April 30), the USDA says. Exports are seen improving, but not be able to fully offset the decline seen this past year, it adds. Agency data indicate the fall in exports is partly due to increased in domestic consumption.

May 22 - Tokyo Rubber Ends Higher Tracking Shanghai Gains (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices end Monday's trading session higher, supported by strength in Shanghai rubber futures. "Investors took to heavy buying, looking at the rise in Chinese markets," notes Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. Investors were also upbeat over the likelihood of crude oil producers extending a production cap pact at an OPEC meeting later this week. The TOCOM rubber contract for October delivery finished up Y2.8 at Y227.7/Kg.

May 22 - China slaps import duties on sugar; experts question impact 

China said on Monday it will impose hefty penalties on sugar imports after lobbying by domestic mills, but experts said the ruling may not go far enough to stem the flow of lower-priced sweetener into the world's top importer.The ruling, which will affect about a third of China's annual sugar imports, introduces an extra tariff on shipments over a three-year period, which will fall slightly each year. Click here to read full stories.

May 22 - Speculators hike bearish ICE raw sugar, arabica bets -CFTC 

Speculators boosted their net short in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. to the highest level since September 2015 in the week to May 16, as they also upped a bearish bet in arabica coffee contracts to a 14-month high, U.S. government data showed on Friday.The dealers reduced a bearish stance in cocoa for a second straight week from this month's record level and raised a bullish bet in cotton futures and options, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

May 22 - Brazil coffee harvest progressing despite rains - Safras 

Brazil's 2017 coffee harvest is advancing despite widespread rains in producing regions lately, Safras & Mercado analysts said in a report on Friday.Safras said the harvest of both arabica and robusta coffee had reached 11 percent of total area under cultivation by May 16, compared with 10 percent a year earlier and the five-year average of 9 percent for that time of year. Click here to read full stories.

May 22 - Coffee industry braces for Colombia shipment delays amid strike 

Coffee growers in Colombia and importers in the United States are bracing for tight supplies from the world's biggest grower of high-quality arabica beans as a general strike in the Pacific port of Buenaventura delays shipments at a time when heavy rains have already slowed the harvest.The government is hoping to negotiate an end to the protest, which has shuttered shops and blocked roadways, preventing the arrival of coffee to the port, one of Colombia's largest. Residents are demanding more funding for the violent and poverty-stricken region. Click here to read full stories.

May 20 - CYBER ATTACK .WNCRY ( continued )
- as you may already know, our servers have been attacked by WannaCRY last Friday, May 12th ( as some 300,000 PCs worldwide )
- despite our best efforts, the serveur hosting all our swap calculators cannot be cleaned, and therefore will be discarded. We already bought a new one, from OVH Private Cloud. Full installation and setting-up and tests might take a week.
- ALL physical Cash Energy & Freight calculator including Oil Products / Natgas / LPG / Power / Emissions / Coal / Tanker and Dry Bulk prices/rates were restored on dedicated PCs, enabling us to update on demand ( 3 to 4 times a day )
- ALL physical Cash Agri / Softs / Metals pages have not been affected therefore running as usual.
- once again we apology for all inconvenience.

May 19 - Tokyo Rubber Rises Further, Thanks to Oil (Dow Jones)
Further gains in oil helped push Tokyo rubber futures higher on Friday.
Tokyo rubber prices edge up amid gains in oil, which is as some of its best levels of the past month. Oil is a major ingredient for synthetic rubber, so the two often trade in tandem. But concerns about weakness in Chinese demand might pressure prices near-term, says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for October delivery climbed 0.7% to Y224.9/kilogram.

May 19 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 15-19 May 2017 (WPB)
- Pepper prices decreased further during the week. Significant decreases were reported from Viet Nam, since arrival of new material from this year harvest is increasing. In addition to the heavy arrivals, limited overseas demand has also pressed the price down.
- In India the price also decreased from INR 528 per Kg at the beginning of the week to INR 511 at the week's close. In dollar terms, average local price of pepper in India was around US$ 8,100 per Mt, and for FOB price was around US$ 8,255 per Mt during the week. Although the price has shown a decreasing trend, but prices in India remained high and highest among prices prevailed in producing countries.
- In Lampung, the market was very quiet. There is no trading activity reported at domestic market. The scarcity of raw materials at farms as well as the continuous price decrease was the main reason for the current quiet situation. Production of pepper in Lampung and Bangka is anticipated to be lower this year. In Kalimantan and Sulawesi however, production of pepper for this year harvest is expected to remain good. However, materials from these regions are mainly traded locally for domestic demand. In China, the price decreased marginally by 1%, while in Sri Lanka the price was relatively stable.

May 19 - Pepper's Import by Japan (WPB)
In the last ten years, Japan imports around 8-9,000 Mt of pepper annually. During 2016 Japan imported 8,740 Mt of pepper, comprising of 5,130 Mt of whole pepper and 3,610 Mt of ground pepper. The total import has decreased from 9,070 Mt in 2015. Malaysia was the main source for Japan, supplying 40% of pepper into Japan in 2016, followed by Indonesia, supplying 33%. Viet Nam also supplied significant quantity of 19% to Japan. During first quarter of 2017 import of pepper into Japan was lower by 400 Mt from 2,292 Mt in the first three months of 2015 to 1,884 Mt in the first quarter 2017. Import of whole pepper decreased by 19% and for ground pepper decreased by 16%.

May 19 - USDA sees record global 2017/18 sugar output, lower stocks

The U.S. government forecast on Thursday that world sugar production would rise to a record in the 2017/18 marketing year but that stocks will fall on lower inventories in China and Mexico. Global sugar output was pegged at 180 million tonnes, on higher output in Brazil, China, the European Union, India and Thailand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its biannual report. Click here to read full stories.

May 19 - Suedzucker optimistic as free EU sugar market to start

Germany's Suedzucker, Europe's largest sugar refiner, said on Thursday it was optimistic its core sugar sector would achieve higher earnings as the EU enters a new era with a liberalised sugar market. Suedzucker CEO Wolfgang Heer told a news conference he expects a significant increase in EU sugar production following the end of production quotas and export limits later this year. Click here to read full stories.

May 18 - CYBER ATTACK .WNCRY continue
- we are displeased to announce to our customers that our servers have been contaminated with WNCRY, following last week Cyber attack everybody heard about.
- despite our best efforts, the serveur hosting all our swap calculators cannot be cleaned, and therefore will be discarded. We shall have to buy a new one, this time from OVH Private Cloud. Full installation and setting-up and test might take a week.
- physical Cash Energy calculator including oil products / Natgas / LPG / Power / Emissions and Coal prices has been restored in a separate PC, updating 3 to 4 times a day.
- physical Cash Freight calculator including Tanker and Dry Bulk rates has been restored also in a separate PC, updating once per day.
- physical Cash Agri / Softs / Metals pages are safe and do run today as usual.
- once again we apology for all inconvenience, the less to say ? that WannaCRY has really made us cry !

May 18 - Relief and anger as Ivory Coast mutineers receive bonuses

Renegade troops in Ivory Coast on Wednesday withdrew bonuses paid by the government to end their four-day mutiny, as the wave of unrest gave way to public frustration at Abidjan's handling of the crisis. Thousands of dissident troops, mostly ex-rebels who helped bring President Alassane Ouattara to power, launched their revolt on Friday, accusing the government of failing to honour a financial agreement that quelled an earlier mutiny in January. Click here to read full stories.

May 17 - CYBER ATTACK .WNCRY continue
- we are displeased to announce to our customers that our servers have been contaminated with WNCRY, following last week Cyber attack.
- despite our best efforts, all our calculators were not fully cleaned this morning, and consequently ALL our SWAP pages are being discontinued until further notice ( and hopefully not more than a further day )
- physical Cash Energy calculator ( including oil products cash prices ) have been stopped too.
- physical Cash Agri / Soft / Metals pages are safe and shld run as usual today.
- we are making our best efforts to restore cleaned version on all our servers, hopefully before End of this Day.

May 17 - Tocom Rubber Closes Higher on Shanghai Gains, Falling Stocks (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber prices end up tracking gains in Shanghai markets and buoyed by investor optimism on tighter supplies. Japanese stocks have been declining amid rising demand, particularly from the rubber gloves industry, traders say. However, a stronger yen against the U.S. dollar might weigh on market sentiment, going ahead. The TOCOM rubber contract for October delivery finished up Y1.7 at Y229.7/Kg.

May 17 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 8-12 May 2017 (WPB)
- The market has again come down during the week. Heavy arrival from this year harvest in Viet Nam coped with limited overseas demand has placed much more pressure on price. This was likely the main reason for the decrease of price. Local price of pepper in HCMC decreased by VND 8,000 per Kg from VND 100,000 last week to 92,000 per Kg this week. For white pepper, it has also decreased to VND 138,000 per Kg from VND 143,000 prevailed in the last week. As largest pepper supplier, market situation in Viet Nam has by and large influenced market direction in other producing countries.
- In Lampung, although stock has exhausted and trading was very limited, the price has reportedly decreased further. Similarly in Bangka, the price has also decreased. Pepper harvest in Lampung is expected to begin in July/August. The size is estimated to be significantly lower from last year harvest, due to too many rains during flowering and fruiting season. In Sri Lanka and China, the price also decreased.

May 17 - Pepper's Export from Viet Nam (WPB)
- During 2016 export of pepper from Viet Nam totaled at 178,360 Mt valued at US$ 1.43 billion, registering a significant increase of 33% in quantity and 12% in value as against 133,646 Mt worth US$ 1.28 billion in 2015. In 2017, the export is estimated to increase further, in line with reported production increase anticipated this year. Indication of increased export this year has seen from export performance achieved in the first quarter.
- As per the official statistics, export of pepper from Viet Nam during January - March 2017 totalled 51,100 Mt, an increase of 16% from 43,900 Mt in the same period of 2016. In value term, however, a decrease of 12% was recorded. Export in March was 29,000 Mt, recording a substantal increase when compared to exports in the previous months (January and February). The export aslo recorded as the highest of monthly exports achieved so far.

May 16 - Alert CYBER ATTACK .WNCRY
- we are displeased to announce to our customers that our servers have been contaminated with WNCRY, following last week Cyber attack
- consequently ALL our swap calculators (and pages) are discontinued until further notice.
- physical Cash Energy calculator ( including oil products cash prices ) still working fine, but service will be interrupted for malware cleaning this afternoon.
- physical Cash Agri / Soft / Metals pages are safe but may encounter some updating delay today.
- we are making our best efforts to restore cleaned version on all our servers, hopefully before End of the Day.

May 16 - Brazil acts to protect ethanol producers as U.S. imports jump 

Brazil is toughening requirements for ethanol importers to protect domestic producers from an incoming surge of U.S. corn ethanol, a minister said on Monday, adding that he opposed the idea of new tariffs that could trigger costly retaliation.Buyers of foreign ethanol will now have to follow a rule applied to Brazilian ethanol producers regarding minimum stocks to guarantee supplies in the market, according to a government decision published in the official gazette on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

May 16 - "No deal yet" in Mexican trade talks with Ross seen as NAFTA warm-up 

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his Mexican counterpart failed to make progress in talks on Monday to resolve a sugar trade spat before the complicated renegotation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) due later this year. "There's no deal yet," sugar chamber head Juan Cortina, who took part in the talks, told Reuters, saying "no" when asked if progress was made in any area relating to the impasse over Mexican exports. Click here to read full stories.

May 16 - Renegade Ivory Coast soldiers reject government deal to end mutiny 

Renegade soldiers in Ivory Coast on Monday rejected a proposed deal to end their mutiny over unpaid bonuses just minutes after the defence minister announced on state-owned television that an agreement had been reached. President Alassane Ouattara's government has been trying to restore order for four days after 8,400 mutineers took control of the second-biggest city, Bouake, and spread their revolt to cities and towns across the country. Click here to read full stories.

May 15 - Tanzania March Coffee Export Sales Rise on Year as Volume Falls (Dow Jones)
- Tanzania's coffee export volume fell 7.3% to 5,100 tons in March from the same month a year earlier, the Bank of Tanzania said.
- The value of Tanzanian overseas coffee sales rose 6.6% to $16.1 million on the year as reduced volumes pushed up the unit price 16% to $3,173 a ton, the bank said Monday in its monthly economic review for April, citing provisional data from the Tanzania Revenue Authority. Global prices for coffee increased in the year on strong demand, the bank said.
- Although direct sales are permitted, almost all of Tanzania's coffee beans are sold at a weekly auction run by the Tanzania Coffee Board.
- In the season May 2016 to April 2017, Tanzania's production of arabica and robusta coffee is expected to have dropped 20%, reflecting unfavorable weather and the natural biennial arabica cycle, in which a bumper harvest is followed by a smaller one, according to Primus Kimaryo, acting director-general of the Tanzania Coffee Board. Tanzania--like most other East African coffee-growing nations--exports nearly all of its beans.

May 15 - Speculators add to bearish ICE raw sugar position -CFTC 

Speculators increased their net short position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to May 9, as they trimmed bearish stances in arabica coffee and cocoa, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The dealers lowered a bullish bet in cotton futures and options, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

May 15 - Cameroon docker strike blocks coffee and cocoa exports 

Striking dockers blocked exports of cocoa and coffee at Cameroon's main port on Friday, officials said, as unrest and political tensions mounted in the build-up to next year's elections.About 200 workers demanding better pay and conditions stopped anyone entering or leaving the site in Douala, a port spokesman said. Click here to read full stories.

May 12 - Tokyo Natural Rubber Rebounds, Supported by Bargain Hunting (Dow Jones)
Tokyo natural rubber prices rebounded further, supported by a spate of bargain hunting following earlier declines. The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries report released Friday notes that global supply in the first 4 months in 2017 was up 5.1% and was expected to rise 5.7% in 2017 over 2016. However, the report adds that world demand would outstrip supply, reducing the commodity's stock. The Tokyo benchmark natural rubber contract is trading up 0.7 yen per kilogram at Y214.5/kg.

May 12 - Cash and chemicals: for Laos, Chinese banana boom a blessing and curse

Kongkaew Vonusak smiles when he recalls the arrival of Chinese investors in his tranquil village in northern Laos in 2014. With them came easy money, he said. The Chinese offered villagers up to $720 per hectare to rent their land, much of it fallow for years, said Kongkaew, 59, the village chief. They wanted to grow bananas on it. Click here to read full stories.

May 12 - Low cocoa prices threaten Ivorian regulator's finances - exporters

Cocoa exporters in Ivory Coast worry that the continuing slide in world prices risks leaving the top producer's marketing board unable to cover support payments on mid-crop exports, company officials told Reuters on Thursday. Ivory Coast sells forward the bulk of its harvest through auctions of export permits in order to establish a price scale that guarantees a minimum income to farmers. Click here to read full stories.

May 12 - India private forecaster holds to weak monsoon view, contrary to govt agency

India's only private weather agency on Thursday warned against "irrational exuberance" after a state forecast flagged heavier-than-expected monsoon rains and the stocks of companies dependent on the farm economy shot ahead a second straight day. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) told Reuters late on Tuesday that the June-September monsoon season - critical for the half of the country's farmland that is not irrigated - was likely to bring more rain than its previous forecast as concerns over the El Nino weather condition had eased.  Click here to read full stories.

May 12 - India has no plans to allow extra sugar imports -food minister

India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, has no plans to allow extra imports of the sweetener as stocks held in mills will suffice, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday. Last month, the government allowed imports of half a million tonnes of duty-free raw sugar, as a drought cut output below consumption for the first time in seven years. Click here to read full stories.

May 11 - Cameroon's Arabica Coffee Prices Slip Amid Slow Trade (Dow Jones)
Arabica coffee prices fell 1.12% this week in Cameroon's biggest city of Douala, amid sluggish demand from exporters, the country's cocoa and coffee board said Wednesday.
Exporters paid 1,664 Central African francs ($2.77) for a kilogram of arabica, 1.12% below last week's XAF1,683/kg, according to the board.
Exporters attributed the price drop in part to an increase in supply. Previously, traders had withheld coffee from ports to force up prices.

May 11 - Brazil Will Produce Less Coffee in 2017-2018 (Dow Jones)
Brazilian farmers will produce 51.1 million 132-pound bags of coffee in the 2017-2018 season, for which harvesting has just started, according to agricultural consultancy Safras & Mercado. That would be a decline from the 55.5 million bags produced in the 2016-2017 season, the group said. The smaller crop in the current season is due to the two-year growth cycle of the arabica variety, which sees a decline in production every second year, according to Safras analyst Gil Barabach. But 2017-2018 will nevertheless produce a good-sized crop, helped by regular rain at the end of last year, he said. Robusta production will also improve this year, thanks to the end of a drought in Espirito Santo state, Barabach said. Brazil is the world's biggest producer of arabica coffee and the second-biggest of robusta, after Vietnam.

May 11 - World sugar supply deficit seen fading in 2017/18

The global sugar deficit that sent prices soaring last year is expected to fade away in the upcoming crop year, though expectations of whether a surplus emerges remain mixed, said industry experts during New York "Sugar Week" on Wednesday. The world is headed toward a more balanced sugar market in the 2017/18 crop year, after two years of short supplies that sent prices soaring in 2016, Plinio Nastari, president of Datagro Consulting Ltd, said during an industry conference. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - Brazil Coffee Exports Fell 13.5% in April (Dow Jones)
Brazilian coffee exports fell 13.5% to 2.1 million 132-pound bags in April from the same month a year earlier, exporters group Cecafe says. Revenue rose 2.7% in the month to $396.1M, according to Cecafe. Exports of the arabica variety of beans fell 13.3% to 1.8 million bags, and exports of robusta coffee dropped 55.4% to 26,600 bags, the group said. A drought last year in the main robusta-producing area of Brazil has slashed production of that variety. Brazil also exported 257,944 bags of processed coffee in April, including ground, roasted and instant, a decline of 6% from the previous year. Brazil is the world's biggest producer and exporter of coffee.

May 10 - Cameroonian Cocoa Prices Fall as Nigerian Buyers Quit Farmgates (DJ-Farmers )
- Cocoa prices in Cameroon's chief-producing province are down by over 18% on last week, farmers said Wednesday. Prices ranged between 690 Central African francs ($1.15)and XAF705 per kilogram of cocoa beans in Cameroon's south-west province this week. That was down by 18.7% from last week's XFA800/kg to XAF915/kg.
- Farmgate prices have fallen for nearly a month, having been boosted earlier in 2017 by interest from Nigerian traders. The crossover trade pushed prices as high as XAF1,400/kg.
- Favorable weather has boasted harvests in southwestern Cameroon, which accounts for over 40% of the country's production, according to official figures.

May 10 - Mexico sugar industry warns U.S. tough line sets bad NAFTA precedent

A tough U.S. proposal on bilateral sugar trade with Mexico sets a bad precedent for an impending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the head of Mexico's sugar chamber, Juan Cortina, said on Tuesday. The U.S. sugar industry pressed the Commerce Department late last year to withdraw from a 2014 trade agreement that sets prices and quota for U.S. imports of Mexican sugar unless the deal could be renegotiated. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - INTL FCStone sees smaller global sugar deficit in 2017/18

A global sugar deficit in the upcoming 2017/18 crop year will be smaller than previously expected, INTL FCStone said on Tuesday, amid rising projections of an end to the short supplies that have gripped the market for the past two years. The firm lowered its outlook for a deficit to 300,000 tonnes, versus the previous projection of a deficit of 500,000 tonnes in the global crop year that begins on Oct. 1. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - China 2017/18 sugar output to rise to 10.47 mln tonnes - agri ministry

China is set to produce 10.47 million tonnes of sugar in the 2017/18 crop year, the agriculture ministry's first forecast for the coming harvest showed. The country produced 9.25 million tonnes of sugar during the prior crop year. The sugar year runs from October to September. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - India facing higher monsoon rains than forecast - weather office chief

India looks likely to receive higher monsoon rainfall than previously forecast as concern over the El Nino weather condition has eased, the chief of the weather office said on Tuesday, raising prospects of higher farm and economic growth. The state-run India Meteorological Department on April 18 forecast this year's monsoon rains at 96 percent of the 50-year average of 89 cm. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - Cofco sugar subsidiary forms partnership ahead of probe results

Cofco Tunhe Sugar Co Ltd, a subsidiary of agricultural conglomerate Cofco, signed a partnership agreement with Shandong Xingguang Sugar Group Co Ltd on trade and product development, according to a statement issued on Monday. Under the deal, Cofco Tunhe will cooperate with Xingguang, a private refiner based in Shandong province, in sugar trading, utilizing Cofco's background, and use Xingguang's capacities in developing and producing sugar products, the statement said. Click here to read full stories.

May 09 - Weak Demand Weighs on Cameroon's Robusta Coffee Prices - (DJ, Farmers, Traders)
- Robusta coffee farmers in Cameroon are offering the crop at prices lower than 6% from what traders paid for it two weeks ago, farmers and traders said Monday. They said a kilogram of robusta coffee beans sold at a range of 580 and 505 Central African francs ($0.96 to $0.84), down 6.46% from the XAF610 and XAF550 middlemen traders paid for the crop two weeks before.
- Cameroon's robusta coffee is grown in five provinces--the Littoral, South-West, Center, South and East regions--where farmers and traders said coffee beans were scarce since harvests ended in December. Amid thin supplies, farmers marketing stocks they stockpiled for months, had resorted to hoarding crop from local markets as a strategy to force traders pay higher for it. The tactic seems to have paid little, with few traders staying back for business, as many traders have decided to leave farmgates.

May 09 - Top Mexican trade official to hold sugar talks next week in U.S. 

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will travel to Washington next week for talks about sugar exports, he told reporters on Monday, in an attempt to break an impasse that threatens to trigger tit-for-tat duties on sweeteners. U.S.-Mexican trade relations are already under strain as U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement pact with Mexico and Canada and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and have Mexico pay for it. Click here to read full stories.

May 09 - Global sugar market firmly on path to surplus in 2017/18 - TRS

The global sugar market is "firmly on the path to return to surplus" in 2017/18 after two consecutive deficit years, Tropical Research Services (TRS) said in a report on Monday. TRS forecast there would be a surplus of 1.82 million tonnes, raw value, following deficits of 8.01 million in 2016/17 and 5.93 million in 2015/16. Click here to read full stories.

May 09 - Inadequate rain in Ivory Coast seen shortening cocoa mid-crop

Insufficient rain in eastern and western regions of top cocoa grower Ivory Coast could cause the April-to-September mid-crop to taper off early, farmers said on Monday. Growing conditions were poor last week in all regions of the country except the south, where there was abundant rain, farmers said. Click here to read full stories.

May 08 - Funds Continue to Cut Long Robusta Coffee Positions (Dow Jones)
Money managers cut their net long position on robusta coffee in the week ending May 2, according to market data released by ICE. The latest data show a 8.7% net-long position decrease to 24,264 lots. On the futures market robusta prices rose 4.6%, with traders boosting light robusta prices further away from their late-April eight-month lows. On the New York-traded arabica coffee market, though, the net long position continued to plunge, falling to -12,654 from -8,745 lots, in the same period. London traded robusta was last up 0.15% at $1,980.00 a ton.

May 08 - Funds Increase Bets on Falling Cocoa Prices (Dow Jones)
Managed money slightly increased bets that London cocoa prices will continue to fall, according to market data released by ICE. In the week to May 2, the net-short position increased by 2.1% -- a much milder gain than the previous week's increase of 24%. On the futures market, the cocoa price ticked 1.2% higher in that same period. In New York, the net-short position on New York traded cocoa increased by 3.6% in that same week. London traded cocoa was last up 3.6% at $1,514.00 and the New York price was up 3.4% at $1,929.00.

May 08 - Tocom Rubber Ends Lower on Shanghai Losses (ow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices end sharply lower Monday following declines in Shanghai rubber futures. Japan's market opened after a long break last week, as Golden week celebrations kept investors away, notes Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. Despite the dip, markets may rebound soon as main rubber producing countries are looking to cut output, he adds. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for October delivery ends 6.8% down at Y206.6/Kg.

May 08 - Speculators switch to bearish bet in ICE raw sugar - U.S. CFTC

Speculators switched to their first bearish stance in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. since September 2015 during the week to May 2, as they boosted a net short in cocoa contracts to a fresh record, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The dealers boosted a bearish stance in arabica coffee futures and options to the highest since March 2016, as they upped a bullish position in cotton, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

May 08 - Ivory Coast and Ghana to work together to improve cocoa sectors

Ivory Coast and Ghana will work together to improve the organisation and sale of their cocoa, Presidents Alassane Ouattara and Nana Akufo-Addo said on Friday at the end of a summit. The West African neighbours, the world's two biggest cocoa producers, will also improve coordination between their cocoa sector regulators, the presidents said in a statement after meeting in Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan. Click here to read full stories.

May 08 - Green Pool sees global sugar surplus of 4.72 mln T in 2017/18

The global sugar market is set for a surplus of 4.72 million tonnes, raw value, in the 2017/18 season fuelled by a sharp rise in production, Australia-based analysts Green Pool forecast on Friday. It revised its forecast for the 2016/17 season to a deficit of 4.28 million tonnes from an earlier forecast for a deficit of 5.20 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

May 05 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 1-5 May 2017 (WPB)
- The market showed a mix response. Pepper price in Viet Nam and Sri Lanka increased during the week; while in India and Indonesia decreased. In Sarawak the price was reported stable.
- In Viet Nam, the market has more active following situation of increased price of pepper during the week, after experienced a significant decrease in April. Effect of continuous price decrease in Viet Nam is likely still continues in India and Indonesia by 3-4% this week.  The market is expected to be more active and firmer soon, after output of the pepper harvest in Viet Nam cleared. During the week under review, local price in HCMC increased by VND 5,000 and VND 2,500 per Kg respectively for black and white pepper. Smaller output of black pepper from this year harvest in Lampung is expected to begin in July; while for white pepper in Bangka will start in June.

May 05 - Pepper's Import by the United States (WPB)
- In 2016 import of pepper into the United States of America decreased by 5,000 Mt to 75,000 Mt from 80,000 Mt in 2015. Import of black and ground pepper decreased; while import for white pepper increased marginally.
- In February 2017, the United States imported 5,165 Mt of pepper, recording a decrease of 17% from 5,250 Mt imported in February 2016 and decreased by 12% from 5,860 Mt in the previous month (January 2017). During January-February 2017 the United States imported 11,020 Mt (7,500 Mt of black, 620 Mt of white and 2,900 Mt of ground pepper). Total import in the first two months was lower by 7% when compared with the total import in the same period last year. The decrease was mainly due to significant decrease in the import of ground pepper. Indonesia and Viet Nam were the main source of black and white pepper for the United States; while ground pepper was mainly imported from India and Viet Nam.

May 05 - Cameroon's Port Cocoa Price Dips Amid Bounty Harvest - Traders
- Cocoa prices at Cameroon's chief port of Douala were about 5% lower amid abundant crop supplies, traders and exporters said Wednesday.
- A kilogram of cocoa ready for export sold for 972 Central African francs ($1.61), compared with XAF1,023 last week, according to figures released by the West African nation's cocoa board.
- This was the third major decline in the price for the key chocolate ingredient in as many weeks.

May 05 - Mexico sugar lobby may seek sanctions, anti-dumping probe on U.S. fructose

Mexican sugar producers could ask the government to seek trade sanctions or launch an anti-dumping probe into U.S. high-fructose corn syrup if no sugar trade deal is reached, Mexico's sugar chamber president said on Thursday. Speaking on local radio, Juan Cortina, the President of the National Chamber of the Sugar and Alcohol Industries, said sugar producers could ask Mexico to impose reprisal measures on par with a recent ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a dispute between Mexico and the United States over tuna fish. Click here to read full stories.

May 04 - Ghana considering premium cocoa discount to local grinders

Ghana's Cocobod is considering proposals to discount its premium main crop beans to local grinders as part of the new government's plans to increase local processing to 50 percent of annual output, the regulator's board chairman said on Wednesday. Locally processed beans in the world's second largest cocoa producer have dropped to below 30 percent in the last two years from around 38 percent previously due to lack of cheaper beans, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang told reporters after a tour of the plants. Click here to read full stories.

May 03 - U.S. Commerce chief extends Mexico sugar deadline, sees impasse

The Mexican and U.S. governments have agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations over a sugar trade agreement to June 5, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying late Monday the talks were "at an impasse." In a statement, Ross said the Commerce Department notified Mexico's government that the United States intended to resume collection of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on sugar imports starting June 5 unless an agreement is reached. Click here to read full stories.

May 03 - Poor rains in eastern Ivory Coast worry cocoa farmers

Hot weather and insufficient rainfall last week in top grower Ivory Coast's eastern cocoa regions are feeding concerns of a poor April-to-September mid-crop harvest there, farmers said on Tuesday. In the eastern region of Abengourou, known for the high quality of its beans, farmers were frustrated. Click here to read full stories.

May 02 - Mexico, U.S. agree to extend deadline for sugar trade talks

The Mexican and U.S. governments agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations over a sugar trade agreement to June 5, according to a letter from a U.S. official sent on Monday, as both sides seek a new deal amid heightened tensions between the neighbors. The previous deadline to conclude the talks was Monday. Click here to read full stories.

May 02 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers should raise output, quality -President

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara urged cocoa farmers to raise production and quality and said a 40 percent fall in global cocoa prices this season had hurt the nation's economy and budget. Bumper crops in Ivory Coast, the world's top producer, and other countries have sent prices tumbling this season. Ivory Coast has slashed its 2017 budget due to the lower prices. At the same time, the country's production could reach a record 2 million tonnes this season.  Click here to read full stories.

May 02 - COFCO seen selling bulk of huge ICE May sugar delivery -traders

Chinese trading house COFCO Group will sell the bulk of a cash delivery that is expected to be the second-largest ever against the May ICE Futures raw sugar contract, U.S. traders said on Friday. COFCO is expected to sell 29,404 lots of a total of about 29,900 lots of raw sugar, or 1.5 million tonnes, four U.S. traders said. The delivery, worth about $538 million, would be the largest after May 2015's record 1.9 million tonnes, according to exchange data dating back to 1989. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 28 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 24-28 April 2017 (WPB)
- The market of pepper has decreased further and price at almost all origins has slide down with different scale.  Significant decrease was recorded in Vietnam during the week under review. Market pressure seems to have taken place in Viet Nam, following considerable quantity of pepper from recent harvest arrived in the market. On the other side limited overseas demand was also reported. As the largest pepper supplier, market situation in Viet Nam has influenced market development in other source as well.
- In Viet Nam price has decreased by 8% for black and 4% for white pepper. In India and Indonesia, price decreased by around 4%. Marginal decrease was also recorded in Sri Lanka and China.

Apr 28 - Pepper's Export from INDONESIA (WPB)
- During 2016 Indonesia exported 53,100 Mt of pepper, comprising of 32,100 Mt. of black and 21,000 Mt of white pepper. As against export in 2015, total export in 2016 decreased by around 5,000 Mt (9%). Export of black pepper decreased by 15%; while for white pepper increased marginally by 4%.  
- As reported earlier, a significant decrease of black pepper export has been anticipated in view of decreased production of pepper in Lampung, the main source of black pepper in Indonesia. In the case of white pepper, although production of pepper in Bangka decreased, but production of white pepper in non-traditional area such as in Kalimantan and Sulawesi has increased. This has contributed significant quantity to total white pepper export in 2016.
- In the last two years, Viet Nam was the main destination for Indonesia's pepper export, absorbing more than 35% of pepper exported from Indonesia; while the United States absorbed only 16%. In 2016, India imported significant quantity of around 6,500 Mt of pepper from Indonesia.

Apr 28 - Wilmar, Bunge, Alvean Scooping up Sugar (Dow Jones)
Commodity companies Wilmar, Bunge and Alvean are scooping up delivery at the expiry of the May sugar contract, with China's Cofco on the other side delivering the sugar, according to traders. With sugar prices down 23% since February and the Brazilian and Indian crops still in early development, scooping up physical sugar at rock-bottom prices could eliminate futures supply risks. Still, some traders have opined that Wilmar's big bet is to send the bulls running to drive up prices for sugar it sells on the open market. Wilmar has denied that the more than 6M tons of sugar it has snatched from the exchange since 2015 are affecting prices in the market. Sugar futures up 3.4% at 15.69c a pound.

Apr 28 - Brazil minister backs tariff to curb U.S. ethanol imports 

Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi has asked Brazil's foreign trade council to impose tariffs on ethanol imports following a surge in shipments from the United States, an official said on Thursday, a move that could stir trade tensions with the Trump administration.Brazil is the main market for U.S. exports of corn ethanol which have swelled in recent months to fill a gap left by falling domestic output, as cane farmers in the South American country diverted more of their crop to making sugar because of high prices. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 28 - European Commission withdraws vote on special sugar market measures 

The European Commission has withdrawn a vote planned for Thursday on special sugar measures intended to protect against a short-term supply crunch amid record low stocks in the bloc.EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said in a statement the Commission would not put the proposed measures to a vote at a management committee meeting on Thursday in "the absence of any specific supply shortages having been identified." Click here to read full stories.

Apr 28 - Brazil center-south sugar output rises to 704,000 T early in April 

Brazil's center-south sugar output reached 704,000 tonnes in the first half of April versus 270,000 tonnes in the second half of March as cane crushing gains traction in the 2017/18 crop, industry group Unica said on Thursday.Mills crushed 17.66 million tonnes of cane in the period, sharply up from the 7.96 million tonnes reported in the previous fortnight. Ethanol production jumped to 687 million liters in the first half of April versus 327 million liters late in March. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 27 - ADM replaces top trader amid global shakeup - memo 

Archer Daniels Midland Co has replaced the leader of its global trading desk, the company confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday, as it sheds traders around the world amid a global grains glut that has squeezed profits.Gary McGuigan, most recently managing director of global trade at ADM will succeed Gary Towne as president of the global trade desk, ADM said. Reuters first learned of the appointment from an internal company memo that was leaked in Argentina. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 27 - China considers raising tariffs on sugar imports - sources 

China is considering special import duties on sugar as part of an anti-dumping probe, according to two people familiar with the matter, in what would be a win for domestic producers seeking help battling cheap imports from Brazil and other major growers.China's Dairy Industry Association sent a document late last week to members asking them to comment on the Beijing proposal on duties, according to two people who reviewed it. They declined to be named since the document, addressed to some of the biggest industrial sugar users in China, wasnot public. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 27 - Cuban raw sugar output rises 20 pct but still below expectations 

The Cuban sugar industry has entered the final few weeks of the milling season with output at 1.8 million tonnes of raw sugar, according to provincial media reports, around 20 percent above last year’s production but less than expected.AZCUBA, the state-run sugar monopoly, said when milling began that it hoped to increase output 30 percent over last year’s estimated production of just over 1.5 million tonnes of raw sugar. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 27 - Brazil's center-south cane crop seen falling to 585 mln T - Unica 

Brazil's center-south, the world's largest sugar producing region, should process a smaller amount of cane in 2017/18 compared to the previous crop due to lower agricultural yields and smaller available cane area, industry group Unica said on Wednesday.Unica said in its first forecast for the new crop, which has just started, that center-south mills will crush 585 million tonnes of cane this season versus 607 million tonnes in the last crop. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 27 - Tocom Rubber Slips on Shanghai Weakness, Crude Oil Price Dip (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures end lower Thursday amid a decline in Shanghai rubber futures and weaker crude oil prices. Investors started selling as soon as Shanghai rubber prices fell, notes Kaname Gokon, an analyst at Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. A price drop in crude oil due to Russia's ambivalence on extending a production cap spilled over to rubber prices, he adds. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for new October delivery closed Y3.8 lower at Y215/kg.

Apr 26 - Robusta Coffee, Cocoa Prices Rally on Bargain-Hunting (Dow Jones)
The continuous price of robusta coffee rallies 1.75% to $1,917.00, although it's still down 10.67% over the last week. Wednesday's move comes after prices slumped to lows not seen since last September on Tuesday. Funds sold off based on perceptions of an oversupplied market, with Brazilian conilon looking solid and after Honduras delivered a bumper crop. The Vietnamese government -- which traders say is often wide-of-the-mark -- announced an 11% year-on-year in coffee exports for the year's first four months. This has had minimal impact on prices, though, ING's Warren Patterson says, instead attributing robusta's gains to a budding reversal in oversold prices. Mr. Patterson also said bargain-hunting was behind cocoa's London gains of 1.69% to GBP1442.00 a ton, and New York gains of 1.08% to $1,872.00 a ton down. This, after double-digit percentage drops for both commodities over recent months on fears of a global supply glut.

Apr 26 - Sugar prices may fall as EU seeks to regain market share 

Sugar prices could see a "race to the bottom" as the European Union seeks to regain share later this year in an increasingly crowded export market, industry participants said on Tuesday.As the EU liberalises its sugar regime and boosts output from Oct. 1, the market is bracing for pricing pressure as EU producers compete for export markets, speakers said at the Kingsman EU Sugar Seminar in Geneva. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Ghana Cocobod needs $400 mln after loan disappears -CEO 

Ghana's Cocobod needs around $400 million in bridge financing from the central bank to cover its operations for the remainder of the cocoa season after its annual syndicated loan ran out early, the industry regulator's chief executive said on Tuesday.Each September, Cocobod secures an international syndicated loan to finance licensed buyers who purchase cocoa from smallholders for export. It raised $1.8 billion for the 2016/17 season, but Cocobod's new chairman Hackman Owusu-Agyemang said in March the loan had been used up.  Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Some Brazil sugar mills liquidating positions in futures -sources 

Some Brazilian sugar mills are pocketing profits after liquidating New York sugar futures contracts that they purchased last year to hedge parts of their sugar production during a peak in prices, two sources with knowledge of the deals told Reuters on Tuesday.Raw sugar futures fell from peaks close to 23 cents per pound late last year to around 16 cents per pound currently. The market expects global sugar production to recover, so funds have been liquidating long positions. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Brazil's Cooxupé sees coffee sales up 7 pct despite smaller crop 

Cooxupé, the world's largest arabica coffee cooperative, expects to sell 7 percent more coffee this year, reaching 6.2 million 60-kg bags, in spite of a smaller-than-expected crop.Rising sales would stem from higher shipments from domestic growers struggling with a recent Federal Supreme Court ruling that upheld a levy on proceeds from sale of coffee and other grains, Cooxupé President Carlos Paulino da Costa said at an event on Tuesday. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Fruit producer Dole, led by 94-year-old CEO, files to go public 

U.S. fruit and vegetable producer Dole Food Co Inc, led by 94-year old David Murdock, filed with regulators on Tuesday for an initial public offering, four years after it was taken private. The California-based company — once the world's largest producer of fruits and vegetables — was taken private by Murdock in 2013 in a $1.2 billion deal following a four-year run as a publicly-listed company. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 25 - Cocoa Prices Decline as Traders Remain Bearish (Dow Jones)
  Cocoa prices continued to fall Monday, after a brief rally late last week, as traders remained bearish on the oversupplied market.
  Cocoa for July dropped 1.8% to settle at $1,816 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, as prices once again fell toward their 10-year lows hit on April 20. The contract jumped nearly 3% Friday after demand data out of North America and Asia showed signs of a slight recovery, but the rally once again proved to be short-lived.
  Cocoa has been one of the worst-performing commodities so far in 2017, as the market is moving into a year in which supply of cocoa is expected to outstrip demand. The International Cocoa Organization estimated that production of cocoa will surpass demand in the 2016/2017 season that began in October by 264,000 tons, helped along by record production in Ivory Coast, the largest grower of cocoa in the world. The West African nation is set to produce 1.9 million tons, a 20% increase over last year. With demand up 2.9% and production up 15% globally, the organization (which represents cocoa producing and consuming countries) said the world is expected to have its first significant surplus in six years.
  Latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed that speculators in the cocoa market added to their short positions for the second straight week. Hedge funds and other money managers betting on lower prices for cocoa outweighed bullish traders by 32,771 contracts as of April 18.
  However, following back-to-back years of weak demand brought on by price increases from chocolate makers, North America's craving for the main ingredient in chocolate showed signs of a modest recovery Thursday, as North American factories reported a bump to the number of cocoa beans processed in the first quarter. North American cocoa processors reported a 1.2% increase in beans processed during the first quarter of 2017 from a year earlier, the highest first-quarter tonnage since 2015. The 120,152 tons of cocoa beans processed by North American factories in the first quarter was also an increase over last quarter, when 117,588 tons of beans were processed.
  The Cocoa Association of Asia reported grindings Thursday at 177,450 tons, a 19% increase over the same quarter last year but a drop from the preceding quarter, when processing reached 188,493 tons.

Apr 25 - Robusta Coffee Slumps Further as Funds Liquidate Longs (Dow Jones)
- Robusta coffee continues to haemorrhage value, with the continuous price dropping 1.31% to $1,881.00 a ton in London and extending its on-the-week drop to 13%. Robusta prices are at their lowest since September. Funds are liquidating their long positions as they become increasingly bearish on an over-supplied global market, a trader says.
- With Honduras recently signalling a bumper crop and Brazilian conilon regaining its strength, "we're sitting on so much coffee that this is hardly surprising," the trader adds, pointing out that while robusta is down 15.8% over the past six months, it's still 22.4% higher on-the-year. In light of this, he says prices may have much further to fall.

- Monday saw ICE data showing a 4.8% reduction in traders' long positions. "Right now, I don't know what it will take to stabilise prices," the trader said.

Apr 25 - Cocoa-producing countries must coordinate strategies - ICCO 

The world's cocoa-growing countries must coordinate production strategies to confront a sharp drop in global prices that has hit farmers and government coffers hard, the chairman of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) said on Monday.Bumper crops around the world have sent cocoa futures tumbling by roughly a third since last year. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 25 - Most Brazil sugar mills still in delicate financial condition 

A number of Brazilian sugar and ethanol firms still face tough financial conditions as heavy debt loads limit investments that could improve their returns, mills and consultants said on Monday.While large groups such as Raízen, Biosev and São Martinho could tap alternative sources of financing, most mid-sized firms took on more debt over the last few years and are struggling to crush more cane,the experts said during F.O. Licht's international sugar seminar in São Paulo. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 25 - Lower EU sugar imports tighten supplies ahead of liberalisation 

EU sugar imports are running behind last season, a European Commission official said on Monday, with supplies expected to fall to their lowest level in six years before the bloc liberalises its regime in October.Applications for import licenses under the preferential Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) and Everything But Arms (EBA) schemes stood at 766,000 tonnes as of April, Miguel Garcia Navarro, the Commission's head of sugar and olive oil said. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 24 - EU mulls special measures as sugar supplies dwindle 

The European Commission plans to appeal to EU member states next week for special measures to prevent a short-term crunch in sugar supplies, just months before the bloc rolls out reforms that will sharply boost production.The proposal, which industry sources said is expected to be voted on at a management committee meeting on April 27, looks to reclassify some of the bloc's . Click here to read full stories.

Apr 24 - Speculators up bullish ICE sugar, cotton, coffee bets: CFTC 

Speculators upped a bullish position in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to April 18 for the first time in eight weeks, as they also hiked a bearish bet in cocoa to a one-month high, U.S. government data showed on Friday.The dealers also raised net long stances in arabica coffee and cotton futures and options, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 24 - Ghana to subsidise fertiliser for cocoa farmers and halt free supplies 

Ghana's cocoa industry regulator will stop supplying free fertiliser to the country's cocoa farmers and instead subsidise the products in an effort to create a fairer market, a spokesman for Cocobod said on Friday.The policy change is one of a series the New Patriotic Party government that won power at an election in December could implement in an effort to liberalise the sector and boost production. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 24 - China's March sugar imports up 44 pct y/y - customs data 

China imported 300,000 tonnes of sugar in March, up 43.9 percent from a year ago, and boosted first-quarter shipments, customs data showed on Sunday, as low global prices pushed up demand for overseas purchases from the world's top sweetener buyer.Producers also scrambled to buy ahead of the results of a government investigation into alleged anti-dumping into top exporting countries. China has extended the months-long probe until May 22.  Click here to read full stories.

Apr 21 - Rubber Futures Maintain Bargain-Hunting Bounce (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures maintained their sharp early gains through the close amid a weaker yen and bargain-hunting. "The markets are back to normal after the April contract adjustment got over," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. Investors sold ahead of that contract's expiration, helping push futures of late to repeated 5-month lows. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery climbed 6.4% to Y216/kilogram.

Apr 21 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 17-21 April 2017 (WPB)
Pepper market at sources remained calm. Some activity has taken place in Viet Nam. Following significant quantity from current harvest has arrived in the market, pepper price in HCMC went down by 3% for black in local market and 2% for FOB price respectively. Limited activity is also taken place in India and Sri Lanka. At Kochi pepper price dropped marginally by 1%. In Sri Lanka a decrease of 4% was recorded. In Lampung and Bangka (Indonesia) and Sarawak (Malaysia) the markets were very quiet and price remained unchanged. The market in these countries is expected to improve in the next few months.

Apr 21 - Pepper's Import by Russia (WPB)
Russia is considered to be the most important markets for pepper in Eastern Europe. During 2016, Russia imported 7,700 Mt, consisting of 7,025 Mt of whole pepper and 675 Mt of ground pepper. As against imports of 6,760 Mt in the previous year, an increase of 940 Mt (14%) was recorded. Import of whole pepper increased by 970 Mt, while for ground pepper decreased by 30 Mt. Vietnam was the main source of pepper for Russia, supplying more than 75% of pepper imported into Russia followed by India and Sri Lanka which each supplied around 8%.

Apr 21 - Ivory Coast cocoa quality suffers as merchants blend beans 

Cocoa exporters and grinders in top producer Ivory Coast are rejecting large volumes of beans because of poor quality as farmers seek to blend leftover main-crop cocoa into new mid-crop arrivals, exporters and merchants said on Thursday.A wave of defaults by exporters and higher than expected production left a glut of beans rotting in trucks at ports and in warehouses this year as farmers struggled to find buyers for what is the country's leading export product.  Click here to read full stories.

Apr 21 - COFCO sees Brazil coffee crop 15 pct smaller; to jump in 2018 

Brazil's coffee output this year should fall between 15 percent and 20 percent from the previous season, but production will make a strong recovery in 2018, the global head of coffee for Chinese commodities group COFCO told Reuters on Thursday.Joseph Reiner said COFCO's research team, after visiting several producing areas in the world's largest coffee producer, confirmed that most Brazilian farms will produce less due to the off-year in the biennial coffee cycle. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 21 - N. American first-quarter cocoa grind rises within expectations 

North American cocoa grindings rose slightly in the first quarter of 2017, data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) showed on Thursday, coming within market expectations.Cocoa processors in the United States, Canada and Mexico reported grinding 120,152 tonnes from January to March, up 1.15 percent from the first quarter of 2016, NCA data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 20 - Sweet talk: sugar output seen jumping in key Indian producing state 

Sugar output in Maharashtra, one of India's key producing states, will likely jump nearly 70 percent in 2017/18 to 7 million tonnes as ample rainfall drives farmers to plant more cane, an industry body told Reuters.That jump would help push the country's overall sugar production back near consumption levels after a drop expected in the current crop year, ending Sept. 30, in the wake of a strong El Nino weather pattern that prompted severe drought. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 19 - Nigerian Cocoa Prices Fall due to Low-Bean Quality (Traders)
Cocoa prices have fallen further in Nigeria due to the low quality of beans and the downward trend in international prices, industry officials and traders said Wednesday.
  Midcrop cocoa beans remain small, with bean count of between 125 grams to 220 grams per 300 beans. Good-quality cocoa has a count of 300 grams per 300 beans.
  Graded cocoa is selling at 650,000 Nigerian naira ($2,052) a metric ton in Cross River, the country's second-largest cocoa growing-state, down from NGN750,000 to NGN800,000 in March, said Godwin Ukwu, an official of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria. Graded cocoa is certified as fit for export by government inspectors.
  Nojeem Olomide, a trader in southwest Ogun state, said cocoa there was selling at NGN480,000, down from NGN500,000 last week. However, the price rises to NGN550,000 when the cocoa is delivered to exporters in neighboring Lagos, because of extra charges on loading and off-loading and local government levies and taxes.
  In southwest Ondo state, Nigeria's largest cocoa-producing state, cocoa was trading at NGN500,000, down from NGN650,000 in March, according to Fagite Adedara, manager at Affun-Adegbulu farm in Ondo town.
  "Cocoa buying and selling are going on well, though prices have fallen," Mr. Adedara said.
   In contrast, cocoa prices have risen to NGN550,000 in southeast Abia, up from NGN500,000 last week, according to Mazi Uche, a trader in Umuahia, the state's capital.
  Elsewhere, traders said good rainfall and the approach of the rainy season in May should mean beans will be bigger next month and in June.
  In Edo, cocoa was trading at NGN450,000, down from NGN500,000 last week, said a trader in Benin, the state's capital. He said that cocoa with bigger beans still commanded NGN500,000.

Apr 19 - Tokyo Rubber Prices Tumble on Heavy Selling, Shanghai Drop (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices end sharply lower Wednesday, hurt by heavy investor selling and a fall in Shanghai rubber futures. "Prices came under heavy pressure as investors resorted to heavy selling," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery ended Y9.9 lower at Y203 per kilogram.

Apr 19 - ICE May white sugar delivery totals 137,500 tonnes 

ICE Futures Europe said on Tuesday 137,500 tonnes of white sugar had been tendered against the May contract that expired on Thursday, confirming earlier trade reports. All the sugar was bought by ED&F Man Capital Markets. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 19 - Brazil's govt sees center-south cane crop falling 2.4 pct

Brazil's agricultural statistics agency Conab projected on Tuesday that the country's center-south cane belt will produce 2.4 percent less in 2017/18 compared to the previous season, due mainly to a smaller planted area in the key Sao Paulo state.Conab said in its first view of the new crop that the center-south should produce 598 million tonnes of cane compared to 612 million tonnes in 2016/17. But it said sugar output will not fall as much, since mills are expected to continue to favor the sweetener over ethanol in their production mixes. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 18 - Tokyo Rubber Inches Lower on Position Adjustment (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber-futures prices revert to losses to end lower Tuesday as traders sell before the start of the new contract on Wednesday. "Investors will make new position adjustments that will determine the price movements in the near term," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery ends down 3.6 yen (about 3 U.S. cents) at Y212.9/Kg ($1.95).

Apr 18 - U.S. green coffee stocks at highest in at least 16 years 

U.S. green coffee stocks in March rose to their highest level since at least 2001 and climbed for the fourth straight month, data from the Green Coffee Association Inc (GCA) showed on Monday, as forecasts for another global deficit loom.The coffee stocks rose by 279,093 60-kg bags to 6.7 million bags by the end of March, the highest level seen on data going back to January 2002. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 18 - TOCOM urges early settlement of April rubber contract amid low stocks

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) has urged any investors with open positions in April rubber futures to settle contracts well before expiration on April 24, with exchange inventories sitting at a level low enough to pose a risk of sudden price swings.Natural rubber stocks at TOCOM-approved warehouses have slipped to their lowest in more than six years after Thai floods in January cut output and as higher prices in China lured supplies out of Japan. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 17 - Ghana cocoa regulator seeks central bank funds to cover shortfall - sources 

Ghana's cocoa industry regulator is seeking central bank funds to finance the rest of the 2016/17 season after a $1.8 billion loan to purchase the crops ran out early, two sources close to the transaction told Reuters.The additional funds, which could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, will come in the form of a loan or bonds and will enable Cocobod to purchase the smaller mid-crop that typically runs from July to September, the sources said. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 17 - Egypt imposes sugar export tariff of 3,000 pounds per tonne

Egypt will impose a sugar export tariff of 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($165.47) per tonne, the state's official gazette said on Thursday.Egypt expects to produce about 2.4 million tonnes of sugar from its harvest this year, less than the roughly 3 million tonnes it consumes each year, with the gap made up by a mix of private and public sector imports. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 17 - Tocom Rubber Ends Lower on Stronger Yen, Weakness in Shanghai (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures edged lower after early gains, hurt by a stronger yen against the U.S. dollar. "Investors resorted to selling with the decline of the dollar," said Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. Weakness in Shanghai rubber futures also contributed to the fall in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery ended Y2.0 lower at Y216.50 a kilogram.

Apr 17 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 03-07 April 2017 (WPB)
  The market remained calm and prices were reported to have stable during the week under review, except local price of black pepper in Kuching, Malaysia. In Vietnam, the market was moving slowly, due to low overseas demand and on the other side low willingness of producers and collectors to sell at current low levels.
  From Bangka it was reported the market was very quiet, since stock at farms and collectors has exhausted. It was very difficult to get row material in local market. Since low overseas demand however, white pepper price prevailed during the week in Bangka was unchanged at the level of IDR 110,000 per Kg locally. New material is only expected to be available in June/July.   
  Production of pepper from upcoming crop in Bangka is anticipated to be significantly lower from last year. It was observed that only few spike seen in each branch of pepper vine in Bangka and Belitung, the main white pepper growing areas in Indonesia. This was due to prolonged wet weather and too high rainfall during this crop season. This situation is also reported in Lampung and other areas in Indonesia.

Apr 14 - Cocoa Prices Lower Ahead of North American Grindings (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices continue their descent, with the commodity's continuous price slipping 1.53% to $1,937.00 a metric ton after Wednesday's disappointing grindings data put out by the European Cocoa Association. Traders will be closely watching North America grindings data due out later in the day, and Asian grinding data due in the coming days.
The North American data is expected to be relatively strong, with Asia's figures also forecast to be decent thanks to strong recent chocolate sales, Price Futures Group's Jack Scoville says. This, after Barry Callebaut -- the world's largest cocoa processing company -- released 1H results Wednesday which showed impressive year-on-year growth in Asia, albeit against weak comparatives. With global demand weak and moderate weather in the key regions of Ivory Coast, Ghana, and South-East Asia, Mr. Scoville says "a test of recent lows is likely."

Apr 14 - Fresh 5-Month Low for Tokyo Rubber (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures opened down, hitting a fresh 5-month low of Y217.6/kilogram, after seeing some support yesterday. Fresh pressure today comes from ample supplies in the Shanghai market. However, trading will likely be lighter than normal with much of Asia out on holiday. The Tocom benchmark contract is down 2% at Y218.5.

Apr 13 - Egypt imposes sugar export tariff of 3,000 pounds per tonne 

Egypt will impose a sugar export tariff of 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($165.47) per tonne, the state's official gazette said on Thursday. Egypt expects to produce about 2.4 million tonnes of sugar from its harvest this year, less than the roughly 3 million tonnes it consumes each year, with the gap made up by a mix of private and public sector imports. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 13 - Europe's coffee roasters hit by poor bean quality after Vietnam rains 

Major European coffee buyers such as Nestle are struggling to obtain supplies of premium robusta beans after heavy rains in Vietnam last year wreaked havoc on the crop in the world's biggest producer. Coffee roasters with strict requirements about the quality of their robusta beans, a cheaper variety than arabica and used for instant coffee, are rejecting deliveries, traders said. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 13 - Brazil center-south sugar output rises to 270,000 T late in March 

Brazil's center-south sugar output jumped to 270,000 tonnes in the second half of March from 73,000 tonnes in the previous fortnight as more mills started crushing in the world's largest cane producing region, industry group Unica said on Wednesday. Center-south mills crushed 7.96 million tonnes of cane late in March compared with 3.26 million tonnes in the first half of the month. Ethanol production reached 327 million liters in the period versus 161 million liters early in March, said Unica. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 13 - Ivory Coast, Ghana to work together to tackle cocoa price volatility 

Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top cocoa producers, said on Wednesday they would deepen collaboration and coordinate their production strategies in order to tackle price volatility. The two countries, which together account for over 60 percent of the world's cocoa supply, have been hit hard this season by a sharp drop in world prices that have seen cocoa futures plummet by around a third since last summer. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 12 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Drop Further on Lower-Quality Beans (Dow Jones)
The average price of Kenyan arabica coffee slumped 22.8% at this week's auction, largely due to a decline in the quality of beans offered, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday. The average price across all grades was $137.77 for a 50-kilogram (110 pound) bag, compared with $178.38 at the previous auction.
  "The prices came down due to the low quality beans on offer," Coffee Exchange Chief Executive Daniel Mbithi said. "This is because we are approaching the end of the main season and most if not all of the better qualities have already been sold."
  At this week's auction, 24,714 50-kilogram bags were offered, up from 21,118 bags in the previous sale.

Apr 12 - Brazil, Indonesia Drive Global Coffee Deficit Expansion (Dow Jones)
Weaker than expected Brazilian production and an Indonesian production cut leads Rabobank to forecast a 5.3M bad production deficit for 2017-18, with arabica beans comprising 2.7M of those bags, and robusta the remaining 2.6M. "We are in the unusual situation of a stocks-to-use ratio heading to a very low level by the end of 1H 2018 but a futures market which will likely reflect a potentially monstrous Brazil arabica crop in July 2018," Rabobank says. If there is no frost in the Brazilian winter, futures pressures will come under even more pressure, the broker adds.

Apr 12 - Brazil green coffee exports fall to 2.36 mln bags in March - Cecafé 

Brazil exported 2.36 million 60-kg bags of green coffee in March, well below the 2.77 million bags reported a year earlier despite a larger crop, exporter association Cecafé said on Tuesday. It is the second consecutive month of smaller green coffee shipments amid slow farmer selling. Brazil is also in the peak inter-crop period, as producers prepare to start harvesting in the next few weeks. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 12 - Ghana to start hand pollination of cocoa to try to boost output 

Ghana plans to introduce hand pollination of cocoa seedlings and will begin irrigating farms as part of plans by the world's second largest grower to boost production to 1 million tonnes by 2020, the government said on Tuesday. The government is hiring around 5,000 people to pilot artificial pollination in some 30 districts this year and will also provide solar pumps to irrigate farms in the dry season, deputy agriculture minister William Agyapong Quaittoo said. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 11 - Cocoa Prices Stabilize in Nigeria at NGN500,000/Ton - Official, Traders
Cocoa prices have stabilized in Nigeria following a period of fluctuation in the market, an industry official and traders said Tuesday. Graded cocoa is trading in almost all producing states at 500,000 Nigerian naira ($1,590) per metric ton, but those states selling with higher grades are getting higher prices, said Tunde Adebanjo, a trader in Ibadan, capital of southwest Oyo state.
  Mr. Adebanjo said the price stability can be explained because exporters who received contracts with different prices for cocoa have completed their contracts, cocoa bean sizes are unusually small and cocoa prices had fallen on the international market.
  "The midcrop cocoa is now on sale and the bean size is very small because of the lack of rainfall between November and early March, which affected prices more than any other factor," he said.
  Cocoa prices varied between NGN800,000 and NGN650,000 in the last two months but have since fallen to NGN500,000 in nearly all the producing states in the last two to three weeks.
  In southwest Ogun state, cocoa is still trading at NGN500,000 but product with a bean count of 240 grams to 250 grams per 300 beans fetches an extra NGN50,000, said Titus Oguntunde.
  In southeast Abia state, cocoa prices have remained at NGN500,000 for the past two weeks, according to Mazi Uche, an official of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria.
  "There is stability in prices now, everybody can plan his purchases. But we may see cocoa selling at different and higher prices again if bean size improves with the current rains," said Dele Akinbobola, a trader.

Apr 11 - Cameroon Cocoa Price Falls on Abundance of Product, Small Beans (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices fell more than 7% from last week at Cameroon's Port of Douala thanks to an abundant supply of small beans, traders and exporters said Tuesday.   Cocoa ready for shipment sold for 1,119 Central African francs ($1.81) a kilogram, down from XAF1,209 last week, according to figures released Tuesday by the West African nation's cocoa board.
  Beans being marketed numbered 180 per 100 grams, compared with 130/100g in December and January, exporters and traders said. Small beans are considered inferior in quality and command a lower price, with premium beans weighing at least 1 gram each.

Apr 11 - France sees sugar beet area up 16 pct at 468,000 hectares

French farmers are expected to increase their sowings of sugar beet by 16 percent this year as they prepare for the end of EU production quotas, France's farm ministry said on Monday. In its first estimate of 2017 sugar beet area, the ministry forecast farmers would sow 468,000 hectares of sugar beet compared with 403,000 hectares in 2016.  Click here to read full stories.

Apr 11 - Heavy rains and dry weather threaten Ivory Coast bean qualit

Heavy rains in Ivory Coast's western cocoa growing regions and persistent dry conditions in the east have raised concerns about bean quality for the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. The mid-crop marketing season in Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, opened on April 1 with a guaranteed farmgate price of 700 CFA francs ($1.14) per kilogram, which the government slashed by 36 percent last month.  Click here to read full stories.

Apr 11 - Louis Dreyfus picks ex-Barry Callebaut chairman to join board 

Global agricultural trader Louis Dreyfus Company has nominated Andreas Jacobs, the former chairman of chocolate maker Barry Callebaut, to join its supervisory board. The appointment, mentioned by Louis Dreyfus in an investor presentation posted on its website, is subject to approval at a shareholder meeting on Wednesday and is effective the following day. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 10 - Ghana to exceed 800,000 tonne cocoa target - Cocobod chief 

Ghana is on track to exceed its revised 800,000-tonne target for cocoa production this season due to good rains this year, the chief executive of regulator Cocobod said on Friday. Cocoa purchases in Ghana, the world's second-largest cocoa grower, totalled 691,149 tonnes as of March 23, from the start of the 2016/17 season on Oct. 1, according to Cocobod data seen by Reuters. That represented a 4 percent rise on last season. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 07 - Tokyo Rubber Decline on Stronger Yen, Weaker Shanghai Futures (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber skids amid yen strength and weaker Shanghai futures. "The mood of investors is grim" in the wake of the US airstrikes in Syria, says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. After the dollar rebounded versus the yen overnight, the Japanese currency rallied in a risk-off move after the attacks. Meanwhile, investors have been making "position adjustments" ahead of the US-China summit, he adds. The TOCOM rubber contract for September delivery fell 4.3% to Y237.9/kilogram.

Apr 07 - India Farmers Demand Rollback of Sugar Imports (Dow Jones)
India's decision to allow tax-free imports of raw sugar has been condemned by the country's cane farmers, who demand its immediate rollback. "Cheap imports would further push into despair severely distressed cane farmers," says the leader of a farmers group, Rakesh Tikait. He contends there's sufficient sugar supplies available in the country from previous seasons. India earlier this week announced plans to permit up to 500,000 metric tons of raw sugar to enter the country until June to make up for production shortfalls. Sugar output in India, the world's second-biggest producer after Brazil, is forecast to be about 22.5 million metric tons in the current sugar season--which runs through September. That would be down 10% from last season's output.

Apr 06 - India's Raw Sugar Import Move Won't Impact Local Prices (Dow Jones)
The Indian government's decision to allow tax-free imports of raw sugar won't likely unsettle local prices, the head of an industry body says. "As the amount of imports is not much against the total consumption, we do not think there will be any impact on domestic industry and retail prices. The prices will remain stable," said Prakash Naiknavre, managing director of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd. India on Wednesday announced plans to permit up to 500,000 metric tons of raw sugar imports tax free until June. The move comes after sugar output in India, the world's second-biggest producer after Brazil, is forecast to be about 22.5 million metric tons in the current sugar season -- which runs from October to September -- down from 25.1 million metric tons the previous season.

Apr 06 - Rubber Futures Fall Amid Stronger Yen (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures dropped amid declines in Japanese equities and strengthening in the yen. The Nikkei fell to 4-month lows amid broader investory skittishness amid US policy direction, amid other things. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery fell 0.8% to Y248.7/kilogram.

Apr 06 - Brazil sells all coffee in auction, finishes government stocks 

Brazil's crop supply agency Conab sold all 3,733 bags of arabica coffee from the government's supply in an auction on Wednesday, zeroing out public stocks for the first time in at least ten years.Conab said buyers paid a 5 percent premium on average for coffee beans as old as 15 years stored in government warehouses in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states. The average price was 424 reais ($155) per 60-kg bag. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 05 - India Coffee Exports Rise 6% as Brazil Output Falters (Dow Jones)
India's coffee exports have jumped 6% so far this year, thanks to growing appetite in international market as top-producer Brazil grows less coffee due to drought. Coffee exports from India rose 46,000 tons from January 1 till February 24, compared to 43,436 tons during the same period a year earlier, according to the Coffee Board of India. India has traditionally been a supplier of the arabica variety of coffee bean but growers have shifted to robusta in recent years due to rising global demand for the variety. Last year, arabica shipments from India grew nearly 18% to 51,648 tons from 43,785 tons in 2015. Robusta exports was up around 20% at 201,000 tons versus 167,000 tons in 2015.

Apr 05 - Brazil Coffee Exports Fell 15.5% in February Vs Year Earlier (Cecafe)
Brazilian coffee exports fell in February from a year earlier as sales abroad of the robusta variety plummeted, according to coffee exporters group Cecafe. The South American country exported 2.48 million 132-pound bags of coffee last month, a decline of 15.5% from the same month a year earlier, Cecafe said Thursday. A 19.6% increase in the average price of a bag meant the value of exports rose 1% to $438.9 million.
  Sales abroad of the arabica variety of coffee fell 12.9% to 2.2 million bags, while exports of robusta beans dropped 86.3% to 9,620 bags. Exports of roasted, ground and instant coffee fell 20.7% in February to 250,370 bags, Cecafe said.

Apr 05 - Cameroon's Cocoa Price Rallies in Thin Crop Supply at Port (Traders)
Scarcity provoked by weak cocoa bean supply at Cameroon's chief port of Douala has pushed up prices paid for the crop this week, traders and exporters told Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday.
  A kilogram of free-on-board cocoa beans sold for 1,209 Central African francs ($1.96), up 2.19% from the XAF1,183 exporters paid for the crop last week, figures released today by the West African nation's National Cocoa and Coffee Board show.
  Exporters and middlemen traders attributed the price rise to thin crop supply after a fire destroyed warehouses and goods at the port on Monday.
  Most traders were delaying cocoa supply as they awaited the outcome of an investigation into the cause of the fire, which destroyed goods worth more than $4 million.

Apr 05 - Both Sugar Production and Consumption Set to Grow (Dow Jones)
Global sugar production and consumption will both increase this year, resulting in the market entering a second consecutive year of deficit in 2016-17, says Jose Orive, executive director of the International Sugar Organization, at an industry conference in Nairobi. While production is expected to rise 1.3% to 168.3 million tons, consumption is forecast to grow 1.6% to 174.2 million tons, he says. Meanwhile, a stronger currency in No. 1 grower Brazil could lift prices of the sweetener in the medium term as farmers hold onto their stocks, he adds. Raw sugar futures in New York are down 15% this year.

Apr 05 - Tocom Rubber Ends Higher on Gains in Oil, Shanghai Trading (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended Wednesday's trading session sharply higher, on overnight gains in crude-oil futures. Bullish data on deflating oil glut has lifted the overall investor sentiment, traders say. Further, the Shanghai futures market opened higher after remaining closed the last 2 days that led to "buying among investors," notes Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery ends Y14.0 higher at Y250.7 per kilogram.

Apr 05 - Honduran coffee growers flag risk from new roya strain

A new outbreak of the destructive leaf fungus known as roya could damage the next Honduran coffee harvest if preventative measures are not taken against it quickly, leading national coffee industry associations said on Tuesday.Coffee growers recently detected the new roya strain in the IHCAFE-90 and Parainema seed varieties, which together with the Lempira were sown in 65 percent of the country to resist the fungus that has hit recent harvests, the industry said. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 03 - Cameroon's Arabica Coffee Prices Fall Amid Steady Rainfall (Dow Jones)
Arabica coffee prices fell 11% in Cameroon's twin growing localities following nearly three weeks of steady rainfall, farmers and traders said. A kilogram of arabica sold at the farmgates in Cameroon's northwest and west regions between 1,100 and 950 Central African francs ($1.78 - $1.54), down 11.82% from XAF1220 and XAF1, farmers and traders said. They attributed the price drop to abundant crop supplies at the farmgates following a streak of rainfall in provinces.
  "With the consistency of rainfall after nearly four months of dry weather, we're confident that the next harvests would be buoyant. So, we're paying less for coffee," middleman trader Abraham Enjeh said.

Apr 03 - Nigeria Exporters Take Huge Losses on Falling Cocoa Prices (Dow Jones)
Several exporters in Nigeria have suffered heavy financial losses in the October 2016 to September 2017 season due to falling cocoa prices, industry officials and traders said Monday.
  "We are already seeing huge monumental losses and this is the end of the season (of main cocoa)," said Sayina Riman, president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria. "They have to wait until next season to see if they can recover."
  Cocoa prices hit an all-time high of 1 million Nigerian naira ($3,262) to NGN1.2 million a metric ton in August following the depreciation of the naira against the dollar. Traders reported Monday that cocoa prices are down by more than 50% at NGN500,000 and could fall more in the next few weeks as midcrop cocoa that sells at lower prices than the main crop comes to the market.
  Mr. Riman said "almost all exporters have stopped buying cocoa though there is still around 20,000 to 30,000 tons of the 2016-17 season's main cocoa waiting for buyers."
  "Exporters are considering whether to sell or not to sell the cocoa they have. If they don't sell and prices go down further, their losses will be bigger." Mr. Sayina said. "We have impressed it on cocoa buyers and exporters to only purchase cocoa at prevailing prices and not speculate."

Apr 03 - Tokyo Rubber Futures Ends Flat (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures end flat amid thin trading amid a holiday in China through Tuesday. Also, the yen has been little changed today versus the dollar as investors adopt a "cautious approach" about downside risks for the greenback, says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery finished at Y245/kilogram.

Apr 03 - Speculators again cut bullish ICE raw sugar stance - CFTC 

Speculators cut their bullish bet in raw sugar futures and options on ICE Futures U.S. for a fifth straight week in the week to March 28, as prices touched 10-month lows, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The dealers cut net long positions in cotton and coffee contracts, as they reduced a bearish stance in cocoa, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 03 - Mexico increases sugar export quota to U.S. to 1.043 mln tns 

Mexico's government said on Friday it had increased its sugar export quota to the United States during the current cycle to 1.043 million tonnes, from 870,689 tonnes previously, after Washington upped its projections for sweetener imports from its southern neighbor.Mexico is expected to ship 1.162 million tons (1.054 million tonnes) of sugar in the 2016/17 crop year that runs from October 2016 through end-September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a monthly forecast on March 9, hiking the outlook from a previous projection of 972,000 tons. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 31 - Cocoa Prices in Nigeria Fall to 2014 Levels (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices in Nigeria, which rose to an all-time high last year following the depreciation of the country`s national currency, have fallen to the level they were three years ago, industry officials and traders said Thursday.
  Graded cocoa is trading in southwest Ogun state at NGN500,000 ($1,628) per ton down from NGN700,000 two weeks ago, said Nojeem Olomide, a vice president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria. In Edo state, the largest cocoa producer in the country`s midwest region and Abia in the southeast, cocoa is selling also at NGN500,000 from NGN700,000 last week, according to CAN officials.
   Cocoa sold at between 1 million naira to NGN1.2 million last August because of the depreciation of the naira after the Nigerian central bank ended the currency`s peg at 197 to the U.S. dollar in June.
   Prices in the domestic market have fallen sharply in the last few weeks because of naira appreciation as the central bank pumped more dollars to banks to ease the shortage of dollars in the country. The naira is trading in the parallel market Thursday at 370 to the dollar from around 480 to the dollar last month, said a currency dealer, while it is trading in the official interbank market at 307 to the dollar.
   "Cocoa prices have fallen to the level we had in 2014," said Jide Akinsete, a trader in Ibadan, capital of southwest Oyo state. "The appreciation of the naira, poor quality cocoa beans on sale and the fall in global prices of the commodity are responsible for the fall,"
   Cocoa prices stood at NGN500,000 in March 2014 but rose on the naira depreciation as well as a rise in world market cocoa prices to around $3,000 per ton.

Mar 31 - Cameroon's Cocoa Price Falls Amid Bountiful Supply At Port - Traders
An abundant cocoa bean supply has pushed down prices for the crop at Cameroon's Douala port, traders and exporters told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday. A kilogram of beans ready for export sold for 1,183 Central African francs ($1.92), down 3.66% from XFA1228, the price last week, according to figures from the country's National Cocoa and Coffee Board. The decline is due to a larger supply of beans, compounded by huge stockpiles, they said.

Mar 31 - Funds Go Longer on Robusta Coffee (Dow Jones)
Managed money hiked their net-long position on robusta coffee in the week to Tuesday, according to market data released on Monday by ICE. In that week, the net-long position rose by 2.7% to 38,766 lots. On the futures market, robusta prices rose by 1.1% in that period. On the New York-traded arabica coffee market, the net-long position rose 24% in that period, to 13,637 lots.

Mar 31 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 27-31 March 2017 (WPB)
  The market showed a positive response during the week, where domestic price of pepper have increased at most origins. A significant increase was recorded in Sri Lanka by 16% from LKR 1,040 per Kg last week to LKR 1,220 per Kg this week. Tight stock is reported the main reason for the significant increase.
  Pepper harvest in India is almost completed but output is not as good as estimated earlier. Unfavourable weather was the main factor affecting the situation. Some source reported that production of pepper in India is expected to be more compared to last year by only 5-10%. The increase is reported due to expansion and replanting of the crop occurred in the last few years.  Because there have been insufficient rains during this crop season, the quality of pepper is affected to some extent.

Mar 31 - Pepper's Export and Import by China (WPB)  
  China is one of pepper producing countries, particularly in the southernmost province of Hainan, which produce around 30,000 Mt annually, mostly white pepper. Due to increased internal demand, China also imports significant quantity mainly from Viet Nam. Import of pepper into China increased, while for export has decreased.
  Export of pepper from China decrease year by year from 10,100 Mt in 2006 to only 1,000 Mt in 2014 and 1,400 Mt in 2016. In the case of import, it has increased from 1,300 Mt in 2006 to 4,900 Mt in 2014 and 4,500 Mt in 2016. In the last five years China has become net importing countries, where volume of import has more than export. Malaysia and Indonesia were the main source of whole pepper for China; while ground pepper was imported mainly from India.
  Some source reported that in addition of pepper imported from the above sources, China also entered by land a significant quantity of pepper from Viet Nam. However, no figures were recorded for this.

Mar 30 - Ivorian Government Slashes Cocoa Farmers' Price by 36%(Dow Jones)
The Ivory Coast has slashed the price it guarantees for its cocoa farmers by 36% to 700 CFA francs (1.14) per kilogram for the 2017 mid-crop, government spokesman Bruno Kone said Thursday, according to media reports.
  This price cut will take effect at the beginning of the mid-crop, which runs April-September and comes after a sharp drop in global cocoa prices.
  Having come close to $3,400 a metric ton at the end of 2015, cocoa prices have plunged in recent months, equalling six-year lows during March. This drop was partly due to bumper crops in several of the world's major producers.
  The announcement lent some support to the price of cocoa, driving it 0.19% higher to $2,100.00 a metric ton.
  The Ivorian farmers' price was previously fixed by the West African nation's government at 1,100 francs a kilogram. ($1 = 613.8500 CFA france)

Mar 30 - Ghana's $1.8 bln loan for 2016-17 cocoa "is all gone" - Cocobod 

The $1.8 billion syndicated loan Ghana procured to purchase cocoa for the 2016-17 season "is all gone" and the country must seek more funding to make purchases for the rest of the season, the new chairman of industry regulator Cocobod said.Ghana is the world's second biggest producer of cocoa behind neighbouring Ivory Coast and the crop, whose season runs from October to September, is one of its top foreign exchange earners along with gold and oil. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 29 - Mexican, U.S. negotiators to resume sugar trade talks in Washington 

Mexican and U.S. trade representatives will resume talks in Washington aimed at resolving a sugar dispute between the two neighbors, Mexico's top trade official said on Tuesday.The talks focus on the late 2014 sugar accord regulating Mexican access to the U.S. market and come as ties between the two countries have frayed under U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pledged to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 29 - Indonesia lowers palm, cocoa export taxes for April 

Indonesia will lower export taxes for crude palm oil (CPO) and cocoa exports in April as government reference prices for the commodities are seen falling below certain thresholds, the trade ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.The CPO tax will be set at $3 per tonne for April, down from $18 in March, while cocoa export tax will be set at zero from 5 percent per tonne previously, the ministry said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 29 - Wilmar Sugar Mills May Have Escaped Major Damage (Dow Jones)
Wilmar's mills in Proserpine and Plane Creek in Queensland Australia don't seem to have sustained significant damage from Cyclone Debbie, says executive John Pratt. "Some infrastructure at the sites have sustained minor damage, but we are confident this will not impact our ability to have the factories ready for the start of crushing in June." He adds that as yet the company--one of the world's largest sugar traders--had been unable to inspect railway infrastructure used for bringing the cane to the mills due to flooding. "We are expecting some damage from fast-flowing water, but this is unlikely to affect our crushing operations." As for potential crop losses, it's too early to assess.

Mar 29 - Hundreds Of Hectares Of Australia Sugarcane Hit (Dow Jones)
Hundreds of hectares of Australia's sugarcane has been fatten by Cyclone Debbie's winds, with the Mackay and Proserpine districts worst affected, says Dan Galligan, CEO of farm body Canegrowers. "Some of the cane will have been snapped or pulled up by the roots and some of it is underwater. The full extent of the damage to farms and the crop won't be clear for a number of days." The area affected produced around 25% of the total typical output in Australia's largest sugar-growing state, Queensland. Heavy rains are now falling in districts around Bunderberg and expected to cause flooding, adds Canegrowers.

Mar 29 - Tocom Ends Higher on Weaker Yen (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices end higher Wednesday supported by a weaker yen against the US dollar. "The dollar's rise supported the price of rubber in Tokyo," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. Besides, the rise in Shanghai supported rubber prices, he adds. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery ends Y5.8 higher at Y244/kg.

Mar 28 - Rubber Rises Along With Oil, Stocks (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures recover from early declines to end higher amid gains in oil and Japan stocks. "Investors took to buying, lifting the overall mood of the market," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for September delivery rose at Y238.2/kg.

Mar 28 - Australia Sugar Crops Unlikely to Wear Worst of Cyclone (Dow Jones)
The powerful storm due to hit Australia will likely miss most of the country's sugar crops as it is expected to track north of the country's largest growing region, says Tobin Gorey, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. However, "we never know with these storms. As we saw with Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf these things can just take a right turn at times and go the wrong way." He notes that it will more be a question of the storm damage to the cane now rather than any interruption to the crush, which is still another two months away.

Mar 28 - EU farmers rush to plant sugar, free to seek exports as quotas end 

EU farmers are ramping up production of sugar beet this year when they will be freed at last to grow as much as they want and sell it globally, after a decade of strict output quotas and export limits.Farmers have started drilling the first post-quota crop this month in several EU member states, including top EU producer France where planting is expected to increase by 20 percent, in line with an expected rise across the bloc.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 28 - Strauss Coffee buys back shares from TPG for 257 mln euros 

Strauss Coffee has agreed to buy back a 25.1 percent stake in the company held by buyout firm TPG Capital Management for 257 million euros ($279 million), its parent company Strauss Group said on Tuesday.The deal will contribute to earnings per share, said Israel-based Strauss Group, which owns the rest of Strauss Coffee. It did not provide details. Strauss paid TPG 172 million euros on Monday and will pay the remaining 85 million by Aug. 15. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 27 - Funds Bet on Cocoa Prices Falling More (Dow Jones)
Funds raised their bets on London-traded cocoa prices sinking further in the week to March 21, according to market data released on Monday by ICE. In that week, the net-short position expanded by 1.9% to 16,223 lots. On the futures market, the continuous cocoa price rose by 1.5% in that week. In the same period, the net-short position on New York-traded cocoa shrunk by 21% to 30,781 lots.

Mar 27 - Cocoa Prices Fall in Nigeria on Poor Bean Quality  (Officials, Traders)
Cocoa prices in Nigeria have fallen following trades in poor quality midcrop beans, industry officials and traders said Monday.
  "Cocoa quality is poor, the bean weight (of the midcrop) is very bad due to late and insufficient rainfall," said Vincent Ohwojakpor, a vice president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria.
  Traders in the southwest cocoa region said the weight of the midcrop was generally low at 218 grams to 240 grams per 300 beans. Good quality main cocoa weighs 300 grams per 300 beans.
  While cocoa prices remained unchanged in the southeastern states of Abia and Cross River in a range of NGN700,000 to NGN800,000, other states have seen a fall. In southwest Ekiti, graded cocoa was selling at 650,000 naira ($2,117) a metric ton, down from NGN900,000 last month, according to a state industry official. In Edo in the midwest, it was trading at NGN600,000 down from NGN700,000 last week and in the southwest states of Ondo and Osun it was at NGN700,000 down from NGN800,000, according to state officials.
  Graded cocoa has been certified as fit for export by government produce inspectors. Midcrop beans are smaller than those of the main crop which are harvested from September to January or February.

Mar 27 - Cameroon Cocoa Prices Rally As Crop Supplies Ebb (Dow Jones)
Cocoa beans prices in Cameroon's second-largest growing area rose more than 7% on week, reversing months of plunging prices weighed by bountiful harvests, farmers and traders said Monday.
  Traders in the Central Cameroon region paid between 800-860 Central African francs ($1.42-$1.32) a kilogram this week, a rise of about 7% on last week. The current price rise has been mainly due to the harvest season drawing to an end, according to some traders, who added price rises on the world markets recently have buoyed local markets.
  Ample sunshine and light rainfall since November has shored up the third-largest African cocoa producer's harvests, when main crop cocoa harvests entered full gear.
  Central Cameroon, which officially accounted for nearly 40% of the West African nation's yearly cocoa output, saw prices nearly double in February before when dry weather led to fears of a poor harvest.

Mar 27 - Cameroon Cocoa Prices Higher on Stronger Nigerian Demand (Dow Jones)
Nigerian demand for Cameroonian cocoa shored up prices paid for the crop in South-West Cameroon this week, farmers and traders said Sunday.
  Cross-border buyers were offering 1,260 and 1,195 Central African francs ($2.07-$1.96) per kilogram of cocoa beans sold in this third-largest African nation's leading cocoa province, up 2.07% from XAF1,215 and XF1,190 they had paid for the crop last week.
  It is nearly seven weeks that prices paid for cocoa beans have risen in the Manyu division, the Cameroonian locality bordering eastern Nigeria.
  Soaring prices in Manyu leaves big gaps for cocoa sold in other parts of southwestern Cameroon, where ample stocks have led to lower farmgates prices.
  This week, a kilogram of cocoa beans was being sold for XAF700 and XAF705 in and around the main growing town of Kumba, according to farmers and traders.
  Favorable weather has continued to improve output during this period of main crop harvests, they said.

Mar 27 - Tocom Ends Weaker on Lower Oil, Strong Yen (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures end sharply lower on Monday as the market came under pressure from a fall in oil prices and a stronger yen against the dollar. Crude prices were lower, weighed by rising US oil output, while the dollar dropped nearly 1% against the yen, hitting fresh four-month lows. "This lowered rubber prices in Tokyo," notes Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery closed down Y9.9 at Y237.5/Kg.

Mar 27 - Speculators cut bullish ICE raw sugar stance to over 1-yr low - CFTC 

Speculators reduced a bullish position in raw sugar to an over one-year low on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to March 21, as they also reduced a bullish stance in cotton futures and options, U.S. government data showed on Friday.The dealers raised their net long position in arabica coffee, while they reduced their net short position in cocoa, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week, 20-24 March 2017 (WPB)
- Except in India, average price of black pepper in Domestic market of the most origins has increased up to 7% during the week. Although Viet Nam is now in the peak of its harvesting season, the market however is not brisk. Producers are not interested to release their material as low level as received last week. This week, average price has shown an improvement. Domestic price of black pepper in HCMC increased from VND 100,000 per Kg last week to VND 107,000 per Kg this week.
- In Lampung the prices of black pepper has increased marginally, but trading activity was very quiet in view of very limited material arrived in the market. Upcoming harvest which is expected to begin in July/August is anticipated to be not promising. Too many rains occurred during this year season is not favourable for flowering and fruiting. In addition to the above, wind storm has also braved pepper garden in a large scale at main growing areas in East Lampung. Under this situation, a significant decrease of pepper output from this year harvest in Lampung is anticipated.
- In the case of white pepper, the price in Bangka and Vietnam increased, but in Sarawak and China decreased locally.

Mar 24 - Pepper's Export from Malaysia (WPB)
During 2016, export of pepper from Malaysia was 12,550 Mt, consisting of 10,950 Mt of whole pepper and 1,600 Mt of ground pepper. As against 13,910 Mt of export in 2015, there was a decrease of 10%. Whole pepper decreased by 1,775 Mt (14%), while for ground pepper however increased by 415 Mt (35%). In terms of value, export earnings of Malaysia from pepper decreased by 11% from US$ 133 million in 2015 to US$ 119 million in 2016. Japan remained the most important market absorbing 25% of pepper exported by Malaysia.  China, Viet Nam and Taiwan also imported significant quantity of pepper from Malaysia.

Mar 23 - Brazil robusta coffee auction fails to close deals - industry

A reverse auction on Wednesday that aimed to attract eventual suppliers of robusta coffee in Brazil failed to close any deals, according to the official agency providing the auction's platform and the country's instant coffee industry. Brazil's instant coffee producers association (Abics) said suppliers did not show interest in the bids presented by processors at the auction, which had the aim of negotiating up to 213,500 bags of coffee to help relieve a tight market. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Ivory Coast says has used "a large part" of cocoa stabilisation funds

Ivory Coast has expended "a large part" of its stabilisation funds in order to maintain cocoa farmers' prices for the current main crop, amid a sharp drop in world prices, the government's spokesman said on Wednesday. After years of steadily rising prices, cocoa futures have plunged since last September, falling to near 10-year lows earlier this month and forcing the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) marketing board to intervene. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Uganda Robusta Earnings Double as Exports Extend Gains (Dow Jones)
The value of Uganda's robusta exports doubles as export volumes extended their rising streak into the fourth month, says state coffee regulator, UCDA. Robusta export earnings doubled to $35 million in February, from a year earlier, boosted by improved prices and higher export volumes, UCDA states. More newly planted coffee trees are coming of age, boosting harvests across Africa's top grower of the bitter tasting variety. It's a boost for Uganda, which is striving to fill a global robusta supply void, amid concerns over supplies from producers in Asia and South America. Uganda's robusta shipments in the first five months of 2016-17 season are 31% up on year to 1 million bags.

Mar 22 - Tokyo Natural Rubber Falls on Bearish Market Sentiment (Dow Jones)
The Tocom benchmark natural rubber contract closed the day session at its lowest level since December 27 as general bearish sentiment and a fall in oil prices weighed on the commodity. Not helping is an around 0.2% fall in the USD/JPY, which makes the yen-denominated commodity nominally more expensive. The Tocom benchmark contract closed down Y14/kg at Y14.0kg.

Mar 22 - Supply glut risk as cocoa expansion plans backfire

West Africa's push to increase cocoa production risks backfiring as a global glut leaves farmers desperate to find buyers while their products perish. A potentially record global cocoa surplus in the current season could be made worse with some traders and analysts saying production may again outstrip demand in 2017/18 (October/September). "All the signs are that there could be another bumper crop. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Brazil sugar mills hedged 52.4 percent of 2017/18 exports -Archer

Brazilian sugar mills have sold forward through futures contracts in New York 52.4 percent of the exportable volume projected for the 2017/18 center-south crop, Sao Paulo-based Archer Consulting said on Tuesday. The amount of sugar hedged is estimated at 13.87 million tonnes, said the consultancy in a report, adding that the average price on those derivatives was 17.71 cents per pound. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Algeria's Cevital plans $350 mln Ethiopian oilseeds, sugar processing complex

Algeria's largest private firm, Cevital, is looking for banks to back its plans for a sugar refinery and oilseeds processing complex in Ethiopia, Cevital's chairman Issad Rebrab told Reuters on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum in Geneva. "All in all, the figure will be about $360 million in total, but that's just in Ethiopia, without counting the logistics platform at the port in Djibouti," Rebrab said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Rubber Sharply Lower Amid Trump Worries (Dow Jones)
Rubber futures slump in both Shanghai and Tokyo amid the broad risk-off trade which developed overnight as aspects of the Trump Trade unwind some. But Gu Jiong, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji, notes as rubber's market is smaller than others, moves are often exacerbated. The Tocom benchmark natural rubber contract is down 4.8% at Y250.3/kilogram; Gu says support stand around Y$245.

Mar 21 - Ivory Coast Cocoa Price Drop Poses Problem for Ghana (Dow Jones)
The Ivorian Coffee and Cocoa Council says it will lower its guaranteed farmers price for this year's mid-crop, which runs April to September. This may pose a dilemma for the recently-inaugurated government of neighboring Ghana. The new Ghanaian government recently announced that it did not intend to cut prices, although the two countries'porous border means smuggling could be a problem. It's possible Ghana's forward sales are currently stronger than the Ivory Coast's, says a trader, who caveats this by saying one can only assume the Ghanaian Cedi will slip in the coming weeks. The Ghanaian government--which ran on a pro-farmer platform--has a choice between U-turning on earlier remarks and putting troops on its Ivorian border, he adds.

Mar 21 - Hot, dry weather in Ivory Coast stokes concerns for cocoa mid-crop 

Dry, hot weather last week in several regions of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions could threaten the approaching mid-crop although good conditions were reported elsewhere in the world's top producer, farmers said on Monday. The dry season runs from mid-November to March, during which downpours are scarce and the weather can be very hot. But farmers worry that it is continuing deep into the season and might spill into April, raising the risk of damage. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Brazil weighs request to tax ethanol imports, says ministry

The Brazilian government is evaluating a request by the country's sugar and ethanol industry to reinstate a 20 percent import tax on ethanol, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday. Some ethanol producers in the Northeast region in Brazil complained to Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi about rising imports of ethanol from the United States.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Speculators cut bullish ICE sugar stance to 1-year low

Speculators cut their bullish position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to the smallest in one year, as prices extended losses to 2017 lows in the week to March 14, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. The dealers cut their net short position in cocoa futures and options for the first time in eight weeks, taking it off their biggest bearish stance on record, while they reduced their net long positions in arabica coffee and cotton, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Couple quits finance, wins Brazil's top coffee prize

It could be a Hollywood screenplay. Juliana Armelin and her husband Paulo Siqueira decided to radically change their lives in 2010, quitting jobs in Sao Paulo's financial sector and moving to a farm 7 hours away to start growing coffee. Seven years later, they clinched for a second consecutive year Brazil's most prestigious coffee award, beating hundreds of established producers in a country that has exported coffee for more than 200 years. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Nigerian Cocoa Prices Fall on Currency Appreciation, Midcrop Quality (Dow Jones)
-  Cocoa prices in Nigeria fell further on smaller midcrop beans and appreciation of the Nigerian naira, traders said Friday.
-  Graded cocoa was trading in southwest Ondo state at 800,000 Nigerian naira ($2,607) per metric ton, down from NGN  900,000 to NGN 950,000 last month, a trader there said.
- He attributed the lower prices to appreciation of the naira against the U.S. dollar at the parallel market and trading in midcrop, which commands lower prices than the main crop.
- Trading resumed in Cross River state--where there was too little business to quote prices in the past three weeks as exporters had stopped buying--cocoa was selling at NGN 700,000 to NGN 750,000, said Godwin Ukwu, an official with the Cocoa Association of Nigeria. Prices there were around NGN 965,000 last month, a trader said.
- A currency trader in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, said the naira appreciated in the parallel market to 445 to the dollar on Friday from 450 to the dollar the previous day.
- Cocoa prices in Nigeria rose to NGN 1 million to NGN 1.2 million in August because of the naira depreciation after the Nigerian central bank ended the currency's peg to the U.S. dollar in June.

Mar 17 - Cameroon Cocoa Prices Rise in Manyu on Nigerian Demand (Dow Jones)
Nigerian demand for Cameroonian cocoa further raised prices paid for the crop in the Manyu division is South-West Cameroon this week, farmers and traders  said Tuesday.
- Transborder traders paid 1,215 and 1,190 ($1.96-$1.92) Central African francs per kilogram of cocoa beans sold in this third-largest African nation's leading cocoa province, up from XAF1,020 and XF1,195 last week.
- It is the second straight month that prices paid for cocoa beans have risen in the Manyu division, the Cameroonian locality close to Nigeria.  Soaring prices in Manyu leaves big gaps for cocoa sold in other parts of southwestern Cameroon, where ample stocks have led to lower farmgates prices.
- This week, a kilogram of cocoa beans was being sold for XAF670 and XAF705 in and around the main growing town of Kumba, according to farmers and traders. Favorable weather has continued to improve output during this period of main crop harvests, they said.

Mar 17 - Mexico demands reciprocity in sweetener trade with U.S. - minister 

Mexico demands reciprocity in its refined sugar-for-fructose trade with the United States and it is unfair to "punish" its sugar industry, the agriculture minister said on Thursday, at a time of tensions over the pace of Mexican sugar shipments north. Agriculture Minister Jose Calzada stopped short of echoing industry threats to sanction fructose imports if the spat over the U.S.-Mexican sweetener trade was not resolved, but said the government would examine what steps to take if the trade was not reciprocal. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 13-17 March 2017 (WPB)
- The market showed a mixed response during the week. In Viet Nam the price has moved up after continuous decrease, following increased arrival of new material from current harvest. Local price of black pepper in HCMC increased almost daily from VND 98,500 per Kg at the beginning of the week to VND 103,500 per Kg at the week's close. Local price of white pepper also increased, by VND 5,000 to VND 142,500 per Kg.
- In India the harvest is almost completed. Material from current harvest is easily absorbed internally. Price in Kochi was reported to have been relatively stable. Supported by strengthened of Indian Rupees against US dollar, average pepper price in dollar terms has increased by 2%. In Lampung and Bangka, the market was very quiet. Very limited activity was reported, since material at farm from last year crop season has been exhausted. Due to limited overseas demand however, the price has decreased further. In Sarawak and Sri Lanka, local price of pepper in these sources also decreased.

Mar 17 - Pepper's Import by the Netherlands (WPB)
- The Netherlands, the most important pepper trading countries in Europe imported 13,600 Mt of pepper in 2015, comprising of 8,600 Mt of whole and 5,000 Mt of ground pepper, mainly from Viet Nam. Out of the total import a volume of 10,100 Mt (6,000 Mt of whole and 4,100 Mt of ground pepper) was re-exported to neighboring countries like Germany, Poland, Austria, France and the United Kingdom, leaving 3,500 Mt as net import. In 2016, import and re-export of pepper by the Netherland showed a decreasing trend as indicated by import and export performance during the first 11 months of 2016. During January – November 2016 import of pepper into the Netherlands decreased by 900 Mt (7%) and for re-export decreased by 1,150 Mt (12%) to 11,650 Mt and 8,320 Mt respectively. Viet Nam has been remained the main source of pepper into the Netherlands supplying up to 45% of imported pepper during January-November 2015. Contribution share of Viet Nam as main supplier decreased in 2016 from 60% in 2015 to 45% in 2016. Other important source of pepper for the Netherlands is Indonesia.

Mar 16 - World cocoa sector could be in surplus for years - ICCO 

The world's cocoa sector may be facing a structural surplus that risks depressing global prices and dealing a blow to producer country and farm revenues in the coming years, a senior official with International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) said on Wednesday. After rising steadily for several years, cocoa futures have tumbled since September with New York cocoa falling to its lowest level in nearly a decade earlier this month on the back of bumper crops around the world. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - Brazil to organize auction for roasters to buy local robusta coffee 

Brazil's food supply agency Conab on Wednesday said it will organize an auction to allow coffee processors to bid for locally produced robusta beans, as the government tries to help roasters and instant coffee producers find supplies of the bean. Normally, Conab holds auctions of government-held coffee stocks when supplies are scarce but on this occasion the food supply agency said the electronic auction next week is for third-party stocks of coffee. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - EU chemical agency says weed killer glyphosate not carcinogenic 

Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, should not be classified as a substance causing cancer, the European Chemical Agency concluded on Wednesday, potentially paving the way for its licence renewal in the EU. A transatlantic row over possible risks to human health has prompted investigations by congressional committees in the United States, and in Europe has forced a delay to a re-licensing decision for Monsanto's big-selling Roundup weed killer. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - Ivory Coast cocoa grinders reject beans due to high acidity 

Cocoa grinding companies in Ivory Coast said they are rejecting between 30 and 50 percent of beans because of high acidity levels, which along with other quality problems is likely to cause a sharp drop in port arrivals next week. Weekly cocoa port arrivals in the world's top grower are expected to fall by half to around 20,000 tonnes starting next week due to problems including small bean size, high acidity and mould, exporters said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 15 - India has no plans to cut sugar import tax for now -minister 

India has no plans to cut the sugar import tax for now, the food minister said on Tuesday, citing ample domestic stocks and criticising the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) for projecting output forecasts below the government estimate.Mills in India, the world's biggest sugar producer, will churn out 20.3 million tonnes of the sweetener in the season to September 2017, the ISMA said last week, down 5 percent from its previous forecast and 13.2 percent lower than the estimate made in September 2016. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 15 - Poor cocoa quality in Ivory Coast seen cutting arrivals by half

Cocoa exporters in top producer Ivory Coast expect port arrivals to fall by half to around 20,000 tonnes per week from next week, and to remain at that low level until May or June owing to poor bean quality, they said on Tuesday. Cocoa arrivals this season so far are up nearly 7 percent since last season, with at least 40,000 tonnes being delivered weekly to Ivory Coast's two ports of Abidjan and San Pedro since February.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 15 - Sucden sees small global sugar surplus in 2017/18 

A small global sugar surplus is forecast for the 2017/18 season although weather risks including a potential El Nino mean it may not materialise, Paris-based commodity trade house Sucres and Denrees (Sucden) said in a quarterly report on Tuesday. Sucden said the sugar market could switch to a surplus of one to two million tonnes, raw value, in 2017/18 (October to September) following deficits in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 15 - Madagascar vanilla producers say cyclone damaged 30 pct of crop 

Vanilla producers on the tropical island of Madagascar say a cyclone that killed 78 people has also damaged around 30 percent of the crop in the world's biggest producer. The valuable beans are often kept under armed guard after prices shot up from around $20 a kg in 2010 to around $500 a kg last year. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 14 - Mexico sugar group threatens to block US fructose in trade spat 

Mexico would seek to block U.S. high-fructose corn syrup from entering Mexico if the United States imposes any tariffs on Mexican sugar, the head of Mexico's sugar industry association said on Monday. Mexico was willing to negotiate with the United States to get a mutually beneficial deal, Juan Cortina, Mexico's sugar chamber president, said at an event in Mexico City. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 14 - Tereos to expand cane crush, sugar capacity at Brazil plant 

French sugar producer Tereos SA plans to invest 60 million reais ($19 million) to expand cane crush and sugar production capacity at its Tanabi plant in Brazil, the firm said over the weekend when it opened a new sugar storage facility in the region. Tereos, one of the largest players in the Brazilian sugar sector with seven mills, said the new warehouse in Tanabi, Sao Paulo state, is capable of storing 80,000 tonnes of VHP (very high polarization) sugar. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 14 - Ivory Coast scattered rain helps cocoa amid heat 

Scattered rain in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions will help the April-to-September cocoa mid-crop though hot weather in other areas threatened to hurt the harvest, farmers said on Monday. The dry season in the world's top cocoa producer runs from mid-November to March, during which downpours are scarce with February and March normally the hottest months. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 13 - U.S., Mexico launch new round of negotiations on sugar trade 

The United States and Mexico will launch a new round of negotiations to resolve a years-long trade dispute over Mexico's sugar exports to the United States, senior officials in both governments said on Friday. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the talks would be aimed at resuming imports of Mexican sugar to the United States after they had been halted earlier this week as Mexico reached a temporary limit on sugar exports to its northern neighbor. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 13 - Vietnam's 2017 coffee exports volume seen falling 20-30 pct y/y 

Vietnam's coffee export volume this year is expected to fall 20 to 30 percent from a year earlier due to drought and reduced inventory, an industry official said on Sunday. Vietnam, suffered from the worst drought in 30 years last year, while unexpectedly long rainfall in December 2016 may also affect bean quality and output this year, said Luong Van Tu, head of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 10 - Tokyo Rubber Gains Amid Weaker Yen (Dow Jones)
- Tokyo rubber futures rose amid higher Japan stock prices and a weaker yen. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery finished up 1.8% at Y261.7/kilogram.
- Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures start higher, led by investor ease about falling supplies of natural rubber. But analysts say the rise might be "short-lived" as worries about waning demand in top buyer China will continue. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery is up 1.1% at Y259.7/kilogram.

Mar 10 - Mexican ship loaded with sugar stranded after U.S. export spat 

A ship loaded with sugar was stranded in port on the east coast of Mexico because of the break down in stop-gap measures designed to ease a long-standing trade dispute with the United States over sugar exports. The vessel, carrying between 20,000 and 30,000 tonnes of raw sugar, is stuck in a port in the eastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo after Mexico canceled permits to export sugar to the U.S., Mexican sugar chamber head Juan Cortina said on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 10 - Weekly Pepper's Bulletin, Week 6-10 March 2017 (WPB)
- The market has declined further, particularly in Vietnam, which is now in the peak of harvesting season. In addition to the increased arrivals of new material from current harvest, limited overseas demand has also contribute to the declining trend. As the largest producing and exporting countries, market development in Vietnam somewhat influences market direction in other countries as well.
- In local market, domestic price of black pepper in HCMC decreased to VND 98,500 per Kg from VND 112,500 per Kg last week.  In the case of white pepper has decreased by VND 15,000 per Kg to VND 137,500 per Kg at the week’s close. On an average, local price of pepper in HCMC decreased by 11% for black and 8% for white pepper.

Mar 10 - Pepper's Import by Germany (WPB)
- In 2015 Germany imported 29,200 Mt comprising of 26,400 Mt of whole and 2,800 Mt of ground pepper, an increase of 13% from 26,000 Mt in 2014. Brazil was the main supplier for Germany followed by Vietnam and Indonesia. Netherlands the trading countries in Europe also supplied significant quantity of whole and ground pepper to Germany.
- In 2016 import of pepper into Germany is estimated to have experienced a marginal decrease to 28,500 Mt from 29,200 Mt in 2015. This was likely due to reduction of pepper supplied from Brazil in line with production fall of Brazil in 2016. From 10,300 Mt of pepper imported from Brazil in 2015 decrease to 9,200 Mt in 2016. Vietnam and Indonesia supplied 7,000 and 3,000 Mt respectively. Netherland supplied 4,200 Mt (2,200 Mt of whole and 2,000 Mt of ground pepper) in 2016.

Mar 09 - Uganda Sugar Exports Sustaining Growth (Dow Jones)
Sugar exports from Uganda, East Africa's only surplus producer of the sweetener continue to grow steadily, along with rising exports, says Wiberforce Mubiru, head of Uganda Sugar Manufactures Association. White sugar shipments more than doubled in 2016 to 75,000 tons, following strong demand from regional markets, notably Kenya and Congo. Total sugar output may rise 10% to 475,000 tons this year boosted by mill and farmland expansions. It's good news for Uganda which is trying to steady its sugar industry in a region flooded with sugar inflows from lower cost producers in Asia and South America.

Mar 09 - Brazilian 2016-2017 Coffee Crop 85% Sold (SAFRAS Dow Jones)
Brazilian coffee growers had already sold 85% of the 2016-2017 harvest by March 7, according to agricultural consultancy Safras & Mercado. That's similar to the 88% already sold by the same date last year, and ahead of the 81% five-year average, Safras said. The group has forecast a coffee crop of 55.1 million 132-pound bags for the season, and 46.9 million bags have been sold, according to Safras. Brazil is the world's biggest producer and exporter of coffee, and Safras's forecast would be a record for production.

Mar 09 - Tokyo Rubber Drops as Shanghai Futures Skid (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell as declines in Shanghai dampened investor spirits. Futures there have been stressed due to higher stockpiles and persistent concerns about slower growth in China's economy. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery eased 0.5% to Y257/kilogram, showing some stability after prices yesterday hit a 2-month low.

Mar 09 - EU sugar stocks seen falling by more than 50 pct

European Union sugar stocks are forecast to fall by more than 50 percent by the end of the current 2016/17 season as production rises but remains below the five-year average, the European Commission said on Wednesday. White sugar production was estimated at 16.7 million tonnes, up 12 percent from the sub-par crop in 2015/16 but ending stocks were put at 0.9 million tonnes, down from 1.9 million a year earlier and 3.9 million at the end of the 2014/15 season. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 09 - China cuts 2016/17 sugar output, ups deficit estimates

China's Ministry of Agriculture cut its forecast for 2016/17 sugar output by 200,000 tonnes from last month's estimate to 9.7 million tonnes, leading to a bigger-than-expected deficit, it said in its monthly crop report published on Thursday. The new supply deficit forecast is 1.87 million tonnes, up from 1.67 million last month. Estimates for corn, soybeans and cotton supply and demand were unchanged from last month. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 09 - Colombia must replant 90,000 coffee hectares/yr to maintain output - federation 

Colombia needs to replace at least 90,000 hectares of coffee trees, some 10 percent of its crop, annually to keep production above 14 million 60-kg sacks per year, the head of the coffee growers' federation said on Wednesday. The Andean nation, which is the world's top producer of washed arabica, produced 14.23 million bags last year, the highest in 23 years, despite El Nino drought and a 45-day truckers strike. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 08 - Cameroon Cocoa Prices Fall Further on Ample Supply (Dow Jones)
  Cocoa prices remain under pressure in Cameroon after a good harvest in the West African country, with prices down more than 5% in the past week in the chief port of Douala, according to latest industry data.
  Cocoa beans ready for shipment sold for 1,106 Central African francs ($1.77) per kilogram, down 5.5% from the XAF1,170 traders paid for the crop last week, according to figures from the West African nation's National Cocoa and Coffee Board.
  Rising stockpiles and ample supplies have kept downward pressure on prices, according to traders and exporters, though they noted the weakness in cocoa prices on world markets too.
  Favorable weather has led to this year's good crop in Cameroon and could extend the harvest into April from the typical tail end of the season in February, traders said.

Mar 08 - Tokyo Rubber Falls on Weak Oil, Shanghai Futures (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices end Wednesday's trading session lower hurt by weaker Shanghai rubber and declines in crude-oil prices. Prices of crude-oil have fallen amid persistent worries of mounting supplies and weak demand from top-consumer China. "Investors have been concerned over substitution of natural rubber with synthetic rubber due to the fall in crude prices," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The Tocom benchmark six-month contract ends down Y11.0 at Y258.4/kg.

Mar 08 - Mexico cancels sugar export permits to U.S. in trade dispute 

Mexico has canceled existing sugar export permits to the United States in a dispute over the pace of shipments, according to a letter seen by Reuters, in a flare-up industry sources said could temporarily disrupt supplies. The letter sent by Mexico's sugar chamber to mills on Monday partly blamed the situation on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which it said has led to a "legalistic" interpretation of rules with no U.S. counterparts in place in Washington for Mexican officials to negotiate with. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 08 - Pressure May Build on India to Allow Sugar Imports (Dow Jones)
A sugar-industry group is projecting a 19% slump in output from No. 2 producer India this season amid low cane availability due to poor rainfall in major growing states.  The yield of sugarcane harvested in January and February in Maharashtra and Karnataka "turned out to be substantially lower to what was being expected," says the Indian Sugar Mills Association. India's sugar season runs from October-September. So far, the Indian government has ruled out the need for imports, claiming to have sufficient supplies to meet demand. Local consumption is pegged at around 24 million tons, and this season's production is seen being close to 20 million.

Mar 08 - Tocom Rubber Opens Lower on Shanghai Weakness (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures open sharply lower Wednesday led by losses in Shanghai rubber future prices. Weak demand from China has led to pessimism among investors, traders say. Investors will be "more cautious" before making their next moves, says Kaname Gokon of Tokyo-based Okato Shoji. The Tokyo benchmark rubber contract is currently trading down Y10.7 at Y258.7/kg. It opened at Y269.1/kg.

Mar 07 - Mexico cancels sugar export permits to the US in "absurd" dispute 

Mexico has canceled existing sugar export permits to the United States to avoid penalties in a dispute over the pace of shipments, a document seen by Reuters said, partly blaming the issue on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce. It was not immediately clear what impact the cancellation would have on exports to the United States. The document, sent by Mexico's sugar chamber to mills on Monday, said existing permits would be reissued in April. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 07 - Hot, dry weather in Ivory Coast sparks concern for cocoa crop 

Dry weather and strong heat in some of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions are raising concerns about the size and quality of the upcoming cocoa mid-crop, farmers said on Monday, following forecasts for record production. The dry season in the world's top cocoa producer stretches from mid-November to March and it is normally very hot in February and March. Exporters and pod counters have predicted record production of nearly 2 million tonnes this season due to good weather.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 06 - Speculators lift bearish ICE cocoa stance to record 

Speculators sharply increased their bearish stance in cocoa contracts to a record on ICE Futures U.S., in the week to Feb. 28, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday, as prices approached a 9-1/2-year low. They cut their net long positions in raw sugar and arabica coffee futures and options, and became increasingly bullish in cotton, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 06 - El Niño friendly to U.S. crops, unkind to Southeast Asia - Braun

El Niño might be on tap for mid-2017, a faster than normal reappearance, and the potential impacts on global agriculture depend partly on the timing of its arrival.  El Niño is the warm phase of El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which is characterized by sea surface temperature variations along the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Both El Niño and its cold counterpart La Niña are known to alter global climate patterns whenever either one is present. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 06 - MSM Gets Another Upgrade Amid Sugar-Price Hike (Dow Jones)
As Malaysian authorities raise domestic sugar prices by up to 7%, AllianceDBS makes much-bigger increases to its target price and profit views on sugar producer MSM (5202.KU) while upgrading the firm to hold. "We are not entirely surprised by such a move as it has been highlighted as one of the key upside risks to our previous recommendation." The broker's target jumps 57% to MYR4.70 while EPS views through 2018 climb 40-76%. Shares, which rose a combined 6.3% the prior 2 sessions amid the prospects of higher sugar prices, retreat 1.5% to MYR4.64.

Mar 06 - Tocom Ends Higher, Tracking Shanghai Gains (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber future prices end higher Monday guided by a rise in Shanghai rubber futures. "Prices are higher as investors are willing to buy back," notes Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji brokerage in Tokyo. He says a decline in natural rubber supplies is also supporting prices. The Tokyo rubber six-month contract ends at Y276.0/kg, up Y3.1.

Mar 06 - New Zeland Making Less Wine, but Exporting a Lot More of It (Dow Jones)
New Zealand is expect to produce 301 million liters of wine, or 3% less wine in 2017 on year but will see exports grow 8% on year, says the US Department of Agriculture in a note. "All industry indications point to overseas demand continuing to be robust and wine exporters continuing to be in a grow mode." The USDA estimates that 310 million liters of wine was produced in 2016--this was forecast lower due to damage caused by a significant earthquake in November 2016.

Mar 03 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 27 Feb-3 Mar 2017 (WPB)
- The market was calm with limited activity. Trading in Vietnam was also limited although new material from current harvest has arrived in the market.  Buyers still keep on side line waiting for price further decrease and on the other side, suppliers are reluctant to release material below current low levels. In India the market was also inactive and price decreased marginally closing the week. Although the price has decreased, but still ruled at highest level when compared to price prevailed in other sources.
- In Indonesia, inventory is quite minimal; while new material is only expected to be available in July/August. However, supplier in Lampung and Bangka follow market trend prevailed in Vietnam. In Sarawak local price was reported to have decreased by around MYR 10 per Kg.; while for FOB price remained stable at the level of US$ 7,780 and US$ 10,860 per Mt respectively for black and white pepper.

Mar 03 - Pepper's Import into United Kingdom (WPB)
- Pepper import in to the United Kingdom increases year by year and in the last twelve years the increase was more than double from 6,873 Mt in 2005 to 14,270 Mt in 2016. Significant increase was recorded in the import of ground pepper from 3,535 Mt in 2005 to 9,112 in 2013, while import of whole pepper has increase at lower rate. In the last three year however, import of ground pepper decreased, while for whole pepper increased.
- In 2016, total import of pepper to the United Kingdom increased by 9% from 13,150 Mt in 2015 to 14,270 Mt in 2016. Import of whole pepper increased substantially by 72%, while import of ground pepper decreased by 23%. Major share of pepper imported in 2016 was entered into the UK through neighbor-trading countries, the Netherlands, supplying 37% of the total imports. Another 37% was imported directly from Vietnam (22%) and India (15%). 

Mar 03 - Iran's GTC tenders for 60,000 tonnes raw sugar - trade

Iran's state purchasing agency the Government Trading Corporation of Iran (GTC) is tendering to buy 60,000 tonnes of Brazilianraw cane sugar in another sign that the country aims to boost stocks, European traders said on Thursday. Last week, trade sources said private importers in Iran had bought up to 250,000 tonnes of Brazilian raw sugar in the first purchases for months. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 03 - World food prices edge higher in Feb -FAO

World food prices rose slightly in February, boosted in particular by cereals, 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 175.5 points in February, up 0.5 percent on January levels. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 03 - Rubber Ends Down Amid Commodities Selloff (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell amid broad declines in commodities. The dollar in Asian trading eased some versus the yen, further hitting rubber. Meanwhile, "the uncertainty about the future has expanded," says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo, and investors will "take a careful approach" before making their next moves. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery fell 0.7% to Y272.9/kilogram.

Mar 02 Honduras coffee exports soar 36 pct in February - IHCAFE

Coffee exports from Honduras soared by 36 percent in February, compared with the same month last season, due to increased production, the national coffee institute (IHCAFE) said on Wednesday. Shipments from the largest coffee exporter in Central America totaled 953,831 60-kg bags in February, compared with 703,525 bags in the same month of the 2015-2016 harvest, according to a preliminary report from IHCAFE. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - Cameroon's Arabica Coffee Prices Fall Amid Plentiful Supply - Traders
  Arabica coffee prices at Cameroon's biggest port of Douala plunged nearly 8% on the week,
following plentiful supply of the crop, exporters and traders said Wednesday.
  They said a kilogram of arabica coffee ready for export sold for 1,818 Central African francs ($2.93), down 7.8% from XAF1,972, figures from Cameroon's cocoa and coffee board indicated Wednesday.
  The price fall reverses last week's rise.
  "Most of the coffee been sold now is coffee that traders and farmers have been withholding from markets. They release the stocks when exporters delay to buy the crop," a middleman trader said.

Mar 01 - Global coffee exports rise 6.7 pct in January - ICO 

Global coffee exports rose 6.7 percent in January from a year earlier to total 9.84 million 60-kg bags, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Tuesday. For the first four months of the 2016/17 season, which began on Oct. 1 last year, coffee exports were up 8.9 percent at 39.98 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - ICCO sees global cocoa surplus of 264,000 T in 2016/17 

Cocoa production is set to climb by almost 15 percent in 2016/17 (October/September) leading to a global surplus of 264,000 tonnes, the International Cocoa Organization said on Tuesday in its first forecast for the season. "For the current season, favourable weather conditions helped crops across the main cocoa-growing countries within the West African region," the ICCO said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - El Niño may be fast-tracking to arrive by summer - Braun 

The path to another round of El Niño in 2017 appears to be shortening, as tropical Pacific Ocean waters have been warming at a substantial rate. Weather forecasters have been eyeing for a couple of months a possible return this year of El Niño, which normally comes around every two to seven years and last occurred in 2015/16. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - Cuban raw sugar output tops 1 million tonnes so far in 2016-2017 season 

Cuba said on Tuesday it had produced one million tonnes of raw sugar so far in the 2016-2017 harvest season, toward an estimated goal of just over 2 million tonnes. Liobel Perez Hernandez, spokesperson for AZCUBA, the state-run sugar monopoly, told the state-run Cuban News Agency that the mark had been reached earlier than in the previous 15 harvests. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - Wilmar seen as sole buyer of record ICE March raw sugar - traders 

Wilmar International Ltd is seen as the sole buyer of around 1.2 million tonnes of raw sugaragainst March futures on ICE Futures U.S. that expired on Tuesday, three traders said, marking a record for that contract. It also marks the seventh time out of the past eight contracts that Wilmar has taken delivery against the ICE contract. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - Arabica Coffee Outlook Remains Bearish, Says BMI (BMI Dow Jones)
The outlook for Arabica coffee prices remains bearish, as the global coffee market will likely be better supplied over the coming months as Asian supply rebounds, says BMI Research in a note. It estimates the Brazilian up-year crop grew by 10% year on year due to good weather during the growing season, while it forecasts there will be record production in Colombia. Long term, it says following a period of weakness leading into second half 2017, "we expect prices to trade sideways to slightly higher out to 2021 as the global market alternates between small surpluses and deficits."

Mar 01 - India's Likely Sugar Production Drop to Firm up Prices (ICRA Dow Jones)
The expected fall in India's sugar output amid rising demand will boost prices of the sweetener, ratings agency ICRA says. Overall sugar production will likely decline by 9% and fall short by up to 2.8 million tons from domestic consumption, which continues to grow at about 3% every year, the agency says in a research note. "Domestic sugar consumption will outpace production," ICRA head Sabyasachi Majumdar says. The fall in production is attributed to lower production in India's top-growing states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Sugar output in the current crop season that began in October stands at 14.67 million tons, compared with 17.33 million tons in the same period a year ago, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, an industry body.

Mar 01 - Japan Rubber Gains With Stocks as Yen Falls (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures rose with the dollar rebounding versus the yen, which stoked a rally in Japan stocks. Kaname Gokon of Tokyo-based brokerage Okato Shoji notes "investors are optimistic about more investment coming." The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery rose 2% to Y271.8/kilogram.

Feb 28 - Uganda Coffee Exports Maintain Rising Streak (Dow Jones)
Coffee exports from Uganda will likely rise for the 4th month in a row, as farmers in Africa's No 1 exporter release more stocks amid rising prices, says the state-run coffee regulator. February shipments are estimated at 300,000-60 kilogram bags, 4% higher on year, extending a rising streak into the fourth month. Cumulative coffee exports since the start of the 2016-17 season are 26% up on year. Export earnings rose 54% to $175 million in the same period, boosted by higher export volumes of robustas beans, amid tightening supplies from producers in Asia and South America. Ugandan farmers are still holding around half a million coffee bags in carryover stocks from last season, the regulator says.

Feb 28 - India Imports Less Rubber as Domestic Output Up (Dow Jones)
India's overseas rubber purchases slumped 39% in January from a year earlier to 24K tons as local output jumped 27% to 66K as farmers increased tapping to take advantage of a jump in global prices, according to the state-run Rubber Board of India. Consumption remained largely flat at 84K tons. Prices bounced to start 2017 amid concerns about supply disruptions in top-producer Thailand because of flooding there. India also imports natural rubber from Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Feb 28 - Growing Coffee Deficit Likely to Support Prices (Dow Jones)
The total Arabica and Robusta coffee deficit for the 2017-8 crop is now expected to be 5.2 million bags, a gap which will likely support prices, says Olam (O32.SG) CEO Sunny Verghese. The farm-commodities supplier sees prices moving higher, particularly for robusta beans, given a growing supply-and-demand imbalance. "We expect there to still be room for prices to adjust given the deficit that is emerging." He notes that while supplies remain plentiful in consuming countries, they've tightened in producing ones.

Feb 28 - Shanghai, Stronger Yen Push Down Tocom Rubber (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell amid declines in China and a stronger yen against the dollar. Investors are "finding it tough to take positions right now, with many sitting on the sidelines" ahead of Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday, says Kaname Gokon of Okato Shoji in Tokyo. Like other asset classes, there's a "wait-and-see approach." Tocom rubber contract for August delivery dropped 1.3% to Y266.4/kilogram.

Feb 28 - Ivory Coast rains bode well for cocoa mid-crop but heat is a concern 

Good rains in the last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions are a positive sign for the development of the mid-crop but hot weather could hurt it, farmers said on Monday. The dry season in the world's top cocoa producer runs from mid-November to March, while the weather is normally extremely hot between February and March. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 28 - Chance of El Nino at 50 percent in 2017 - Australian weather bureau 

The chance of an El Nino in 2017 has increased in the last two weeks, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday, indicating a 50 percent chance the weather event resurfaces over the next six months. The BOM said the eastern Pacific Ocean has warmed over the last fortnight, driving many of its climate models towards the El Nino threshold over the next six months. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 27 - Uganda Eyes New Coffee Varieties To Lift Robusta Output (Dow Jones)
Ugandan coffee growers are turning to quick-maturing tree varieties as Africa's top robusta producer steps up efforts to lift output, says William Wagoire head of Uganda Coffee Research Institute. The research body has developed several strains of disease-resistant robusta trees, currently being distributed to farmers in a nation-wide drive to plant 900 million trees by 2020. The varieties could reverse slumping coffee output in Africa's top exporter, blamed on pest infestations and ageing trees. Uganda's coffee exports dropped 4% to 3.32 million bags last season, the third annual drop in a row. "Unlike the current trees which take 3 to 5 years to mature, the new varieties mature in less than two years," Mr.Wagoire says.

Feb 27 - Satellite Survey Firm Sees Smaller Brazil Sugarcane Output (Dow Jones)
Brazil's sugar-growing center-south region could produce 570 million tons of sugarcane in 2017-18, below most analysts' estimates, based on a planted area of 7.6M hectares and a yield of 75t/ha, writes research firm Archer Consulting, citing figures produced by Sigma, a crop forecaster that uses satellite data. Archer calls the potential for a smaller-than-expected Brazilian crop a bullish factor that could change the trajectory of prices.

Feb 27 - Speculators raise bearish ICE cocoa stance to 2012 high 

Speculators slightly raised their net short position in cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S., taking it to the biggest since April 2012 in the holiday-shortened week to Feb. 21, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The dealers added to their net long position in arabica coffee for the first time in four weeks, while they cut it in cotton for the first time in a month. They became increasingly bullish in raw sugar futures and options, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 27 - India Coffee Exports Rise 6% as Brazil Output Falters (Dow Jones)
India's coffee exports have jumped 6% so far this year, thanks to growing appetite in international market as top-producer Brazil grows less coffee due to drought. Coffee exports from India rose 46,000 tons from January 1 till February 24, compared to 43,436 tons during the same period a year earlier, according to the Coffee Board of India. India has traditionally been a supplier of the arabica variety of coffee bean but growers have shifted to robusta in recent years due to rising global demand for the variety. Last year, arabica shipments from India grew nearly 18% to 51,648 tons from 43,785 tons in 2015. Robusta exports was up around 20% at 201,000 tons versus 167,000 tons in 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 21 - Brazil publishes rules for robusta coffee imports 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 03 - Brazil agriculture minister backs robusta imports despite opposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 02 - Ivory Coast cancels defaulted cocoa, fines exporters

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 01 - Egypt to raise sugar prices at subsidised outlets

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

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

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

Jan 31 - Ivory Coast unrest makes cocoa grinders rethink investments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 26 - El Niño may return in 2017 - Braun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 24 - CME Group suspends trading in European cocoa contracts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 13 - Storms ease California drought as reservoirs fill up 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 10 - Heavy rains trigger evacuations in California and Nevada

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 09 - Thai floods kill 21 and hit rubber production 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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