Softs

May 18 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 07 May-11 May 2018 (WPB)
The market showed a slight mixed response. Pepper price in India, Sarawak and Sri Lanka decreased. Marginal increase of local price was reported in Viet Nam. In Indonesia the price remained stable.
In Viet Nam, local price of black pepper has slightly moved up, after slid down last week. Trading however was limited as farmers continue to hold material expecting better price. Low margin is discouraging producers for selling. Shipper is reported to have difficult to obtain heavy material.  
Upcoming crop due is in Indonesia, some time in July/August. Total output from this year crop season is expected to be more or less same with slightly better, particularly from new producing areas in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. In Lampung however, production of black pepper is reported to remain not encouraging. In Brazil (Vitoria) fob price for sun dried ASTA black 560 GL was $3,000 per Mt and for machine dried was $ 2,900. 

May 18 - Export of Pepper from SRI LANKA (WPB)
Yearly export of pepper from Sri Lanka is up and down sharply in the range of 5,000-20,000 Mt, with alternating hoses every two years, as shown in the following table and chart. Export of ground pepper in the last four years was relatively stable at around 1,000 Mt. In 2017, pepper export from Sri Lanka increased to 13,300 Mt from 7,900 Mt in 2016. Export of whole pepper increased, while for ground pepper decreased. India is the main market for Sri Lankan pepper absorbing around 80-90% of pepper exported from the country; while for ground pepper was mainly exported to Eastern Europe.

May 18 - Brazil's center-south cane crop cut due to drought - report 

Brazil's center-south, the world's largest sugar producing region, is likely to have less cane to process this year than previously expected due to a prolonged period without widespread rains, an independent analyst said on Thursday.  Sao Paulo-based Archer Consulting revised its center-south 2018/19 cane crop projection to 563 million tonnes, compared to 580 million tonnes expected previously, citing damage to some cane fields in the region due to drought. Click here to read full stories.

May 18 - Brazil's 2018 coffee crop seen at record 58.04 mln bags - Conab

Brazil's 2018 coffee crop is expected to reach 58.04 million 60-kg bags, surpassing a previous record of 51.37 million bags in 2016, Brazil's agricultural statistics agency Conab said in a report on Thursday. Conab revised its January projection that had put production at a range between 54.44 and 58.51 million bags, putting the current estimate at the top of that range, with prospects helped by favorable weather and good crop care. Click here to read full stories.

May 18 - Ghana cocoa purchases topped 700,000 T by early May - Cocobod source 

Ghana's Cocobod bought more than 700,000 tonnes of cocoa by early May, a regulator source said, indicating output is improving in the world's number two producer after it had earlier warned poor rains might affect the harvest. The West African country is expecting to buy around 800,000 tonnes by the close of its main crop harvest at the end of the month, Cocobod and government sources said. Click here to read full stories.

May 18 - U.S. House defeats farm bill sugar amendment amid Republican immigration spat

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday defeated a sugar amendment to the sweeping farm bill, bolstering the likelihood the House could approve it this week if a Republican standoff over immigration is resolved. The amendment to the $867 billion bill to limit price supports for domestic sugar production offered by Republican Representative Virginia Foxx was defeated in a 278-to-137 vote. Click here to read full stories.

May 17 - Brazilian coffee state boosts irrigation, adds crops after drought 

Espírito Santo state, Brazil's leading robusta coffee producer, has improved its irrigation systems and farmers have added new crops such as black pepper in an effort to revive agriculture in the region after a devastating drought in 2015 and 2016. The state boosted waterworks and diversified agriculture after the drought, one of its worst ever, giving producers a broader revenue base. Robusta output is expected to rebound in the current season and possibly hit a record in 2019. Click here to read full stories.

May 17 - Ivory Coast sells 1.1 mln T of 2018/19 cocoa export contracts  

Ivory Coast has sold 1.1 million tonnes of cocoa export contracts so far in the 2018/19 season and aims to sell between 1.3 million and 1.4 million tonnes in total, two senior Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) sources told Reuters. The average price in forward sales should allow the world's top producer to raise the 2018/19 farmer price to 1,000 CFA francs ($1.75) per kilogram, the sources said on Wednesday, up from the 700 CFA francs fixed last year when global prices were depressed. Click here to read full stories.

May 16 - Bunge files to list Brazilian sugar and ethanol business

Global commodities trader Bunge Ltd has filed for a potential public offering of its sugar and ethanol unit in Brazil, Bunge Açúcar & Bionergia SA, with the Brazilian Securities Commission, the company said on Tuesday. The U.S. headquartered company said it recently obtained debt financing for the unit, which it has prepared to operate as a stand-alone company. Click here to read full stories.

May 15 - Cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast concerned about intense rainfall

Above-average rainfall in some of Ivory Coast's southern cocoa-growing regions last week could affect the quality of mid-crop harvests, farmers said on Monday. The world's top cocoa producer is in the midst of the rainy season, and authorities said they were bracing themselves for heavy downpours on some parts of the southern coast after two people died during a deluge in Abidjan last week. Click here to read full stories.

May 15 - Steep New York cocoa premium drives demand for African shipments - traders 

Cocoa dealers are snapping up West African beans for import to the United States, according to trade sources, as they seek to profit from the steepest premium for the chocolate ingredient in over 40 years in the New York market. A jump in U.S. cocoa imports from West Africa would narrow that rare premium, which has been widening since late 2017 when a large volume of old or low-quality cocoa supply from Cameroon hit the European market. Click here to read full stories.

May 15 - Brazil sugar mills cancel export contracts on low prices

Brazilian mills have canceled up to 500,000 tonnes of sugar export contracts as global prices fall and ethanol grows increasingly attractive, analysts said on Monday. Companies have canceled between 400,000 and 500,000 tonnes in contracts for the 2018/19 harvest, or equivalent to about 2 percent of potential shipments for the crop cycle, Arnaldo Luiz Correa, director of Archer Consulting, said in an interview. Click here to read full stories.

May 14 - Louis Dreyfus loosens grip on robusta coffee stocks ahead of contract change

Louis Dreyfus Company has offloaded the bulk of its certified robusta coffee stocks ahead of a rule change that will make it more expensive to carry the coffee forward, industry sources told Reuters. Some 59,270 tonnes of robusta coffee has changed hands in the delivery period that began at the start of this month, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) data showed on Friday. Click here to read full stories.

May 11 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 07 May-11 May 2018 (WPB)
Pepper price has slid lower this week, with limited activity. Low overseas demand was the main factor for the situation. In Viet Nam pepper price decreased by 7% locally and in Sarawak decreased by 4%. A marginal decrease was also reported in Kochi. In Indonesia and Sri Lanka the prices were relatively stable. In dollar terms however, price in Indonesia decrease while in Sri Lanka increased marginally.
In Indonesia pepper harvest is expected to begin in July/August. Total output from this year crop season is expected to be more or less the same with slightly better, particularly from new producing areas in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. From west Kalimantan even reported that output from July harvest this year is estimated to be lower. Too many rains in addition to less investment due to very low prevailing price are the main factor for the decrease.
Price in Brazil also decreased to $3,000/3,050 for ASTA black 560 GL sun dried FOB Vitoria and for machine dried was $ 2,950 per Mt. 

May 11 - Export and Import od Pepper by CHINA (WPB)
China is one of pepper producing countries, particularly in Hainan, the southernmost province in China. Some sources estimated around 30,000 Mt of pepper are produced annually in this province, 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 decreased year by year. In case of import, it has shown an increasing trend. From the year 2012, 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 to pepper imported from the above sources, China also entered a significant quantity of pepper by land from Viet Nam. However, no figures were recorded for this.

May 11 - Brazil's center-south cane crush in April way ahead of year earlier

Brazil's center-south, the world's largest sugar producing region, crushed almost 50 percent more cane in April, the first month of the 2018/19 local crop season, than it did a year earlier, as dry weather accelerated field work. According to a report on Thursday by cane industry group Unica, center-south mills processed 59.8 million tonnes of cane 7in April, compared with 41.9 million tonnes in that month last year, confirming accounts related to Reuters last week about speedy activity in the Ribeirão Preto area.  Click here to read full stories.

May 11 - U.S. 2018/19 sugar output pegged at 2-year low - USDA 

The United States will produce nearly 9 million short tons of sugar in 2018/19, the lowest in two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its first forecast for the crop year on Thursday. Production of beet sugar in the United States was forecast at 5 million short tons in 2018/19, up from 5.2 million short tons the year prior, while cane output was pegged at 3.9 million short tons, down from 4 million short tons year-over-year, the USDA said. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - Huge Indian sugar supplies dull bullish sentiment from Brazil curbing output 

A giant sugar crop from India this year will more than compensate for the lowest output in a decade from central Brazil, millers and traders said this week, putting the market on course for two years of record global oversupply. The worldwide sugar glut has made sugar the worst performing commodity of the year. Raw sugar futures are down nearly 25 percent to date in 2018, and have fallen below production costs for many of the world's millers and processors. Prices are near their lowest levels since 2015. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - Coffee faces a double threat to its existence in eastern Ethiopia

For generations, farmers planted the lush earth of Awedai and nearby areas in eastern Ethiopia with coffee trees, earning a livelihood from a crop that is now the country's main export. But the centuries-long practice is now being abandoned in favour of khat, a leafy plant chewed as a stimulant in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - Brazil coffee exports in April seen stable, says association 

Brazil exported 1.98 million 60-kg bags of green coffee in April, 0.9 percent more than in the same period last year, exporters association Cecafé said in a monthly report on Wednesday. Although they were stable compared to the previous year, April shipments are much smaller than seen in the same month in 2014 or 2015, for example, when Brazil exported volumes close to 3 million bags, and confirms a trend for a reduced Brazilian share of the global coffee market. Click here to read full stories.

May 10 - Ghana's Cocobod seeking $1.5 bln from China's Eximbank- CEO

Ghana's Cocobod is seeking up to $1.5 billion from China's Eximbank to improve farms and install irrigation systems and other projects, the regulator's chief executive Joseph Aidoo said on Wednesday. China will also grant the West African country $35 million to help build a 40,000-tonne state-run cocoa processing plant, Aidoo told reporters at the start of a meeting with a Chinese technical team in the capital Accra. Click here to read full stories.

May 09 - Global '18/19 sugar output will outstrip demand by 12.59 mln T -S&P 

World sugar production will outstrip demand by 12.59 million tonnes in the 2018/19 crop year that begins on Oct. 1, according to an industry presentation from sugar analysts at S&P Global Platts/Kingsman during New York "Sugar Week." That's higher than the firm's outlook of 11.05 million tonnes and would represent the largest single-year surplus since at least 2006/2007, according to prepared remarks by Claudiu Covrig, senior agriculture analyst. Click here to read full stories.

May 09 - Brazil mills speed up cane harvest, worry about late crop yields  

Brazilian mills in the heart of the center-south cane belt are reporting a quick processing rate in the 2018/19 crop as they seal the first month of harvesting helped by dryer-than-normal weather, which speeds up field work. Some mills in the Ribeirão Preto region in São Paulo state have collected up to 10 percent more cane than expected for April, hardly missing any 24-hour harvesting turns to rains. Click here to read full stories.

May 09 - Cancer warnings to be served up with coffee in California

Starbucks Corp and other roasters and retailers must serve up a cancer warning with coffee sold in California, a Los Angeles judge has ruled. Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle in a ruling published on Monday said that Starbucks and other coffee sellers did not show that the risk from consuming acrylamide, a possible cancer-causing byproduct created during coffee roasting, was offset by benefits from drinking coffee. Click here to read full stories.

May 09 - Bunge hires banks for Brazil IPO, but launch unlikely soon -sources 

Global commodities trader Bunge Ltd has hired banks to prepare an initial public offering (IPO) of its Brazilian sugarcane mills, but chances of an imminent launch are slim, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. The investment banking units of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Santander Brasil SA are working with the company on the deal. Click here to read full stories.

May 08 - Chemicals to combat caterpillars help Ivory Coast cocoa crop 

Successes in the battle to reduce plant-eating caterpillars gave a boost to Ivory Coast's April-to-September cocoa mid-crop last week, though a lack of rain tempered optimism, farmers said. In the coastal region of San Pedro, farmers said they received chemicals from the Coffee and Cocoa Council to fight a caterpillar infestation that hit cocoa plantations in the world's top producer last month. Click here to read full stories.

May 08 - May rains slow output of already meager Cuban sugar harvest 

Dozens of Cuban sugar mills remain shuttered this week across the Caribbean island due to a week of summer rains, all but dashing hopes of rescuing one of the worst harvests on record. Reuters estimated raw sugar production at around 1 million tonnes when the month began, based on provincial media reports and sources with some access to industry information. Click here to read full stories.

May 07 - Speculators cut bullish NY cocoa bet, bring cotton net long to 3-mth high - CFTC 

Speculators cut their net long position in New York cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to May 1, as they also reduced bearish stances in arabica coffee and sugar, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.The speculators brought their net long position in cotton futures and options to a three-month high, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

May 07 - India considers surcharge on sugar to subsidise farmers 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday that five state ministers would consider ways to subsidise sugarcane growers suffering from weak prices, including possibly making consumers pay a surcharge in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).Expectations of a bumper sugarcane crop this year have led to falling prices and caused financial losses for sugar mills, which are seeking federal and state government support to cover what they owe farmers. Click here to read full stories.

May 04 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 30 April - 4 May 2018 (WPB)

The market was reported in active and slow moving. Prices of black pepper in India and white pepper in Bangka were reported to have increased during the week with limited activity. Local price of black pepper in Viet Nam and Sri Lanka also increased marginally. At other source, the price was relatively stable.  Price in Brazil was also reported same as last week at the level of $3,150 for Asta black 560 GL sun dried FOB Victoria and for machine dried was US$ 3,000 per Mt. Madagascar Black 550-560 GL was at $ 3,260 and Cambodia Black 550 GL at $ 3,230 per Mt.

May 04 - Export of Pepper from MALAYSIA (WPB)

In 2017 Malaysia exported 12,185 Mt, a marginal decrease of 3% from 12,550 Mt of export in 2016. Low price prevailed in 2017 has reduced the spirit of producers and traders to release material. In the first quarter, the market remained slow moving and export realized in January - February 2018 was reported only 1,700 Mt, as against 1,770 Mt exported in the same period last year. Supported by sufficient stock and anticipated better harvest this year, export of pepper in 2018 is estimated to increase. But it will depend on the price development in the second half of the year when harvesting season starting in June.

May 04 - Insecticide ban to hit EU sugar beet crops, farmers say 

The European Union's decision to ban some widely used insecticides is likely to dent sugar beet production in the trading bloc, farming groups said on Thursday. EU countries backed a proposal last week to extend a partial ban on the use of insecticides known as neonicotinoids that studies have shown are harmful to bees. Click here to read full stories.

May 04 - Ivory Coast aims to clamp down on smuggling of agricultural produce 

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, will impose heavy fines and prison sentences to combat illegal smuggling of agricultural produce under a government decree approved on Thursday. Cocoa smuggling is a persistent problem for the West African nation which regularly loses a portion of its crop to traffickers. It has also seen significant smuggling in recent years of cashew nuts, of which it is also the world's leading producer. Click here to read full stories.

May 03 - India approves subsidy for cane farmers to help sugar mills - govt source

India's cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to help sugar mills by paying the cane farmers that supply them a subsidy for their produce, a government source said, as part of efforts to help a sector struggling with a glut. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration has decided to give 55 rupees ($0.82) for every tonne of cane sold to the mills by growers, said the source, declining to be named as he was not authorised to speak with media. Click here to read full stories.

May 02 - Wilmar seen as major seller in large May raw sugar delivery 

Three trade houses have scooped up over 1 million tonnes of Brazilian raw sugar against the May futures contract that expired on Monday, with Wilmar International seen selling more than half of it, according to ICE Futures U.S. data and traders. Many market participants view this as bearish, pointing to weak demand amid abundant global supplies, with traders saying Wilmar became a major seller after being a large buyer of raw sugar deliveries against ICE contracts in recent years. Click here to read full stories.

May 02 - Ivory Coast suspension of cocoa seed plans raises quality concerns 

Ivory Coast's move to halt the distribution of high-yielding seeds and other advanced tools to cocoa farmers could pave the way for problems regarding quality, more erratic production and the spread of diseases, industry sources warn. Ivory Coast recently suspended programmes aiming to increase cocoa productivity in an effort to tackle oversupply, which last year drove prices to their lowest in more than nine years and slashed farmer incomes by more than a third. Click here to read full stories.

May 02 - Global coffee exports fell 0.9 pct in March - ICO

Global coffee exports fell 0.9 percent in March from a year earlier to 10.81 million 60-kg bags, data from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) showed on Tuesday. For the first six months of the 2017/18 season, which began on Oct. 1, coffee exports slipped 0.6 percent to total 59.96 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 30 - Brazil to lose share of sugar market as mills see no profit 

Brazil will lose a significant share of the global sugar trade to competitors in the current season as price levels make it unprofitable for most mills to produce the sweetener, consultants and millers said on Friday. Analysts are forecasting a reduction in sugar production in Brazil's center-south in 2018-19 of up to six million tonnes compared to the previous season. Mills are looking to produce as much ethanol as possible in search of better returns. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 30 - KPMG urges spot sale system to address Ivory Coast cocoa defaults

Global audit firm KPMG has urged Ivory Coast to introduce a spot sales system for local cocoa exporters who were responsible for defaults on 148,000 tonnes of contracts in the last growing season. The world's top producer sells forward the bulk of its anticipated harvest to be able to set a minimum price for farmers at the start of its October-September growing season. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 30 - Speculators lift bullish New York cocoa stance to 2015 high - CFTC

Speculators raised their net long position in New York cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to a 2015 high in the week to April 24, and cut their bearish stance in arabica coffee, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The speculators increased their net short position raw sugar futures and options, and raised their net long position in cotton, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 27 - Weekly pepper Bulletin, Week 23-27 April 2018 (WPB)
The market remained mixed. In Viet Nam price of pepper increased further up to 4%, In India, Sarawak and Sri Lanka, the price decreased marginally; while in Indonesia it was reported stable. In dollar terms however, local price in Lampung and Bangka decreased marginally due to weakening IDR against US dollar. Some source in Lampung reported that due to weather factors, output of the upcoming harvest (July/August) is anticipated to be not as good as expected, but slightly better than last year.
Trade source in Brazil quoted price of Brazilian black at $3,150 for asta 560 GL sun dried FOB Vitoria. For machine dried was US$ 3,000 per Mt. This is for June and July shipment.

Apr 27 - Export of Pepper from INDONESIA (WPB)
During 2017 Indonesia exported 42,700 Mt of pepper valued at US$ 236 million. As against export in 2016, total export in 2017 decreased by around 10,500 Mt (20%). In terms of value the export decreased by US$ 194 million (45%).
As reported earlier, a significant decrease of 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, production in non-traditional area such as in Kalimantan and Sulawesi is reported to have increased. This has contributed significant quantity to total white pepper export in 2017.  Viet Nam remained the main destination for Indonesia's pepper, absorbing almost 40% (16,500 Mt) of pepper exported; while the United States, the most important consuming countries absorbed only 7,200 Mt (17%). India also imported significant quantity of around 4,600 Mt (11%) of pepper from Indonesia.
In January-February 2018 Indonesia exported 5,520 Mt, a 34% lower when compared to export in the first two months last year. The situation reflected less available stock as a result of less production in the last year crop season. This year, production of pepper is expected to slightly better, but new material will only be available by August.

Apr 27 - Cofco's Brazil unit to crush 15 mln T of cane, executive says 

Chinese agribusiness conglomerate Cofco will process about 15 million tonnes of sugarcane in Brazil, with its mills running at maximum capacity during the 2018-19 harvest cycle, an executive said on Thursday. The company operates four plants in the state of São Paulo, and it is likely to raise ethanol output amid strong demand for the fuel in Brazil, Mauricio Sacramento, Cofco's head of sugar trading, said on the sidelines of an industry event. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Louis Dreyfus to deepen sugar trading in Africa 

Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world's largest agricultural commodity players, is bolstering sugar trading in Africa as it contends with heightened competition and depressed prices, a senior company official said. Narrowing margins for sugar and other food commodities like grains in recent years have put pressure on profitability for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus - dubbed the "ABCDs" of the agricultural world because of their initials. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Cocoa industry pledges co-ordinated action on poverty, deforestation

Companies and governments have pledged to tackle poverty, deforestation and human rights abuses in the cocoa supply chain, acknowledging that years of scattered sustainability efforts have failed to spur widespread change. The four-day World Cocoa Conference in Berlin culminated on Wednesday in stakeholders issuing a declaration to coordinate efforts to stamp out exploitation and environmental degradation in cocoa. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Facing low cocoa prices, Ivory Coast stops helping farmers boost yields 

Ivory Coast will stop distributing hybrid seedlings and other advanced technologies that help cocoa farmers improve yields to cut overproduction that has weighed on cocoa prices, according to a letter by the regulator sent to exporters. "We inform you of our decision to suspend the distribution of improved plant material -- seeds, plant cutting and cloning, plant tissue culture -- as well as projects to improve productivity led by private sector actors," the Cocoa and Coffee Council (CCC) wrote in a letter to the exporters' association GEPEX on April 18, which reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - Brazil's center-south speeds up cane crush; ethanol output jumps 

Brazil's center-south, the world's largest sugar producing region, sped up harvesting in the first half of April, crushing a quarter more cane than in the same period a year earlier, industry group Unica said on Wednesday. Mills crushed 22.21 million tonnes of cane in the first two weeks of April versus 17.7 million tonnes a year earlier, allocating 68.5 percent of that cane to ethanol production, which jumped 44.6 percent to 993 million liters. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 26 - China's Zhengzhou exchange will shorten white sugar futures market to 1 year

Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange will not list white sugar contracts further than one year out, shortening the forward curve by six months, it said in a statement on Wednesday. Existing contractsare not affected by the move. The exchange did not give a reason for the decision. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 25 - Rare New York cocoa premium over London surges to 41-year high 

The unusual premium of New York cocoa futures over London prices surged to a 41-year high on Tuesday, as market participants bailed out of arbitrage trades that forced them to cover their U.S. short positions, traders said. "This is all a function of people blowing out of the arbitrage," one U.S. trader said, calling it an "overcrowded trade." Click here to read full stories.

Apr 25 - Cargill sees balanced cocoa market, growth in local processing 

Cargill sees the cocoa market broadly balanced in the current 2017/18 season and is aiming to expand its processing capacity in producer countries, the company's commercial director for cocoa said on Tuesday. Crops in West Africa got off to a strong start in 2017/18, but production tapered off, reducing the chance of another global surplus, Cargill's Francesca Kleemans told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Berlin. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 25 - Recovery in sugar prices likely only around 2020 - Alvean CEO 

Sugar prices will only start to recover towards 2020 as a global glut of stocks will continue to weigh, the chief executive of the world's largest sugar trader Alvean said on Tuesday. Rising production in India, Thailand and the European Union has led to an oversupply of sugar in the world market and white sugar futures on ICE fell to their weakest level in more than nine years on Tuesday, while raw sugar slipped to a 2-1/2 year low. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 25 - Vietnam to cut black pepper farm area as global prices fall

Vietnam plans to slash its black pepper growing area by 26.7 percent in response to falling global prices, the chairman of the country's pepper association said Tuesday. Vietnam is the world's largest black pepper exporter, accounting for 60-65 percent of global trade, and nearly half of global output. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 24 - Indian ministers back plans to subsidise sugar cane growers 

Indian ministers have proposed giving subsidies to cane growers for produce they sell to sugar mills, as bulging supplies have driven down prices, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet would consider the proposal soon, Paswan said after a ministerial panel met to address challenges facing growers in the world's biggest cane producer after Brazil. He did not say when cabinet would decide. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 24 - Ivory Coast minister views local processing as crucial to sector 

Boosting cocoa processing in Ivory Coast is central to improving the sustainability of the country's cocoa sector, the top grower's trade minister Souleymane Diarrassouba said. Increasing the volume of cocoa that is processed locally was a necessary step to help protect producing countries from volatility on the global market, Diarrassouba told a cocoa conference in Berlin on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 20 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 16-20 April 2018 (WPB)
The market showed a mixed response during the week. Pepper price in Viet Nam increased; while in India and Malaysia decreased. Stable prices were recorded in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and China.
In Viet Nam pepper harvest has almost completed but market not very brisk as farmers hold materials from recent harvest. On the demand side, global activity has shown an increasing trend and moved the price up. During the week, pepper price in HCM City increased almost daily. On an average, price of black pepper increased by 6% locally and 4% FOB while for white pepper increased by 2%. Observing the above development, pepper harvested from the recent crop might not be as good as predicted and price stability is expected to take place.

Apr 20 - Export of Pepper from INDIA (WPB)
In 2017 production of pepper in India is reported to have increased to 57,000 Mt from 48,500 Mt in 2016. However, due to rapidly developing spice industry in India, internal demand increased year by year hence the increase in production does not reflected in the increase in exports. Major share of pepper produced was absorbed internally. In reality, export of pepper in 2017 decreased while import of pepper increased.
According to Trade Statistics of the ITC, India exported 18,270 Mt of pepper in 2017, consisting of 8,130 Mt of whole pepper and 10,140 Mt of ground pepper. When compared to export of 23,863 Mt in 2016, a decrease of 23% was recorded. Similarly, a lower by 47% from export in 2015 was also shown. The United States of America was the main market for India absorbing 42% of India's export, followed by the United Kingdom 11%, Canada 5% and Sweden 4% respectively. Viet Nam, Sri Lanka and Indonesia were the main sources of India's import which about 60% came from Viet Nam out of 30,400 Mt of pepper imported in 2017.

Apr 20 - Brazil sugar exports seen falling 6.5 mln tonnes in 2018-19 -report

Brazilian sugar exports are expected to fall by 6.5 million tonnes in the 2018-19 crop compared with the previous season due to a smaller cane crush and falling sugar production in both the center-south and northeast regions, according to a report released on Thursday. Sugar and ethanol consultancy JOB Economia e Planejamento said it expects total sugar exports of only 21.3 million tonnes in the new crop year that started in April, compared with 27.8 million tonnes reported in the previous crop. Click here to read full stories

Apr 20 - Ethical cocoa schemes no panacea for struggling farmers

Global chocolate makers are buying more cocoa sourced through schemes aimed at stamping out poverty as they rush to make their supply chains more ethical ahead of self-imposed 2020 deadlines. The trouble for cocoa farmers is the premiums they receive for beans sold under the biggest and most popular of these ethical sustainability schemes are falling. Click here to read full stories

Apr 20 - Kenya sugar output to rise 19 pct in 2018 on good rainfall

Kenya expects its sugar production to jump by up to 19 percent this year, recovering from a drought-induced drop the previous year, a senior government official said on Thursday. The East African nation has an annual sugar consumption of 870,000 tonnes but production has slumped due to a high cost of production, old and inefficient sugar crushing machinery as well as mismanagement and theft of farmers' funds. Click here to read full stories

Apr 20 - N. American Q1 cocoa grind shows weakest start in 7 years

North American cocoa grindings fell in the first quarter of 2018, marking the region's weakest start to the calendar year since 2011, data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) showed on Thursday. Cocoa grinders in the United States, Canada and Mexico reported processing 118,778 tonnes in the first three months of the year, down 1.14 percent from the same period a year earlier. This is, however, up 2.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017, NCA data show. Click here to read full stories

Apr 20 - Plans to end cocoa deforestation face multiple hurdles

Faced with the prospect of losing all its forests, Ivory Coast has partnered with chocolate makers to try to halt the spread of cocoa plantations in protected national parks and reserves. Ivory Coast, the world's biggest cocoa producer, and major chocolate companies from Mars to Hershey to Barry Callebaut pledged last year to eliminate the production and sourcing of cocoa from protected forests. Click here to read full stories

Apr 19 - China to impose anti-dumping measures on synthetic rubber imported from U.S., EU, Singapore

China will impose temporary anti-dumping measures on halogenated butyl rubber imported from the United States, European Union and Singapore, the commerce ministry said on Thursday. The anti-dumping measures will be effective from April 20, the ministry said. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 18 - ICE tweaks raw sugar contract rules around CAFTA quota -notice 

The Intercontinental Exchange Inc on Tuesday said it had amended rules for delivery of raw sugar to the No 11 futures contract to ensure that Central American sweetener cannot be shipped to the United States through a preferential quota.Sugar from Central America and the Dominican Republic can enter the highly-protected U.S. market at a lower tariff-rate under a U.S.-Central American Free trade agreement (CAFTA). Traders often purchase physical deliveries through the ICE Futures U.S. contract. That sugar can come from one of 29 origins, according to the exchange website. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 18 - ED&F Man's managing director of sugar exits - trade sources 

The managing director of sugar at ED&F Man is leaving the company, according to three trade sources, in the latest sign of upheaval at the 235-year-old commodities trade house after it reported a loss of nearly $145 million last year.  Jascha Raadtgever will leave the company to be replaced on an interim basis by Johanna Sutcliff, effective Tuesday, according to contents of an internal memo shared with Reuters. Raadtgever, who was based in London, had been with ED&F Man for 16 years. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 17 - Cuban raw sugar production headed toward 30 percent decline

This year’s Cuban sugar harvest will be one of the lowest in more than a century at 1.1 million to 1.3 million tonnes of raw sugar, a drop of 30 percent, Reuters estimated based on sources and state-run media. Cuba produced 1.8 million tonnes of raw sugar in the last harvest. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 17 - Heavy rainfall could damage Ivory Coast cocoa mid-crop

Heavy rainfall could damage Ivory Coast's April-September cocoa mid-crop, farmers said on Monday, as soil moisture content is high and trees are loaded with fragile flowers and cherelles.The primary concern for farmers in recent months has been a lack of rainfall, but after a couple of weeks of downpours farmers in the world's top cocoa producer are now hoping for less rain to protect yields as the harvest begins. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 17 - Colombia coffee-growers ask central bank for currency intervention

Colombia's coffee federation on Monday asked the country's central bank to temporarily intervene in the exchange rate to alleviate farmer income woes caused by a strengthening peso.Colombia is the world's top producer of washed arabica. The federation this month asked the government for aid for the more than half a million families who make their living from coffee farming and whose income from exports has fallen as the peso currency has strengthened against the dollar. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 16 - Brazil vessel lineup for sugar 60 pct below same period last year 

The lineup of vessels to load sugar in Brazil currently is around 60 percent smaller than seen in the same period a year earlier because of lower output and tepid foreign demand, midway through the first month of the country's new cane crop.Ten vessels were at Brazilian ports in the first week of April to load 393,500 tonnes of sugar, according to data from shipping agency Williams. At this time last year, 23 ships were at port to take on 950,400 tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 16 - Speculators lift bullish ICE cocoa stance to 2-year high 

Speculators raised their bullish stance in New York cocoa futures on ICE Futures U.S. to a nearly two-year high in the week to April 10, and cut their bearish arabica coffee positions below the prior week's record, U.S. government data showed on Friday.The speculators slightly reduced their net short positions in raw sugar futures and options, and raised their net long positions in cotton, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data (CFTC) showed. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 16 - Early rainfall to boost Nigeria cocoa mid-crop 

Nigeria's mid-crop cocoa output for 2017/18 could rise by 15 percent from last season, helped by a mix of rainfall and sunshine in the main growing regions which has helped the trees, the head of the cocoa association said on Friday.Drought cut last season's mid-crop harvest by 40 percent. The dry weather continued into the main crop of the new season. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 13 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 9-13 April 2018 (WPB)
Declining price trend taken place in the last few months seems to have been halted. Except India, pepper price at other origins have been slowly moving up. In Viet Nam, pepper harvest has almost completed, but farmers were not eagerly selling their material, expecting to have better price. They sell little by little just to meet immediate needs. On the other side, global activity has increased. As a result, pepper price in Viet Nam has gradually shown an increasing trend. In HCM City, local price increased by around 5% and for FOB price increased marginally. Marginal increases were also recorded in Lampung for black and China for white pepper; while in Sarawak and Sri Lanka the prices were relatively stable.

Apr 13 - Export of Pepper from Brazil (WPB)
During January - February 2018 Brazil has exported 12,210 Mt valued at US$41.8 million as against 7,360 Mt in the same period last year. In quantity the export showed a significant increase by 4,850 Mt (66%). The export increase in the first two months was possible supported by sufficient stock carried out from last year harvest. In February however, the export decreased by 1,000 Mt (15%), although pepper harvest in Espirito Santo was on the full swing. This indicated output of this year harvest may not as good expected earlier.
The United States of America was the main market for Brazilian pepper absorbing 25%, followed by Morocco 19%. These two countries emerged as the top important destinations for Brazilian pepper in the first two months, replacing Germany used to be the main market to the third position (14%).  France, Mexico and Viet Nam also imported significant quantity absorbing 6-7% each.

Apr 12 - Chocolate forests: Can cocoa help restore the Amazon? 

For years, Valdomiro Facchi has made a living ranching on land carved from the Amazon rainforest. He's a small player in one of the world's biggest environmental disasters. But now that his cattle have trampled the pastures to dust - and new laws prevent him from clearing fresh land - he has to find new income."I want to diversify," said the 68-year old rancher, outlining plans to plant cocoa trees on his 300 hectare plot in Brazil’s Para State. "I want to have the cocoa income when profit from cattle ranching fails." Click here to read full stories.

Apr 11 - Brazil mills cut sugar output by 36 pct in crop kick-off 

Brazilian mills sharply reduced sugar production in the kickoff for the new cane processing season in the world's largest sugar producing region, putting all their effort into boosting ethanol output as they try to reduce exposure to a depressed sugar market. Plants that have already started cane crush this year in Brazil's center-south produced only 173,000 tonnes of sugar in the second half of March, 36 percent less than reported in the same period a year earlier. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 11 - France sees stable sugar beet area in 2018 after record crop 

French farmers are expected to keep their sugar beet plantings stable this year after a sharp rise in area last year triggered by the liberalisation of the European Union sugar market, France's farm ministry said on Tuesday. In its first estimate of the 2018 sugar beet area, the ministry estimated that farmers would sow 483,000 hectares, down marginally from 486,000 hectares in 2017. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 10 - India likely to pay cane growers to help sugar mills - sources 

India is likely to provide financial support to cane farmers for produce sold to sugar mills, two government sources said, in a rare move to subsidise the industry which is reeling under a glut and struggling to export because of low global prices.India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, last month scrapped a 20 percent export tax and made it compulsory for mills to export at least 2 million tonnes of sugar. But mills said they would incur a loss of at least $150 a tonne because global prices were near a 2-1/2-year low.  Click here to read full stories.

Apr 10 - Healthy rainfall boosts Ivory Coast cocoa ahead of mid-crop

Above-average rainfall in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions last week produced a wave of flowers and cherelles on trees that point to a healthy mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.Ivory Coast's April-to-September cocoa mid-crop is closely watched by markets. The government of the world's top producer expects the harvest to yield about 500,000 tonnes of beans for the harvest, and around 2 million tonnes of beans in total for the 2017/18 season, in line with last year's record. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 10 - Brazil ethanol prices plunge in the first week of new cane crop

Ethanol prices fell sharply in Brazil in the first official week of cane processing in the 2018/19 center-south crop, pressured by an increase in supplies as most mills are boosting biofuel production this season. Cepea/Esalq, an agricultural research center at the University of Sao Paulo, said prices for hydrous ethanol fell 8.4 percent on average last week to 1.65 real per liter ($1.84 per gallon) in Brazil's largest fuel market, the Sao Paulo state, when compared to the previous week. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 09 - Speculators lift bearish arabica coffee stance to record 

Speculators increased their net short position in arabica coffee contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to April 3, lifting it to a record as prices fell to a nine-month low, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.The speculators raised their net long position in cocoa futures and options, cut it in cotton, and trimmed their net short position in raw sugar, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 09 - China resists Brazil proposal to solve sugar trade spat - source 

Brazil has proposed that China introduce a quota for imports of Brazilian sugar that would face a 50 percent levy to solve a trade spat between both countries but China is resisting the plan, a person close to the negotiations told Reuters on Friday.The move is likely to extend a dispute that has curbed exports at the world's top producer at a time when a mounting global surplus hammers prices. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 09 - Kenya's small-scale tea farmers forecast 10 pct output jump 

Tea production by small-scale farmers in Kenya is expected to jump 10 percent in the year to the end of June, as output recovers from a drought that hit production in the previous financial year, their agency said on Friday.In the first six months of 2017, Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) produced 233 million kg (514 million pounds) of tea, down 21 percent from a year earlier. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 06 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 2-6 April 2018 (WPB)
In Viet Nam, buying interest is reported to have increased and price rose further marginally. Exporters remained cautious at current level, expecting to receive better price. Offers of Lampung and Bangka decreased for the new crops of July/August. A marginal decrease was reported in Kochi for black and China for white pepper. In Sarawak and Sri Lanka the price was relatively stable.

Apr 06 - Import of Pepper by SINGAPORE (WPB)
During nineties Singapore was predominant in pepper trading with a substantial volume of trade of around 45,000 Mt of import. Indonesia was the main source and has a share of more than 50% of pepper into Singapore.
It is interesting to note that pepper trade by Singapore has experienced a substantial decrease mainly due to importers in consuming countries started sourceing pepper directly from producing countries.
In the previous few years import of Singapore has shown a significant decrease to only 5,600 Mt in 2017 from 27,000 Mt in 2014. Indonesia supplied 3,000 Mt from 8,400 Mt in 2014 and Viet Nam only 1,000 Mt, a substantial decrease from 15,000 Mt in 2014. Import from Malaysia also decreased at lower rate as shown in the table.

Apr 06 - EU sees 2018/19 sugar output remaining high despite price plunge 

The European Commission forecast on Thursday that white sugar production in the EU would fall 3 percent in 2018/2019 to 20.4 million tonnes, after a nearly 25 percent rise the previous year when producers were encouraged by the end of quotas in the bloc. The Commission pointed to multi-year contracts between sugar beet producers and sugar makers as a reason for a relative stability in output despite a sharp fall in prices. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 06 - Brazil pre-harvest coffee offers rise as farmers sell stocks 

The availability of green coffees in the Brazilian market - both arabica and robusta - increased to their highest level in 16 months as farmers hiked sales of old-crop stocks before starting harvest of a large crop, according to an industry supply index. The availability of beans jumped to 7.22 points on a point scale of 1 to 9, according to an index published late on Wednesday by Abic, an association of Brazilian coffee processors. The previous measurement showed 6.08 points. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 06 - Brazil cane industry blasts Pakistan, India sugar export policies 

Brazil's sugarcane industry on Thursday took aim at policies undertaken by Pakistan and India to protect local producers and boost sugar exports, arguing they could further depress global prices. Pakistan, whose stature as a sugar producer has been growing in recent years, in January quadrupled the volume of sugar eligible for export subsidies to 2 million tonnes in a bid to reduce excessive domestic supplies. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 05 - No aid for Colombia coffee growers due to budget constraints - federation

Colombia's government will not supply immediate aid to coffee farmers, who are struggling amid low prices and heavy rains, due to budget constraints, the head of the growers' federation said on Wednesday. The federation had appealed to the government for direct help for growers amid lower prices - both international and domestic - and a strengthening peso currency that has reduced export income. Colombia is the world's top producer of washed arabica coffee. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 04 - Colombia coffee growers ask for government aid amid low prices 

Colombia's coffee federation on Tuesday asked the government for direct help for growers of the bean, amid lower prices -- both international and internal -- and a strengthening peso currency. Internal coffee prices fell to 746,304 Colombian pesos ($267.20) per 125-kilo shipment in the first quarter of this year, the federation said, down 13.7 percent compared with the same period in 2017. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 04 - Tokyo Rubber Tad Lower Following Weakness On Shanghai Exchange (Dow Jones)
Tokyo natural rubber prices are slightly lower in early trading following weakness in the Shanghai rubber futures exchange and broader weakness in industrial commodities following the U.S. announcement on plans to increase tariffs on a number of products. However, moves in the Tokyo contract are likely to be capped somewhat by the strengthening of the USD/JPY overnight. The Tocom benchmark natural rubber contract is currently trading down Y0.3/kg at Y179.8/kg.

Apr 03 - India's Shree Renuka to attempt sale of Brazil sugar mills again 

India's Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd will try for a third time to sell sugar mills it owns in Brazil at an auction as part of a recovery plan in its in-court debt restructuring, according to court documents seen by Reuters. Renuka, which entered Brazil in 2010 and owns four sugar and ethanol plants in the country, presented a new plan to the court overseeing its bankruptcy protection case that proposed to sell the Revati or Madhu mills located in Sao Paulo state, or possibly both. Click here to read full stories.

Apr 03 - India's sugar surplus set to rise as output to reach a record this year - assoc 

India's sugar surplus could swell to 5.3 million tonnes as production for the 2017/18 crop year is set to surge to a record 30.3 million tonnes as output rises from the top two producing states, the Western India Sugar Mills Association (WISMA) said. India's surplus will rise as output from the state of Maharashtra, the country's second-biggest producing state, is expected to jump to 10.6 million tonnes, from last year's 4.2 million tonnes, B.B. Thombre, the president of WISMA, said on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 30 - Many Cash Prices Unavailable due to Easter holidays (Commodity3)
There will be very little to NO cash prices today March 30 through April 2 due to the Easter bank holidays.

Mar 30 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 26-30 March 2018 (WPB)
Positive signal come from Viet Nam, the largest pepper supplier, where the price of pepper is reported to have increased during the week. In India, local price of pepper also increased marginally. The market however moves slowly. In Indonesia the price of black and white pepper were reported unchanged. Marginal decreases were reported in Sri Lanka and China for white pepper.

Mar 30 - Import of Pepper by NETHERLANDS (WPB)
During 2017 Netherlands imported 13,150 Mt of pepper comprising of 8,335 Mt of whole and 4,815 Mt. of ground pepper. Total import in 2017 increased by 6% when compare with export of 12,430 Mt in 2016. Import of whole pepper decreased 7%; while for ground pepper increased by 38%. It is interesting to note that portion of whole pepper imported into Netherlands has decreased from year to year; while export of ground pepper has been increasing. Viet Nam the largest producing countries supplied 44% of the Netherland pepper import in 2017, followed by Brazil (16%) and Indonesia (15%). Pepper imported by the Netherlands was mainly for re-export to the neighboring countries in the European countries.

Mar 29 - India's easing of sugar export rules could further pressure global prices 

India relaxed rules on sugar exports on Wednesday, allowing mills to sell abroad until the end of the current season in a move that could further drag down benchmark sugar prices.India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, is struggling to manage overflowing domestic stocks. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 29 - Brazil boosts funds available under farm loan program to $58 bln 

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry plans to increase funds available to finance the farm sector, an official said on Wednesday, noting that a decline in inflation has allowed the government to boost funding in a country that is the world's largest exporter of staples like soybeans and coffee. Neri Geller, the ministry's economic policy secretary, told Reuters that funds available under the 2018-19 farm loan program will reach up to 194 billion reais ($58 billion), a 2 percent rise from the previous crop cycle. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 28 - Iraq to source locally all sugar, oils for food rationing

Iraq intends to source all sugar and oils for its food rationing programme from local manufacturers this year, the planning ministry said on Tuesday. A rationing programme for flour, cooking oil, rice, sugar and baby milk formula, the Public Distribution System, was created in 1991 to combat U.N.-imposed economic sanctions. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 28 - Bollore to invest 400 mln euros in Ivory Coast port terminal

French industrial conglomerate Bollore aims to invest 400 million euros ($496.28 million) from next year to build a second container terminal at Ivory Coast's main port of Abidjan, the deputy CEO of its transport and logistics division told Reuters. Philippe Labonne, deputy CEO of Bollore Transport and Logistics, spoke on the sidelines of an African CEO conference in Ivory Coast's commercial capital late on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 27 - Ivory Coast rain boosts cocoa farmer optimism as mid-crop begins

Above-average rainfall boosted Ivory Coast's cocoa mid-crop last week, farmers said on Monday, dismissing fears that output will be much lower than last season due to dry weather. Sources at the Coffee and Cocoa Council marketing board said last week that they expect April-to-September mid-crop output to drop 23 percent this season due to insufficient rainfall from November to March, and poorly kept fields. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 27 - Front-month premium for white sugar rises on lack of tenderable supplies

Reduced availability of white sugar from Central America and the European Union on the market has pushed front-month sugar futures prices to a premium, despite a looming global supply glut. May white sugar futures on ICE moved to a premium over the next position in recent days, with the spread widening to more than $10 per tonne on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 27 - Ivory Coast and Ghana to coordinate cocoa marketing strategy

Ivory Coast and Ghana have agreed to coordinate cocoa marketing and production strategies as both countries try to deal with a sharp drop in prices, they said in a joint statement on Monday. Cocoa prices dropped 40 percent last year because of a global glut, hitting farmers' income and reducing state revenues in the world's two largest cocoa producers, the statement said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 27 - Uganda Coffee Export Growth Losing Steam (Dow Jones)
Uganda' March coffee exports will likely drop for the third straight month in a row, reversing a months-long rising streak in Africa's top exporter, says the state coffee body, UCDA. Shipments may drop 7% on year to 380,000 60-kilogram bags weighed down by lower deliveries from the harvest in the central and eastern regions. The slump in exports has already cut five-month coffee revenue by around 1% to $233 million, but UCDA notes that the coffee grower remains on course to meet a production target of 5 million bags this season, aided by maturing plantations. Africa, which accounts for 11% of global output, may hike coffee production by 4.7% this season with Ethiopia and Uganda leading the production rise.

Mar 26 - Coffee may give more profit than soy in Brazil's new farming frontier

Farmers tending vast, flat soy and cotton fields that spread as far as the eye can see in northeastern Brazil are finding that coffee crops might provide higher profits in the country's agricultural frontier. More coffee farms are being developed in the western part of Bahia state, which was unsuitable to raise the beans before wide-scale irrigation systems started to be installed there a decade ago. The region's flat fields allow for a fully mechanized harvest, reducing producing costs. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 26 - Speculators increase bearish raw sugar stance - CFTC

Speculators increased their net short position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to March 20, and slightly cut their bullish stance in New York cocoa, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The speculators added to their net short position in arabica coffee futures and options, and cut their net long position in cotton, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 19-23 March 2018 (WPB)
In the last two weeks pepper prices in Viet Nam decreased almost daily. This was likely due to pepper harvest in this country has reach peak season and arrival has started increasing. Activity however is not brisk, as producers not interested to eagerly release the material under this prevailing low price. During the week, local price of black pepper decreased from VND 54,500 per Kg at beginning of the week to VND 51,500 on Wednesday then moved up marginally to VND 52,500 per Kg at the week's close. Local price of white pepper decreased from VND 92,500 to VND 87,500 at the week's close. On an average, price in Viet Nam decreased by around 8% from last week's average. In Indonesia, the price of black pepper in Lampung and white pepper in Bangka also decreased by around 5%. Activity however was very limited. New material from upcoming crop is only expected to arrive in July/August. Current price decrease was likely influenced by development occurred in Viet Nam and Brazil. At Kochi local price on Monday 19 March 2018 opened at INR 380 per Kg, increased from INR 376 at the last week's close. The price then decrease again to INR 376 per Kg.

Mar 23 - Import of Pepper by RUSSIA (WPB)
Russia is the most important markets for pepper in Eastern Europe which imports around 7,000 Mt annually. In 2017, Russia imported 8,204 Mt, consisting of 7,609 Mt of whole pepper and 595 Mt of ground pepper, recording an increase of 7%. In the last two years, import of Russia shows a continuous increase from 7,700 Mt in 2016 and 6,760 Mt in 2015. Import of whole pepper increased 8% while for ground pepper decreased by 12%. Viet Nam was the main source of pepper for Russia, supplying 70%, followed by India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka which each supplied 9, 7 and 6% respectively.

Mar 23 - Cameroon's Robusta Coffee Prices Plummet as Buyers Leave Market (Dow Jones)
Robusta coffee prices have fallen significantly in Cameroon, owing to persistent unrest in the South-West region, a major crop-growing locality, farmers and traders told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday. They said a kilogram of robusta coffee sold for 705 Central African francs ($1.32) this week, a plunge of 5.4% from XAF745/kg last week.
  The farmers and traders said most traders have escaped the region, after government deployed hundreds of troops to comb several parts of the region searching for dozens of hostages kidnapped in the area last week. Since 2016, fighters for the independence of the two English-speaking North-West and South-West provinces from the majority French-speaking Cameroon have been clashing with government.

Mar 22 - Cameroon's Robusta Coffee Prices Fall (Dow Jones)
Robusta coffee prices fell at Cameroon's main port of Douala this week, compared with last week, traders and exporters said Thursday.
  A kilogram of robusta sold for 876 Central African francs ($1.64), a fall of 2.1% from XAF895/kg the crop sold the previous week, according to data published Thursday by the country's National Cocoa and Coffee Board, or NCCB.
  Exporters have stayed away from markets following thin supplies of robusta coffee to the ports, amid troubles in the key producing Southwest Region and continuous hoarding of crop by middlemen traders, traders and exporters told Dow Jones Newswires.

Mar 22 - U.S., Senegal to Purchase Cameroon Coffee (Dow Jones)
U.S. company Karismaat Corp. and two Senegalese firms will buy more than 4,000 metric tons of Cameroonian coffee from private coffee processor Synergies Nord-Sud, the Cameroonian company's official said in a statement Wednesday.
  "Karismaat Corp. ordered for the supply of 1,500 metric tons of robusta coffee, while Mansa Product Senegal and Café Touba International of Dakar (Senegal) also requested that we supply them 2,145 tons and 1,000 tons, respectively," said Aimé Njiakin, who owns Synergies Nord-Sud. In total, Cameroon will supply the three companies with about 4,600 metric tons of coffee in three years.
  The deal has been struck two months after Cameroon's government lent about $1.7 million to the privately owned coffee
grinder, a move to help it double the coffee beans it processes annually.
  Synergies Nord-Sud forecasts it will process 7,000 metric tons of beans by 2021, up from 3,260 tons in 2016, due to
the loan that enabled it buy a new processor with the capacity to transform four tons of coffee beans an hour, Njiakin
said.

Mar 22 - Brazil sugar exports dominated by RAW, Alvean - agency data

RAW and Alvean, two joint ventures that originate and export sugar, accounted for almost 40 percent of Brazil's exports of the sweetener in 2017, according to data from maritime company Williams compiled by Reuters. The world's No. 1 exporter, Brazil shipped 24.89 million tonnes of sugar last year, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Ivory Coast mid-crop cocoa harvest expected to drop 23 pct - CCC

Ivory Coast's mid-crop cocoa output is expected to drop 23 percent this season due to insufficient rain and poorly kept fields, a senior source at the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said on Wednesday. The lack of rain from November to March in most production areas stunted pod development and reduced the survival rate of cherelles and flowers during hot weather at the beginning of the year, pod counters told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Nestle provides lifeline for struggling Kenyan coffee farmers

When Nestle executive Stephan Canz attended the German school in Nairobi in the early 1980s, it was surrounded by lush coffee farms. Today, the trees have long since been uprooted and replaced by a shopping mall and upmarket homes, driving a sharp drop in production of Kenya's premium beans. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Thailand forecasts 4.8 mln T rubber output in 2018, up 8 pct y/y

Thailand expects to produce 4.8 million tonnes of dried rubber sheets in 2018, an 8 percent increase from the previous year, the country's rubber authority said on Thursday. Exports are forecast to rise marginally to 4.17 million tonnes this year, from 4.09 million tonnes last year. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 21 - Cocoa Prices Higher Than Bulls Predicted (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices are higher today, up 1.1% at $2,508 a ton in the May contract. Cocoa has been one of the best performing commodities this year, surprising even bulls with a 33% rise, and outpacing a bullish call by Rabobank in January that prices would soar 12% in the first quarter. The firm says a combination of concerns about the West African mid-crop, as well as low quality crops arriving out of Ivory Coast, the largest producer, are driving prices. Investors blame poor husbandry due to low internal prices paid to farmers on the back of what were relatively lower market prices when those rates were set in West Africa. Raw sugar for May is up 1.5% at 12.75 cents a pound, May arabica coffee rises 0.8% to $1.11985 a pound, May FCOJ is flat at $1.374 a pound and May cotton is up 0.1% at 83.15 cents a pound.

Mar 21 - India scraps sugar export tax to boost exports, cut inventory

India has scrapped a 20 percent sugar export tax, a government source said on Tuesday, to help boost overseas sales in a year of surplus production. Last week Reuters reported that India, the world's biggest consumer of sugar, would axe the export tax and then make it compulsory for mills to export a combined 2 million to 3 million tonnes to cut bulging stocks at home.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 21 - Ghana abandons plan to cut cocoa farmers' prices

Ghana's government has called off plans to cut how much it pays cocoa farmers and will look at other ways to address volatile market prices, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo said on Tuesday. In January, the world's second largest cocoa grower said it would consider pegging farmer prices to 70 percent of the world market price to protect the country's finances.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 19 - Sugar glut pushes Brazil mills into ethanol, white sugar, washouts

Brazilian mills are doing everything they can to keep raw sugar off the global market as Brazil's cane harvest kicks off, to avoid worsening a glut that has driven prices to their lowest in two years. With the benchmark raw sugar contract trading below 13 cents per pound in New York and production costs in Brazil's center-south varying from 13.5 cents to 15 cents, directors of sugar companies are weighing bold moves to avoid negative profit margins. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 19 - Sugar Prices Under Pressure on Fears India Could Scrap Sugar Export Tax (Dow Jones)
Sugar prices are under pressure amid market worries that the Indian government could scrap the tax on sugar exports because of excess domestic supply, says Capital Economics in a note; "This could depress global prices even further." However, it notes that since global prices are lower than in India, there is little incentive for India's sugar mills to sell overseas. ICE sugar closed Friday at 12.65 cents a pound.

Mar 19 - Tokyo Rubber Falls as Yen Climbs Anew (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber prices fell amid declines in commodity prices broadly in Asia and fresh gains for the yen, which is at a 16-month high against the Aussie dollar. The broader weakness includes a 0.5% drop for oil. Benchmark rubber futures are down 1.1% at Y189.7/kilogram.

Mar 16 - Brazil's Fibria, Suzano to merge creating global pulp giant 

Controlling shareholders in Brazilian pulpmaker Fibria Celulose SA have agreed to merge the company with rival Suzano Papel e Celulose SA to create the world's largest market pulp producer, according to a statement. Shareholders Votorantim Participações SA and BNDESPar, the investment arm of Brazil's state development bank BNDES, decided in favor of Suzano's proposal even after Netherlands-based rival Paper Excellence BV raised its bid for Fibria on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - India to force mills to export 2-4 mln T of surplus sugar 

India will soon bring in rules to force sugar mills to export millions of tonnes of surplus supplies to prop up local prices, a move that could drag down global rates, which have hovered near 8-1/2 month lows. The country is likely to produce a record 29.5 million tonnes of sugar in the 2017/18 season that ends on Sept. 30, up 45 percent from the previous year, hammering local prices down by more than 15 percent in the past six months. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 -  Weekly Pepper Bulletin Week 12-16 March 2018 (WPB)
Pepper harvest in Viet Nam is in the full swing and market at most origins remained unchanged as last week. Pepper price in India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were relatively stable. Marginal decrease of white pepper price was recorded in China. A trade source indicated the price in Viet Nam remained the same as last week. FOB price of Asta 570 black was offered at US$ 3,017 per MT and for 550 MC was US$ 2,958 while for white pepper was US$ 4,375 per Mt.

Mar 16 - Import of pepper by FRANCE (WPB)
France, one of the important consuming countries in Europe imports around 10,000 Mt of pepper annually. In 2017 a volume of 10,811 Mt of pepper, consisting of 8,149 Mt of whole pepper and 2,662 Mt ground pepper, were imported into France. As against 11,509 Mt imports in 2016 there is a decrease 6%. Viet Nam, Brazil and Indonesia were the main sources of pepper for France. Germany and the Netherlands also re-exported significant quantity of pepper to France.

Mar 15 - Rabobank cuts global 2018/19 coffee surplus forecast 

There will be a global surplus of 3.2 million bags of coffee in the 2018/19 crop year, Rabobank said in a report on Wednesday, reducing its supply forecast after a crop tour in top grower Brazil caused it to lower production expectations. This is down from Rabobank's prior forecast for a 4.1 million bag surplus in 2018/19. It also reduced its 2017/18 deficit forecast to a 2.6 million bag deficit from 4.1 million bags, it said in its first-quarter Coffee Outlook report. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 15 - Former head of Ghana's cocoa regulator faces fraud trial 

The former head of Ghana's cocoa regulator will go on trial for his alleged role in awarding fraudulent fertiliser supply contracts totalling 217 million cedis ($49 million) between 2014 and 2016, court documents showed on Wednesday. Ghana's president Nana Akufo-Addo fired Stephen Opuni last year after a three-year tenure as head of Cocobod that was marred by industry concerns of a lack of transparency. His assets were frozen while an investigation was conducted. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 14 - Cocoa surges to top of U.S. commodity performers in 2018

U.S. cocoa futures have rallied more than 30 percent in 2018 so far, sharply outperforming other core U.S. commodities on signs of improving demand and forecasts for a smaller global surplus. Benchmark ICE Futures U.S. New York cocoa futures have rallied around 34 percent since the end of 2017 to a 16-month high at $2,569 per tonne on Monday, up from a five-month low of $1,812 in December. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 14 - Brazil center-south sugar output seen down 10 pct in 2018/19 cycle - poll

Brazil's center-south, the world's largest sugar-producing region, is expected to reduce output of the sweetener by 10 percent in the 2018/19 cane crop that kicks off in April, due to low global sugar prices and stagnant cane production. A Reuters poll that collected projections from seven independent consultancies and brokers found that the center-south is forecast to produce 31.69 million tonnes of sugar in the 2018/19 cycle compared with 35.2 million tonnes in the previous season. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 14 - Ghana's Cocobod CEO says will not default loan repayments

Ghana's cocoa industry regulator Cocobod is confident it will promptly repay its creditors, including those subscribed to a $1.3 billion syndicated loan, despite an expected drop in production, Chief Executive Joseph Boahen Aidoo said on Tuesday. Cocobod was already under financial strain due to outstanding debts to the central bank and the costs of maintaining what it pays farmers in the face of a steep decline in global prices last year. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 13 - Ghana cocoa output likely be only around 700,000 T this season - Cocobod

Ghana may only produce around 700,000 tonnes of cocoa this season, well short of its initial forecast of 850,000 tonnes, due to poor rains during the main crop harvest, the head of the Cocobod marketing board told Reuters on Monday. The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) forecast a global cocoa surplus of 105,000 tonnes of beans for the 2017/18 season. But concerns about the harvest in neighbouring Ivory Coast, the world's top producer, has sent global prices soaring in recent weeks. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 12 - Copersucar sees Brazil cutting sugar output by 5 mln tonnes

Brazil's Copersucar, the world's largest sugar merchant, expects output of the sweetener to fall by 5 million tonnes in the new center-south cane crop that starts in April, as mills earmark more cane to ethanol production instead. Copersucar, who partners with Cargill Inc in the world's largest sugar trader Alvean, said mills in center-south should allocate only 41.5 percent of cane to sugar production in the 2018/19 crop, compared with last year's 46.5 percent, as they move to increase ethanol output by 1.5 billion liters. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 12 - Ivory Coast to reduce cocoa output over next two years

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) will suspend programmes for the 2018-19 season that boost cocoa output, it said on Friday, aiming to reduce production in the face of global oversupply. The marketing board plans to halt distribution of higher-grade seeds and plants by chocolate makers, including Mars and Nestle, that develop hybrid species that they pass on to farmers to increase yields. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 12 - Speculators raise bullish U.S. cocoa stance to 1-1/2-year high

Speculators increased their net long position in cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to a 1-1/2-year high in the week to March 6, while they cut their bearish stance in raw sugar, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. The speculators trimmed their net short position in arabica coffee futures and options, and raised their net long position in cotton, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 09 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin , Week 05-09 March 2018 (WPB)
Pepper harvest in Viet Nam is on the peak season but market not very brisk as price further decreased. A trader in Viet Nam offered Asta 570 at US$ 3,015 per MT and US$ 2,958 for 550 MC. In Kochi, the price of Malabar black pepper also decreased. Stable prices were reported in Lampung, Bangka and Sri Lanka. Trade source in Dubai reported price of Brazilian pepper at $3,100, $3,000 and $2,900 per Mt for Basta, B1, and B2 respectively.

Mar 09 - Export of Pepper from MALAYSIA (WPB)
In 2017 Malaysia exported 12,184 Mt of pepper, consisting of 10,484 Mt of whole pepper and 1,700 Mt of ground pepper, valued at US$ 72.7 million. As against 12,549 Mt of export in 2016, there was a marginal decrease of 3% in volume in 2017. In terms of value, export earnings from pepper decreased by almost 40% from US$ 119 million in 2016. Whole pepper export decreased while for ground pepper increased. Japan remained the most important market absorbing 24% of pepper exported by Malaysia. China, Viet Nam and Taiwan also imported significant quantity of pepper from Malaysia.

Mar 09 - European spot cocoa premiums widen as buyers scramble for beans

A scramble for quality cocoa has pushed prices of beans in Europe sharply higher and made the spot London futures contract suddenly more attractive to buyers, traders say. The price of cocoa beans from Ivory Coast and Ghana - the origins mostly preferred by European chocolate makers - have shot up on the physical market as buyers scramble to secure the supplies they need, according to industry sources. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 07 - Kenya Arabica Coffee Sales, Prices Rose in February (Dow Jones)
The amount of Kenyan arabica coffee sold at auction rose 14.1% in February on month, while prices were up 11.1%, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday. The increases were attributed to an end-of-year break, higher quantities, and better-quality coffee entering the
market from the Mount Kenya region. The auction was closed between Dec. 13 and Jan. 9 for an end-of-year break.
In February, 5,832 metric tons of coffee were sold compared with 5,112 tons in January, while the average price of a 50-kilogram bag rose to $284.62 from $256.30, the exchange said in its monthly report.
On a year-to-year basis, both total volumes and prices over the same period dropped, the report said.
A total of 16,194 tons of coffee beans have been traded at the weekly auction that started in September 2017, at an average price of $249.98 for a 50-kilogram bag, the report said. In the same period in the previous season ending February 2017, 16,884 tons of coffee beans were sold at an average price of $268.79, the report said. "Accumulated volume was at about 4% lower compared to the same period last season due to the prolonged wet weather towards the end of 2017, when the main crop is usually received at the market," Daniel Mbithi, the chief executive of the exchange house, said.

Mar 06 - Military Crackdown Hits Cameroon's Arabica Coffee Farming, Trade (Dow Jones)
Military crackdown in Cameroon's major arabica coffee-producing northwest has hurt the crop's cultivation and marketing as farmers and traders escape the region. A paramilitary officer was killed and an administrative officer kidnapped in northwestern Cameroon last week by unidentified gunmen.
A separatist group claimed responsibility for the raids that led to the closure of several businesses, as coffee farmers and traders continued to flee the region that accounts for about 40% of the country's annual arabica coffee harvest.
At least 100 people have been killed in the violence that escalated in October last year, according to Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, or REDHAC. The conflict has further spiraled in the northwest and southwest regions since Friday after Nigeria deported Julius Ayuk Tabe, the leader of the separatist "Ambazonia" movement and 46 others fighting to secede the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Mar 06 - Ivory Coast farmers upbeat for cocoa mid-crop after rains

Abundant rainfall in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growing regions bodes well for the development of the upcoming mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. The world’s top cocoa producer is emerging from a three-month dry season and entering the rainy season, which begins with regular downpours in March. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 06 - Brazil's ethanol demand jumps 55 pct in January

Brazil's ethanol demand reached 1.37 billion liters in January, 55 percent more than in the same month a year earlier, cane industry group Unica said on Monday, as car owners switched from gasoline to the biofuel due to a large price difference at the pump. The Unica report, based on data from oil and fuels regulator ANP, showed that ethanol consumption was the largest for any January. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 06 - Cuba resumes sugar exports as milling stabilizes

Cuba began exporting some raw sugar in late February after a disastrous start to the harvest, foreign traders and shippers said this week, but tonnage will fall far short of plans. Cuba produced 1.8 million tonnes of raw sugar during the 2016-2017 harvest, and hoped to reach 1.6 million tonnes this season despite damage caused by Hurricane Irma, but out-of- season rainfall in December and January all but paralyzed harvesting, forcing cancellation of shipping contracts. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 05 - Brazil sugar mills start genetically-modified cane plantation 

Brazilian sugar mills looking to grow the world's first variety of genetically modified (GM) sugarcane have planted an initial area of 400 hectares (988 acres), according to the research firm behind the project. Developed by Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC) with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) genes that make it resistant to the cane borer, around 100 mills are working with the GM cane, company Chief Executive Gustavo Leite told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 02 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 26 Feb-02 March 2018 (WPB)
The market remained calm with limited activity. Buyers still keep on side line waiting for price further decrease; while 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. In Lampung, price of black pepper has drifted higher; while in Bangka was relatively stable. A marginal increase was recorded in Sri Lanka. Trade source in Dubai reported price of Brazilian pepper at $3250,$3,150 and $3,050 per Mt for Basta, B1, and B2  respectively.

Mar 02 - Import of Pepper into the UNITED KINGDOM (WPB)
Import of pepper into the United Kingdom increases year by year. Major share of pepper imported by the United Kingdom was ground pepper. In 2017 however, the import has decreased by 15%. Import of whole pepper decreased significantly by 41%; while import of ground pepper increased by 14%. 

Mar 02 - Brazil exports less soy, sugar in February; boosts soymeal, corn 

Brazil shipped less soybeans and sugar to foreign buyers in February compared with the same month a year before, but boosted exports of corn, soymeal and soyoil, according to official data released on Thursday. Numbers from Brazil's Trade Ministry show the country shipped 2.86 million tonnes of soybeans in February, 650,000 tonnes less than in the same period in 2017, likely the results of delays in planting and harvesting of the oilseed this year. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 02 - Ivory Coast oversold cocoa main crop, CCC officials say 

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) has sold forward up to 170,000 tonnes more main crop export contracts than it's now expected to produce, two senior officials with the marketing board told Reuters on Thursday. The miscalculation will leave some exporters unable to fulfil their contractual obligations to counterparties, and the CCC is expected to begin talks with them on Thursday to discuss possible solutions. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 02 - El Salvador to get $80 mln loan for coffee plantations after roya destruction 

El Salvador will get an $80 million loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to renovate thousands of coffee plantations destroyed by the roya fungus, the country's government said on Thursday. Agriculture Minister Orestes Ortez said that the money would be used to give loans to some 4,160 producers to help them renew their fields with plants resistant to the fungus. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - ICCO sees global cocoa surplus of 105,000 tonnes in 2017/18 

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) on Wednesday forecast there would be a global cocoa surplus of 105,000 tonnes in the 2017/18 season (October/September). The inter-governmental body's first forecast reflects a decline of slightly more than two percent in global production from the prior season and a rise of two percent in world grindings. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 01 - Alvean, Wilmar seen buying ICE March raw sugar delivery - traders 

Trade houses Alvean and Wilmar International Ltd have scooped up about 742,500 tonnes of raw sugar against the March futures contract on ICE that expired on Wednesday, three traders said. That would be slightly smaller than the 1-million-tonne delivery traders were expecting prior to the last day of trade, and would mark the smallest against the ICE Futures U.S. contract since May 2016, according to exchange data reviewed by Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 28 - Sugar Rises In Short Covering Rally (Dow Jones)
Raw sugar futures bounceback from yesterday's selloff, up 4.5% at 13.45 cents a pound in the May contract. Commerzbank says with so much negative sentiment in the sugar market about prospects for larger global surpluses, buyers entering the market are pushing short-positioned players to buy futures to cover those bets. The firms expects the price to recover when greater attention is focused on sugar production in Brazil, soon to get underway. Some analysts say mills there are likely to convert more cane to ethanol over sugar because of higher ethanol prices.

Feb 28 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Fall at Auction (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee prices fell by an average of 7.8% at this week's auction, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday.
  The weekly auction prices have been on an upward trend since Jan. 9 after a year-end break from Dec. 13. The average price across all grades for Tuesday's auction was $258.78 for a 50-kilogram bag compared with $280.54 a week earlier, although for some grades, averages were higher. A total of 26,578 bags were offered at this week's auction compared with 26,491 bags last week.
  Prices rallied at the previous auction due to better-quality beans arriving at the market from the Mount Kenya region, said Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of the exchange.

Feb 28 - Mexico sugar industry not worried by U.S. trade deal review 

The Mexican sugar industry is not "overly concerned" that U.S. refiners have asked for a review of its compliance with a sugar trade deal, the head of Mexico's sugar chamber, Juan Cortina, said on Tuesday. The U.S. government is reviewing a trade deal that prevents large duties from being slapped onto imports of sugar from Mexico, according to documents filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 27 - Ivory Coast exporters struggle to fill contracts as output falls 

Ivory Coast cocoa exporters said on Monday they were struggling to purchase enough beans to satisfy export contracts due to a sharp and unexpected drop in deliveries to the top grower's ports. Weekly port arrivals fell to 22,000 tonnes last week, down from 67,000 tonnes during the last week of January, according to exporters estimates. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 26 - Speculators lift bearish ICE coffee stance near record – CFTC

Speculators increased their net short position in arabica coffee contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Feb. 20, lifting it near a record high reached in January, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. They doubled their bullish position in cocoa futures and options in the holiday-shortened week, lifting it to the biggest in nearly 1-1/2 years, while they reduced their net short position in raw sugar for the third straight week. In cotton they cut their net long stance for the fourth consecutive week, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 23 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 19-23 February 2018 (WPB)
The market continued to be quiet as Tet holiday mood in Viet Nam still continue during the week. Trade source in Viet Nam reported FOB price at US$3,320 and US$ 3,400 per Mt for black 500gl mc and 550gl mc respectively while for white double wash US$ 4,800 per Mt. In India, a marginal increase of INR 4.0 per Kg was recorded from INR 388 at the beginning of the week to INR 392 at the week's close. On average however, the price was slightly lower from last week average. In Lampung and Bangka prices were reported stable while in Sri Lanka a marginal increase of 1.0% was recorded.

Feb 23 - Import of Pepper by Germany (WPB)
In 2016, Germany imported 29,424 Mt comprising of 25,625 Mt of whole pepper and 3,799 Mt of ground pepper, a marginal increase of 1.0% from import in 2015. Import of whole pepper decreased by 3.0% while for ground pepper increased 36%. Brazil was the main supplier of whole pepper for Germany followed by Viet Nam and Indonesia. While for ground pepper was mainly from the Netherlands, Viet Nam and India.
Supported by sufficient supply from producing countries coupled with lower prices prevailed in 2017, import of pepper into Germany in 2017 is estimated to have increased more than 10%. During January - November import of Germany was 29,380 Mt (26,210 Mt of whole pepper and 3,170 Mt of ground pepper) as against 26,470 Mt of import over the same period of previous year. Import of whole pepper increased, while for ground pepper decreased. The increase was sourced from significant increase of pepper supplied by Brazil, from 9,200 Mt to 12,200 Mt. In the eleven months of the year 2017, an increase of 3,000 Mt as against 9,200 Mt in the same period of previous year. Viet Nam and Indonesia supplied 7,000 and 3,000 Mt respectively, which more or less the same as previous year.

Feb 23 - Brazil coffee farmers hold supplies due to low market prices 

Brazilian coffee farmers see current prices as insufficient to cover costs and have no intention of selling at the moment, despite a looming record crop, producers and market experts said. They said dealings in the Brazilian market were very thin with prices for fine arabica beans 15 percent lower than at this time last year, discouraging forward sales of new crop product. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 23 - Ivory Coast cocoa exporters forecast drop in main crop output 

Cocoa exporters and pod counters in Ivory Coast have revised down their forecast for this year's main harvest because of hot weather and a lack of rain. A Reuters poll of 13 exporters and pod counters conducted on Wednesday predicted output of 1.320 million tonnes of cocoa beans in the world's largest producer during the October-to-March main crop, down from 1.5 million tonnes during last year's record harvest and short of the 1.450 million predicted at the start of the season. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 22 - Uganda January Coffee Exports Flat as Harvest Peaks (Dow Jones)
Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa's top robusta grower remained nearly unchanged in January as the harvest in the central and eastern growing region peaked, the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority said Thursday. Shipments dropped marginally by 0.68% to 401,930 60-kilogram bags compared with 404,673 bags in the same month last season. But export volumes of robusta, the bitter tasting variety, used in blends and espressos increased by 2% aided by maturing plantations while arabica volumes dropped by 10%, weighed down by a low yield tree cycle. The robusta variety accounts for more than 70% of Uganda's total coffee output.
  January shipments brought the cumulative four-month coffee exports for the 2017-18 season to 1.61 million bags, representing a 12% rise in volumes. Export earnings also rose 3% to $175 million. Coffee is Uganda's leading crop.
  Uganda's 2017-18 coffee output may rise 4% to 5 million bags, surpassing last season's record crop of 4.8 million bags thanks to maturing plantations planted five years ago.
  A strong crop from Ethiopia and Uganda, Africa's top growers will lift the continent's total coffee output by 5% to 17.93 million bags this season, representing around 11% of the global output, according to the International Coffee Organization.

Feb 21 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Rise Slightly at Auction (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee prices were relatively flat at this week's auction, rising by an average of 0.1%, for the second week in a row, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday. The average price across all grades for Tuesday's auction was $280.54 for a 50-kilogram bag compared with $280.32 a week earlier, although for some grades, averages were lower. A total of 26,491 bags were offered at this week's auction compared with 25,060 bags last week.
   Upticks in prices are generally attributable to better-quality beans arriving at the market from the Mount Kenya region, said Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of the exchange. "It is anticipated that this trend may persist in the next few sales," Mr. Mbithi said.

Feb 21 - Heavy Rains Seen Boosting Uganda's Robusta Coffee Crop (Dow Jones)
Uganda's western and southern main robusta growing regions will likely receive above normal rains starting March, enhancing the 2018 main crop, says Uganda's state weather agency. Heavy rains are projected to continue up to around late May, nearly a month past the commencement of the second main coffee harvest. Heavy rains favor coffee bean formation and development, but could interrupt harvesting, industry officials say. But favorable weather prospects will likely boost yields of the bitter-tasting robusta coffee variety, used mainly in blends and instant drinks. It's more encouraging news for Uganda, as the coffee industry of Africa's No.1 robusta grower continues a strong recovery, following last season's record crop that hit 4.61 million bags.

Feb 21 - Ivory Coast cocoa council bans Belgian trader Sopex for 10 years 

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) has banned Belgian trader Sopex from contracting with local cocoa exporters and processors for 10 years for failing to respect its commercial engagements, a CCC statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed. In an official statement sent to Ivory Coast's main cocoa exporters' union on Feb. 9, the CCC said it had banned Sopex from signing contracts for the current and next 10 growing seasons, although it said sales already agreed to should still be executed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 21 - Ukraine 2017/18 sugar output rises 6.5 pct to 2.14 mln T -producers 

Ukraine completed the 2017/18 sugar season, processing 2.14 million tonnes of white sugar from the 2017 sugar beet harvest, sugar producers' union Ukrtsukor said on Tuesday. Ukraine produced 2.01 million tonnes sugar from sugar beet in 2016/17. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 20 - Castlelake in talks to buy Brazil mill from Shree Renuka - sources 

U.S.-based private equity firm Castlelake LP is in talks to take over a sugar and ethanol plant in Brazil owned by Indian company Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. The sources told Reuters that representatives from Castlelake held meetings with suppliers of the Revati mill, located in the municipality of Brejo Alegre, western Sao Paulo state, as they try to secure cane supplies before they can present a formal proposal to buy the plant. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 20 - Heat and lack of rain worries Ivory Coast cocoa farmers 

Hot weather and below-average rainfall in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions last week raised concerns about the quality of the April-to-March mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. The world's top cocoa producer is the midst of a dry season that runs from November to March. A bout of rain earlier in the month caused many trees to blossom, but now regular rainfall is needed for the flowers to survive and small pods to develop. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 20 - Indonesia's Robusta Output Could Hit 7-Year low (Dow Jones)
Rainfall in Indonesia could drive the robusta-coffee crop there to its lowest output in 7 years as the country's exporters association envisaging production sliding 18% this season. Commerzbank notes that comes after El Nino brought dry conditions in 2015 and 2016. "Problems are now being caused by too much rain." Indonesia is a top exporter of robusta, but a better-than-expected crop in Vietnam is likely to offset Indonesia's projected decline. The International Coffee Organization expects global coffee production to rise marginally this season.

Feb 19 - Funds Cut Shorts on Robusta, Arabica Coffee (Dow Jones)
Managed money cut their bets on robusta coffee falling during the week to Feb. 13, according to market data from ICE. Net short positions slipped from 13,016 to 12,089 in the previous week. Robusta prices rose 0.11% in the week to Feb. 13. In New York, funds trimmed their net-short position on arabica coffee to 46,318 lots after extending to a 55,459-lot net-short position in the week to Feb. 6. Arabica prices rose 1.63% during that week. London-traded robusta is up 0.17% at $1,792 a ton. New York markets were closed for the public holiday.

Feb 19 - Central Cameroon Cocoa Prices Inch Up as Supply Slips (Dow Jones)
Farmers earned slightly more for cocoa beans in Cameroon's Centre region this week compared with several weeks ago, farmers and traders said Monday.
Traders paid between 750 and 810 Central African francs ($1.42 and $1.53) per kilogram of cocoa beans sold, up 1.96% from the XAF730 to XAF800 the crop sold two weeks before, they said.
The Centre region accounts for almost 40% of the country's annual crop harvests. This week's price increase reverses months of falling cocoa prices in Cameroon.
  A recent supply glut caused by good weather has led to higher yields.

Feb 19 - Drought Eases in Southwest Nigeria as Cocoa Prices Rise (Dow Jones)
Rainfall has eased the long dry spell in Nigeria's southwest cocoa region as prices of the commodity are still rising due to the scarcity of beans, industry officials and traders said Monday.
  "Though there were heavy downpours in southwest Ogun and Osun states over the weekend, more rains are needed to help the development of the midcrop cocoa because the drought has been long and severe," Dokun Omoyele, a trader in Oyo's state capital of Ibadan, said.
  The southwest and other cocoa regions in the country didn't have rainfall in November, December and January, exacerbating the drought until last week's rainfall in the country's midwest Edo state and southwest Ekiti state.
  "The rainfall in Osun state on Sunday night was very heavy. It provided water for the midcrop," Julius Ladegbaye, chairman of the state's Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, said. The crop has been under stress and lacking new flowers, with dried leaves and withering pods because of the dry spell, one trader said. Harvest of the midcrop, expected to begin next month, could either be delayed or poor if there aren't more rains, Mr. Omoyele said.
  Meanwhile, graded cocoa is selling at 700,000 Nigerian naira ($1,928) a metric ton in southwest Ekiti state, up from NGN650,000 last month, Mathew Owolafe, a cocoa official, said. The crop is being sold in southwest Oyo state at NN600,000 to NN650,000, Akin Omotayo, manager at the Co-operative Produce Marketing Union in Ibadan, said. It sold at NGN620,000 a fortnight ago, a trader said.
  In southeast Abia state, cocoa is trading at NN630,000 compared with NGN625,000 last week, Mazi Uche, an official of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, said.
  In southeast Cross River state, the commodity is trading at NGN650,000, up from NGN630,000, according to Godwin Ukwu, a CAN official.

Feb 19 - Speculators again reduce bearish stance in ICE raw sugar 

Speculators cut their net short position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Feb. 13, for a second straight week, and they also reduced their net short position in arabica coffee, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. They slightly raised their net long position in cocoa futures and options, and cut their net long position in cotton for a third straight week, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 16 - Tightening Colombian coffee supplies shrink U.S. inventories 

U.S. importers are buying up Colombian coffee from warehouses as shipments run late and inventories fall, lifting prices after poor crop weather hurt output in the world's biggest grower of high-quality arabica beans. Colombian coffee supplies have tightened after a surge of exports in December reached a one-year high, followed by a smaller-than-expected harvest due to too much rain and not enough sunlight, importers said. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Bunge exits sugar trading business, has 'interested parties' - CEO 

Bunge Ltd is exiting the global sugar trading business and has identified "a few interested parties" in the business as it moves to concentrate on its grains and oilseeds operations, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday. Bunge is getting out of sugar trading and distribution after reporting a fourth-quarter loss, which increased pressure on CEO Soren Schroder to improve results at the 200-year-old agricultural merchant that has received takeover approaches from Archer Daniels Midland Co and Glencore Plc.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - ICE launching robusta calendar spread options on Thursday 

ICE Futures Europe said it will launch calendar spread options for robusta coffee on Thursday following demand for customers who trade a similar arabica coffee product. "The launch of the robusta coffee calendar spread options contract is a direct response to customer demand and provides an alternative way to trade the spread between calendar months for robusta coffee," said Toby Brandon, the exchange's director of commodity operations. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Brazil to harvest 59.15 mln bags of coffee in 2018/19 - Terra Forte 

Brazil will harvest a record 59.15 million 60-kg bags of coffee in the 2018/19 season, up from 48.17 million bags the prior year, exporter Terra Forte said in a report seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The outlook is in line with other estimates, with Brazilian trader Comexim forecasting output at 60.7 million bags and a Reuters poll pegging it at 60 million. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Brazil orange juice stocks to jump in 2017/18 - CitrusBR 

Brazilian stocks of orange juice in the 2017/18 crop are expected to double from the previous crop due to higher production, the association of local juice processors CitrusBR said on Wednesday. Stocks are projected to reach 254,200 tonnes (frozen, concentrated orange juice equivalent) by June, 137 percent more than in the same period in the 2016/17 crop. The numbers consider juice stocked in Brazil and in importing countries. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 12-16 February 2018 (WPB)
The market at most origins is not active in view of anticipating celebration of Tet in Viet Nam and Lunar New Year in China. Most players in Sarawak, Lampung and Bangka are also celebrating this Festival. There is no pepper price reported from Viet Nam this week due to most players have closed office this week.
In India pepper price decreased by INR 20 per Kg. In Sri Lanka a marginal increase was recorded. In Lampung and Bangka, the price remained unchanged with very limited trading activity. It is expected the market will be more active later this month.
In the USA spot price of black pepper increased while for white pepper decreased.

Feb 15 - Import of Pepper by JAPAN (WPB)
Imports of pepper into Japan was around 8-9,000 Mt annually. Malaysia is traditionally the main source of whole pepper for Japan followed by Indonesia and India. Earlier, Malaysia was also the most important source for ground pepper. But in the last few years Indonesia and Viet Nam have replaced Malaysia to the third position.
During 2017, import of pepper into Japan decreased by more than 500 Mt from 8,740 Mt in 2016 to 8,194 Mt, consisting of 4,670 Mt of whole pepper and 3,524 Mt of ground pepper. Pepper imported by Japan is almost all for internal use. Only negligible quantity is re-exported in retail packs.

Feb 14 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Rise Slightly at Auction (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee prices were relatively flat at this week's auction, rising by an average of 0.1%, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday. The average price across all grades for Tuesday's auction was $280.32 for a 50-kilogram bag compared with $280.01 a week earlier, although for some grades, averages were lower. A total of 25,060 bags were offered at this week's auction compared with 25,294 bags last week.
  Upticks in prices are generally attributable to better-quality beans arriving at the market from the Mount Kenya region, said Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of exchange. "It is anticipated that this trend may persist in the next few sales," Mr. Mbithi said. Mr. Mbithi said prices were also higher due to the resumption of sales following the year-end break. Buyers usually
purchase more coffee after the break in order to meet their contracts. Auctions were in recess from Dec. 13 until Jan. 9.

Feb 14 - ED&F Man scoops up small ICE white sugar delivery - traders 

Commodities trader ED&F Man scooped up 36,600 tonnes, or 732 lots, of sugar against the ICE March white sugar futures contract that expired on Tuesday, four traders said. The small delivery would be worth about $13.2 million based on Tuesday's closing prices. The sugar was expected to be delivered from Guatemala, two of the traders said. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - BMI Bullish to Neutral on Soft Commodities Mid-Term (BMI)
BMI Research is bullish to neutral on soft commodities expecting coffee prices to trade largely sideways while remaining bearish on cotton and palm oil over a six month horizon, it says in a note; "For sugar, recent price increases due to optimism over ethanol prices will prove temporary." It is more upbeat on cocoa and says it expects market conditions to tighten over the coming months. It adds that although La Nina is likely to bring wet weather to Asia as opposed to dry weather seen in the Americas, "excessive rainfall leading to localised flooding is still a risk especially for rice and sugar crops."

Feb 13 - Sugar Prices Head Lower As Market Discounts Ethanol Factor (Dow Jones)
Raw sugar prices are off 2.6% at 13.37 cents a pound following a volatile week for sugar in BRIC countries, including Brazil and Russia, which saw prices fall 3.3% and 4.5%, respectively, says Agrilion Commodity Advisers. The moves came after ethanol prices fell, encouraging production of sugar over ethanol. However, Marex says regardless of the price of ethanol, it's unlikely that the mix of sugar will fall below 41%, which won't be enough to unwind surplus production. May cocoa rises 1.2% to $2,031 a ton, arabica coffee for May is up 0.2% at $1.237 a pound, FCOJ loses 0.1% to $1.482 a pound and March cotton is off 0.3% at 76.20 cents a pound.

Feb 13 - Brazil Exported 2.5 Million Bags of Coffee in January (Cecafe)
Brazilian coffee exports fell in January from a year earlier as sales of both the arabica and robusta varieties declined, according to exporters group Cecafe. The South American country exported 2.5 million 132-pound bags of coffee last month, a decline of 5.9% from the same month a year earlier, Cecafe said Friday. Sales abroad of the arabica coffee fell 4.6% to 2.3 million bags, while exports of robusta beans decreased 49.3% to 11,320 bags.

Feb 13 - Kenya Arabica Coffee Volumes, Prices Rise in January(Dow Jones)
The amount of Kenyan arabica coffee sold at auction nearly quadrupled in January on month, while prices rose 17%, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Tuesday. The increases were attributed to an end-of-year break, and higher quantities and better quality coffee entering the market from the Mount Kenya region.
   In January, 5,112 metric tons of coffee were sold compared with 1,320 tons in December 2017, while the average price of a 50-kilogram bag rose to $256.30 from $219.70, the exchange said in its monthly report. The auction was closed between Dec. 13 and Jan. 9 for an end-of-year break. A total of 10,361 tons of coffee beans have been traded at the weekly auction that started in September 2017, at an average price of $230.47 for a 50-Kilogram bag, the report said.
  In the same period in the previous season ending January 2017, 10,804 metric tons of coffee beans were sold at an average price of $255.44, the report said. "We realized slightly lower accumulated volumes at about 4% compared to the same period last season due to the prolonged wet weather towards the end of the year 2017 when the main crop is usually received at the market," Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of the exchange house said.
  "However, the prices went much lower to about 10% compared with the same period last season. This was caused by the international prices that plummeted to the lowest in two years."

Feb 13 - Ivory Coast heat and patchy rain mixed for cocoa midcrop 

Above average rainfall helped Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions last week, farmers said on Monday, although some expressed concern about the effects of a spell of hot weather. The dry season in the world's top producer ends in March, but farmers said many cocoa trees were blossoming thanks to last week's rain. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - Data overload: commodity hedge funds close as computers dominate

"Chocfinger" made his name and his money by taking bold bets on cocoa markets. But after nearly four decades of trading, sometimes winning, sometimes losing, Anthony Ward threw in the towel. Ward blames the rise of computer-driven funds and high-frequency trading for forcing him and some other well-known commodities investors to close their hedge funds and look for opportunities where machines can't make a difference. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - Costa Rica to lift 30-year ban on planting robusta coffee trees

Costa Rica will join other coffee-producing countries in the region and start planting robusta, lifting a 30-year ban on a crop that is more resistant to diseases and rising temperatures than arabica trees, the Minister of Agriculture said on Friday. The agriculture ministry's resolution, which would allow for the production of robusta varieties, still needs to be signed by President Luis Guillermo Solis before it takes effect. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - India considers ending sugar export duty to lift prices - minister

India is considering scrapping the 20 percent export duty on sugar, the country's food minister said on Friday, as the government tries various ways to lift prices of the sweetener amid expectations of a surge in production this marketing year. India, the world's second-biggest sugar producer, this month doubled the sugar import tax and imposed a cap on the amount mills can sell in February and March, moves aimed at arresting a steep fall in prices that have hurt companies' ability to pay sugarcane farmers. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - Speculators switch to net long position in New York cocoa

Speculators switched to a bullish stance in New York cocoa contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Feb. 6, to hold their biggest net long position in 15 months, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. They cut their net short position in raw sugar futures and options, taking it below the prior week's record, while they increased their net short position in arabica coffee futures and options. The speculators cut their net long position in cotton for the second straight week, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 09 - India puts cap on sugar sell by mills to prop up prices 

India has imposed a limit on the amount of sugar that mills can sell in the market during February and March, according to a government order late on Thursday, as the world's second biggest producer tries to prop up prices of the sweetener.At the end of February mills need to be holding as inventory at least 83 percent of the opening stock from January and February's production. The limit is 86 percent for the end March, the government order said.Click here to read full stories.

Feb 09 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 5-9 February 2018 (WPB)
Initial harvest of pepper in Viet Nam has begun and market flow is reported to remain slow moving in view of approaching Tet Festival celebration next week. Current price in Viet Nam is reported to be unchanged and remained stable as last week. In India, Malabar black is reported at the level of INR 408 per Kg which decreased from INR 419 at the beginning of the week. When compared to last week, a marginal increase was recorded. In Lampung, Sarawak and Sri Lanka black pepper prices were reported stable. In dollar terms however, the local price decreased marginally, due to weakening of local currency against US Dollar recorded at these countries. In Bangka, white pepper price increased by 2%.

Feb 09 - Export of Pepper from BRAZIL (WPB)
During 2017 export of pepper from Brazil increased significantly by 28,400 Mt (91%) from 31,100 Mt in 2016 to 59,500 Mt in 2017. In terms of value, Brazil realized export earnings from pepper of around US$ 274 million in 2017 as against US$ 247 million in 2016, an increase of around 11%. Germany and the United States of America remained the major market for Brazil, absorbing 42% of total export from Brazil. Germany shared 13,381 Mt (22%) and USA accounted for 11,886 Mt (20%). Mexico and Spain imported around 4,260 Mt (7%) each of pepper from Brazil in 2017. 

Feb 08 - Nigeria's Mid-Crop Cocoa Harvest May Be Delayed by Dry Spell (Dow Jones)
A dry spell in Nigeria's southwest and midwest could result in a poor 2018 mid-crop harvest if there is no rainfall in the next few weeks, industry officials and traders said Thursday. "There has been no rainfall in most of the cocoa-producing states in the two regions since December, and only one or two light and ineffective showers in the other states," said Bola Akinbami, a trader in Ibadan. Mid-crop cocoa comprises 30% of the country's annual production of about 300,000 metric tons, according to the Cocoa Association of Nigeria. A poor yield in the southwest could lower the total mid-crop output for the year, according to Mr. Akinbami. The region accounts for 70% of Nigeria's annual cocoa output, and comprises the states of Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti.
  "We only had one rainfall in January...cocoa beans are getting smaller," said Vincent Ohwojakpor, a CAN official in Edo state, the midwest's largest cocoa producer. "If there is no rainfall in the next one or two weeks, the mid-crop harvest would begin late and could be poor this year," Mr. Akinbami said.
  The mid-crop is typically harvested from March/April until July/August, but a trader said that if the dry spell persists until the end of March, the mid-crop could be delayed until May.

Feb 08 - Vietnamese Robusta Glut Balances Other Origins (Dow Jones)
The price of low-grade robusta coffee is flat at $1,786 a metric ton, having ticked up 1% over the past week despite Reuters reporting that Vietnam's January coffee exports beat government estimates. The world's biggest robusta producer exported nearly 201,000 tons of coffee last month, topping forecasts of 175,000 tons, Reuters says. "It's massive but you have to remember that customs figures often include those stocks being sent to bonded warehouses in Ho Chi Minh [City] as well. Vietnam's still got a lot to sell this year--the fact of the matter is that there's a big crop, although it's replacing tightness at other origins and it's not appearing yet in non-producer countries," a London-based trader says. Robusta prices may climb 5% to 6% on tightening supply by season's end, he says.

Feb 08 - Uganda Coffee Exports Extend Rising Streak (Dow Jones)
Coffee shipments from Uganda, Africa's No. 1 robusta grower, continue to trend higher, aided by maturing plantations and favorable weather conditions, state coffee regulator UCDA says. Deliveries in the first four months of the 2017-18 season are 15% up on year to 1.6 million bags, boosted by the ongoing harvest in the east and central growing regions. Yields of the bitter-tasting robusta variety, used mainly in blends and instant drinks are outperforming the arabica variety as younger coffee trees enter the production phase. Uganda could be headed for yet another record crop, which may surpass last season's record output of 4.61 million bags, UCDA notes.

Feb 07 - Latin America’s premium coffee growers branch out to cheaper beans 

A growing number of farmers in Latin American nations renowned for their high-quality arabica coffee are starting to plant cheaper robusta - a crop still frowned upon or even outlawed in some countries.In locales such as Colombia and Costa Rica, many in the industry have feared the low-brow bean will spoil their reputation as suppliers of the world's best coffee. Click here to read full stories. 

Feb 07 - Cocoa prices to regain ground as global surplus shrinks - poll

Cocoa prices should rise by the end of the year, recovering some ground after two consecutive annual declines, with a smaller global surplus expected in the 2017/18 season, a Reuters survey of nine traders and analysts showed.New York cocoa futures are seen ending 2018 at $2,200 a tonne, up 8 percent from Monday's close and 16 percent above the price at the end of last year, according to the survey's median forecast. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - India's doubles sugar import tax to 100 pct 

India raised the import duty on sugar to 100 percent from 50 percent, a government order said on Tuesday, as falling prices of the sweetener made it difficult for local mills to pay the mandatory price to cane farmers.The hike in import tax could halt sporadic imports from neighbouring Pakistan, which has been giving a subsidy for the foreign sales. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - EU well placed to compete in oversupplied sugar market –Tereos 

The European Union is well place to remain a net sugar exporter over the medium term as its production costs are more competitive than rivals such as Russia and Pakistan, major French producer Tereos said on Monday.The EU this season became a net exporter for the first time in more than a decade after liberalisation of its sugar market last October, but the rise in EU production has contributed to concerns about a global supply glut in 2017/18, which has pressured world prices. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - More rain needed to boost Ivory Coast cocoa crop 

Low rainfall in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions might hinder the April-to-September mid-crop as trees suffer from a lack of moisture, farmers said on Monday.The cocoa season in the world's top producer opened on Oct. 1 and the November-March dry season frequently impacts crop development. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - Sugar Prices Fall on Oversupply Worries (Dow Jones)
Sugar prices are down, with supply concerns continuing to weigh on the market. Sugar for March delivery is down 0.5% at 13.56 cents a pound. Prices have traded roughly sideways the last few weeks after falling for much of January. Despite forecasts for lower production in Brazil and globally in the 2018-19 growing season, analysts expect the market to remain well supplied moving forward. Lower energy prices and a stronger dollar are also weighing. The declines come after CFTC data Friday showed speculative investors increased bearish positions. JPMorgan Chase analysts say clients that they are still constructive on sugar given after declines in recent months have made the commodity relatively cheap. ING analysts says industry experts at the ongoing Dubai Sugar Conference expect a supply surplus to continue.

Feb 05 - Dubai's Al Khaleej in $1 bln Egypt beet sugar mill deal

Dubai's Al Khaleej Sugar Refinery has agreed to build a major agro-industrial complex toproduce beet sugar under a deal signed with the Egyptian government, the world's largest port-based sugar refinery said on Sunday. The project, named Al Canal Sugar, will be located only about 200 km (125 miles) from its market, Jamal al-Ghurair, managing director of the refinery, told an industry conference in Dubai. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - Speculators again raise bearish ICE raw sugar stance to record

Speculators raised their net short position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to a record in the week to Jan. 30, marking the third straight weekly increase, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)data showed on Friday. They cut their net short positions in arabica coffee and cocoa futures and options, and reduced their net long position in cotton for the first time in 11 weeks, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - India lifts export curbs on onions as prices plunge

India will allow unrestricted export of onions, the government said in an order on Friday, as prices of the politically-sensitive vegetable fell over a third in a month. The world's biggest exporter of onion had imposed curbs on overseas sales late last year in an attempt to soften local prices. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - Asian Harvests, Thai Price Liberalization to Contain Sugar Prices (Dow Jones)
The sugar harvest in key Asian markets will keep prices contained for now, while the liberalization of Thai sugar prices could put further downside pressure on prices over the coming months, says BMI Research. Thai sugar prices typically had been priced at a premium over ICE sugar. BMI forecasts front-month Ice Sugar to average 13.50 cents a pound over 2018. The contract is currently trading at 13.63 cents a pound.

Feb 02 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 29 January - 2 February 2018 (WPB)
In Lampung the market was very quiet. Trading at local market was very limited, but price was reported to have decreased further. This was likely affected by price changes in other source, like India which is now in harvesting season. In the last few weeks, pepper price in India decreased almost every week, following material from current harvest arrives in the market. This week however, price in India has shown stability, even increased from INR 410 per Kg at the beginning of the week to INR 416 per Kg at the week’s close. In Viet Nam, Sarawak and Sri Lanka the prices were reported stable.

Feb 02 - Import of Pepper by the UNITED STATES (WPB)
In the last four years, import of pepper into the United States of America was at around 70-80,000 Mt annually. During 2016 a volume of 75,400 Mt consisting of 48,000 Mt black; 5,900 Mt white and 21,500 Mt of ground pepper was imported into the United States, recording a decrease of 3% from 80,400 Mt (53,300 Mt of black; 5,500 Mt of white and 21,600 Mt of ground pepper) in 2015. In 2017 total import of the USA is estimated to increase as indicated by import performance achieved during January - November 2017. During the eleven months the United States imported 72,600 Mt (51,300 Mt of black pepper, 5,500 Mt of white pepper and 15,800 Mt of ground pepper) as against 70,400 Mt in the same period of previous year.  Viet Nam was the main source, supplying more than 50%. Brazil and Indonesia also supplied significant quantity around 15% each. India supplied around 10%, mainly ground pepper.

Feb 02 - Honduras coffee exports in January jump over 30 pct

Honduran coffee exports grew 32 percent in January compared with the same month last year as delayed December shipments were released following a disputed election that provoked highway blockades, national coffee institute IHCAFE said on Thursday. Shipments from Central America's top coffee exporter totaled 1.02 million 60-kg bags in January, compared with 772,050 bags in the same month last year, according to IHCAFE data. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 02 - Ghana cocoa purchases fall short, may miss output target 

Ghana's cocoa purchases fell between October and mid-January compared to last season and it may miss its full-season output target because of dry weather, senior regulatory sources said. Cocoa purchased from farmers and delivered to the regulator Cocobod totalled 560,000 tonnes between the beginning of the season in October and mid-January, 30,000 tonnes below the previous season, a senior source at Cocobod told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Rise at Auction (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee prices rose by an average of 8.4% at this week's auction, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Thursday. The average price across all grades for the Jan. 31 auction was $259.37 for a 50-kilogram bag compared with $239.02 at the auction a week earlier.
  The higher prices are generally attributable to better quality coffee beans arriving at the market from the Mount Kenya region, said Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of exchange. "It is anticipated this trend may persist in the next few sales."
  A total of 27,124 bags were offered for this week's auction compared with 27,471 bags last week. Mr. Mbithi said prices were higher due because of a resumption of sales following the year-end break. Buyers usually purchase more coffee after the break in order to meet their contracts. The auction was in recess from Dec. 13 until Jan. 9.

Feb 01 - Global coffee exports rose 0.7 pct in Dec - ICO

Global coffee exports rose 0.7 percent in December from a year earlier to 10.62 million 60-kg bags, data from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) showed on Wednesday. For the first three months of the 2017/18 season, which began on Oct. 1 last year, coffee exports fell 6.7 percent to total 28.36 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Prolonged premium draws more West African cocoa to United States

There has been a surge of West African cocoa beans being shipped to the United States, as exporters rush to capture an unusual premium that has emerged in the New York futures market. Industry sources say prices in New York have been boosted by a reduced flow of supplies from Ecuador while the London market has been depressed by aggressive speculative selling coupled with an abundance of old or low-quality cocoa from Cameroon. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Flex-fuel kits seen boosting French demand for ethanol

France's approval of conversion kit allowing petrol cars to use fuel containing up to 85 percent of ethanol will boost demand for mostly crop-based ethanol next year, French ethanol producers said on Tuesday. Consumption of ethanol, mainly made from sugar beet or grains, should rise by 225,000 hectolitres from around 8 million hectolitres currently, the head of French bioethanol producers' group SNPAA told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Cameroon Arabica Coffee Farmers Flee Amid Military Crackdown (Dow Jones)
Intense military crackdown in Cameroon's key arabica coffee-producing Northwest region has forced farmers to flee and abandon their crops, after troops ransacked homes and bushes in search of assailants who killed their colleagues last week, farmers and traders said Tuesday.
  Security and administrative officials said a gendarmerie officer was shot dead and his colleague wounded Thursday in the large coffee-growing town of Kumbo by unidentified gunmen who seized their rifles and vanished.
  Another incident occurred in Mbengwi, where the population went on rampage after troops cracking down on alleged separatists arrested a retired policeman.
  "We're in a ghost town here," said coffee farmer William Wirdzem in Kumbo. "Not only are shops closed, we've abandoned our farms and some have gone to faraway villages or crossed over to Nigeria for fear of being caught by security forces."
  A similar situation is reported in the sister towns of Mbengwi, Tadu and Bello where soldiers were said to have destroyed coffee and maize farms.
  Senior Divisional Officer Emile Simon Mooh declined to comment on the situation in Tadu.
  Tensions have further spiraled in the Northwest and Southwest regions since Friday after a French television channel reported that Nigeria had deported Julius Ayuk Tabe, the leader of the separatist "Ambazonia" movement to secede the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. On Monday evening, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary announced that Mr. Tabe and 46 other top member of the group had arrived Yaounde. They await trial on charges of terrorism.

Jan 30 - Cocoa Prices Rise on Confusion About Ivory Coast Shipments (Dow Jones)
Cocoa prices for March are up 2.1% at $1,985 a ton as a lack of official data out of the world's largest growing region gives rise to concerns that robust shipment figures may not be reliable. Commerzbank says cumulative cocoa shipments out of Ivory Coast had been reported as up 19% year-on-year but based on another metric may actually be on par with last year. The firm says the same issue arose this time last year when the Ivorian Cocoa Board reported higher shipments to the government than unofficial data suggested.

Jan 30 - Pakistan hikes sugar volume eligible for export subsidy - U.S. attache 

Pakistan has hiked the amount of sugar eligible for export subsidies to 2 million tonnes from 500,000 tonnes, in a bid to reduce excess domestic supplies, the U.S. government said in a report published on its website on Monday. Pakistan, forecast to produce about 6.5 million tonnes of sugar this year, increased its sugar export quota in late 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) attache in Islamabad said in a report dated Jan. 24.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Cuba cancels sugar exports; Hurricane Irma, January rains hit harvest 

Cuba canceled sugar exports this month and is struggling to meet local demand after rain all but washed out harvesting, the head of the state sugar monopoly said over the weekend. The president of Azcuba, Orlando Celso Garcia, told a trade union federation meeting on Saturday that the harvest was at 31 percent of the raw sugar planned through January, according to the official Juventud Rebelde newspaper. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Cargill expands potato starch production in 'clean label' push

Commodities trader Cargill Inc and a Danish partner will invest $22.5 million in a new potato starch production unit in Denmark, they said on Monday, as the U.S.-based agribusiness seeks to capture consumer demand for simpler ingredients. Cargill and Danish potato starch partner AKV Langholt AmbA, will operate the project through AKV Langholt's facility in Denmark, Cargill said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Showers in Ivory Coast cocoa belt promising for mid-crop

Rain in parts of Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions last week could aid the April-to-September mid-crop if it continues, farmers said on Monday. The cocoa season in the world's top producer opened on Oct. 1 and is currently going through the November-March dry season, when low rainfall can impact development. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Abengoa Bionergia's Brazil lenders eye sugarcane mills sales - sources 

Banks and investors involved in the court reorganization of energy group Abengoa Bioenergia Brasil SA hope to get paid through a potential sale of the company's two sugarcane mills, two sources close to the matter told Reuters. There are non-disclosure agreements signed with four potential bidders for the mills, said one of the sources. Two of the suitors already operate in the sector while the other two are investment funds, the source said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 29 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Auction Postponed Due to Security Concerns (Dow Jones)
- The next Kenyan arabica coffee auction has been postponed by one day due to security concerns in Nairobi, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Monday.
  The leader of Kenya's opposition party, Raila Odinga, is planning to have himself sworn in as president on Tuesday, even though he boycotted a rerun election in October after disputing the result of the original August poll. Incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won that vote but it was annulled by the courts, which ordered the October rerun.
  The swearing-in ceremony is expected to heighten tensions in Nairobi, with the police warning that such an act is illegal as there is already a president in office.
  Police have clashed with Kenya's opposition at rallies and events on numerous occasions in recent months.
  "Due to the security uncertainty tomorrow, Tuesday, 30th January, 2018 kindly be advised that we have found it prudent to postpone the auction to Wednesday, 31st January, 2018," the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said.   Normally, the weekly coffee auction is held on Tuesday.

Jan 29 - Global coffee chief exits amid COFCO shake-up - sources 

The global head of coffee at COFCO International has left the company after less than a year in the role, three sources familiar with the matter said, coming amid a wave of changes at the Chinese state-owned firm. Joseph Reiner took over the coffee division of COFCO International, the global trading arm of COFCO Group, last February. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 29 - Speculators hike bearish ICE raw sugar stance to record - CFTC 

Speculators sharply increased their net short position in raw sugar contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Jan. 23, lifting it to a record high, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. They also increased their net short position in arabica coffee futures and options to the highest since records became publicly available in 2006, and raised their bullish stance in cotton to a record. The speculators cut their bearish position in cocoa for the fourth straight week, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 26 - Cocoa Rises After Bullish Inventory Data (ICCO ING)
Cocoa prices rise again following International Cocoa Organization--ICCO--data showing a smaller-than-expected addition to the global supply surplus in 2016-17. March futures rise 1.4% to $1,988 a ton. ICCO estimates that the global cocoa inventory increased by 144,000 tons from a year earlier, a much smaller figure than the previous projection of 335,000 tons. "The lower-than-expected inventory addition is likely to support prices," ING analysts say. However, ICCO also says its survey results probably underestimate the inventory increase because of stocks held in locations that don't report to its survey. Investors will be waiting to see if cocoa can sustain a rally above $2,000, with prices still well below their November peaks on oversupply fears.

Jan 26 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin, Week 22-26 January 2018 (WPB)
Pepper price in some producing counties decreased further. In Sri Lanka, however, it was reported increase marginally to LKR 603 per Kg from LKR 594 last week. Local prices of pepper in Sarawak remained stable at MYR 13.4 and MYR 20.1 per Kg respectively for black and white pepper. In dollar terms however, local price of Sarawak pepper increased marginally by 1% due to strengthening of Malaysian Ringgit against US Dollar. In Indonesia, local price decreased by 5% for black in Lampung and 3% for white pepper in Bangka.
Trade source reported that FOB price of pepper in Viet Nam was US$ 3,220 per Mt for black 550 GL HTST and US$ 4,925 for white pepper (MC). Brazil pepper price was unchanged at the level of US$ 3,300 and US$ 3,200 per Mt for BASTA and B1 respectively. FOB prices in Sarawak were reported US$ 4,600 per Mt for black FAQ 550 and US$ 6,600 for FAQ 630 white pepper.

Jan 26 - Production and Export of Pepper from VietNam (WPB)
As updated at the last 45th IPC Session held in November 2017 in Kandy, Sri Lanka, production of pepper in Viet Nam during 2017 was estimated at the level of 180,000 Mt. Along with carry over stock of 21,300 Mt early 2017 and estimated import of 30,000 Mt in 2017 and reduced by domestic consumption of 7,300 Mt, a volume of 224,000 Mt is considered as exportable surplus. Taking into account of 24,000 Mt as stock to meet export demand before following harvesting season starts, a volume of 200,000 Mt is probably for export. In fact, up to November 2017 however, real export of pepper from Viet Nam is reported to have reached 202,000 Mt. Up to December 2017, total export from Viet Nam could be more than 210,000 Mt showing 10 - 15,000 Mt higher than estimated earlier. This huge volume of export reflected real production in 2017 was higher than reported earlier. Witnessing the fact that huge exports and significant decrease of price in 2017, a bumper crop of around 200,000 Mt of production in Viet Nam in 2017 seems to have been realized. Due to too many rains occurred in flowering season in July/August 2017, production of pepper in Viet Nam for the up-coming crop season in 2018 is estimated to be lower from 2017.

Jan 26 - Small sugar producers find sweet spot in China after Brazil tariffs

Smaller sugar producers in South America and Southeast Asia made inroads into China in 2017, data showed on Thursday, taking advantage of hefty duties on Brazilian and Thai imports to win sales in one of the world's biggest buyers of the sweetener. Brazil, the world's top sugar producer and exporter, sold no sugar to China in December and exported just 790,374 tonnes for the whole year, down 60.3 percent from 2016, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Cameroon cocoa exports down 9.5 pct amid port congestion

Cameroon cocoa bean exports were down 9.5 percent by Dec. 17 compared to the same period of last season, official data showed on Monday, as exporters complained of a bottleneck at the main port.Cameroon - the world's fifth biggest cocoa producer - had exported 133,000 tonnes of beans according to the most recent available figures, down from 147,000 tonnes last season. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Cocoanect Sees Cocoa Production Shift Soon (Cocoanet Dow Jones)
"How long will [cocoa's] bear market last?" Dutch consultancy Cocoanect asks in a report. "It seems the minimum length is two seasons. At the earliest, production will begin to slow in 2018/19 and the market will take this into consideration with a broad-based re-pricing." If production remains stable, the report continues, there is a risk of elongating the bear market for another season with a recovery only starting to begin in 2019/20. That said, "it is unlikely that we see further increases in production, therefore the base case has to be production remaining stable at best, at worst global declines in the region of 3-5%." Cocoanect is sure that "the cycle will turn at some point in the not too distant future."

Jan 25 - Cocoa Demand Boost Could Last (Cocoanect)
Whether or not cocoa consumption can grow is one of the major questions facing traders in 2018, Dutch firm Cocoanect says in a report. "With average European [cocoa] butter ratios at yearly highs and estimated gross margins gravitating above EUR 750 per metric ton, it is not hard to see that grinders are having a good time," the report says. "20-30% declines in outright butter prices, aided by a stronger euro in general, has certainly fueled
short-term demand, and as products are sold on a minimum 6 month forward basis the effects of lower prices has been most clear from Q2/Q3 17 onwards," Cocoanect adds. Cocoanect suspects final demand is really set to increase, meaning today's strong consumption growth figures are here to stay. 

Jan 25 - Cocoa Focus to Return to Fundamentals in 2018 (Cocoanect)
Second month cocoa futures fell 21% in 2017, and London cocoa futures traded within a GBP200-300 range in recent months, with "industry buying supporting futures on [price] lows and origin selling capping the [price] highs," Dutch trading firm Cocoanect says. "Cocoa traders have, however, become battle-hardened" to those speculative swings, the report says, and growing consumption, risk premium, and the impact on production of declining farm gate prices will be the three factors investors look out for in 2018.

Jan 24 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Rise at Auction (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee prices rose by an average of 0.5% at this week's auction, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday.
  The average price across all grades for the Jan. 23 auction was $239.02 for a 50-kilogram bag compared with $237.84 at the previous auction, although the prices of some individual grades didn't rise week-on-week.
  A total of 27,471 bags were offered for this week's auction compared with 24,198 bags in the previous sale.
  Prices have generally risen at recent auctions due to higher-quality coffee from the Mount Kenya region being offered, and because of the year-end break, Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of the exchange house, said. Buyers usually purchase more coffee after the break in order to meet their contracts. The auction was in recess from Dec. 13 until Jan. 9.

Jan 24 - Ugandan Coffee Exports Down, Could Improve (Dow Jones)
Coffee exports from Uganda--Africa's top coffee exporter--fell 13% on-the-month and 9.2% on-the-year to 386,200 bags in December 2017, ING says in a note. That said, cumulative exports in 2017's last quarter were up 16% on-year to 1.21 million bags, due to strong exports from October to November. Ugandan exports in January could marginally improve to 400,000 bags with the harvesting season currently underway, ING adds.

Jan 24 - EU poised for sugar surge as yields, plantings offset wet weather

The European Union is nearing the end of an extended sugar beet campaign that should bring sharply higher output in the first season since quotas were scrapped, even as wet weather posed challenges to harvesting in parts of the bloc. The EU liberalised its sugar market last October, leaving farmers across the bloc free to plant as much beet as they wanted after more than a decade of strict output quotas and export limits.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Colombia coffee harvest, profits at risk in 2018 - federation

Heavy rain and a strengthening peso could complicate the harvest and sale of coffee from Colombia, the world's biggest producer of mild arabica beans, the growers' federation said on Tuesday. Colombia produced just under 14.2 million 60-kg bags of washed arabica in 2017, almost steady from the year before, despite wet weather and cloudiness that affected crops in the final quarter of the year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - China 2017 sugar imports drop a quarter to lowest since 2010

China, the world's top sugar importer, brought in 2.29 million tonnes of the sweetener in 2017, down 25.2 percent from the year before and the lowest since 2010, data showed on Tuesday. That came in the wake of steps by China's government to protect local sugar farmers. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Australian wine exports to China surge as FTA cuts tariffs

Australia's annual wine exports to China jumped 63 percent by value in 2017, industry figures showed on Tuesday, as high-end sales rose and a free trade agreement signed two years ago cut import duties. The surge in sales to Australia's No. 1 wine export market lifted shares in the country's biggest wine exporter, Treasury Wine Estates, to an all-time high as the news augurs well for first-half sales at the China-focused company. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Rare dry-season showers promising for Ivory Coast cocoa mid-crop

Light, patchy showers in a number of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions last week are expected to aid the development of the upcoming April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. Precipitation is rare during the annual dry season running from mid-November to March, and farmers said the sporadic showers had been exceptional. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Cameroon cocoa exports down 9.5 pct amid port congestion

Cameroon cocoa bean exports were down 9.5 percent by Dec. 17 compared to the same period of last season, official data showed on Monday, as exporters complained of a bottleneck at the main port. Cameroon - the world's fifth biggest cocoa producer - had exported 133,000 tonnes of beans according to the most recent available figures, down from 147,000 tonnes last season. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Egypt raises local sugar buying price as cane harvest begins

Egypt has raised its buying price for sugar cane to 720 Egyptian pounds ($40.75) per tonne from 700 pounds, the supply ministry said on Monday, after farmers had been reluctant to sell to the government at the start of the sugar cane harvest. Egypt expects to produce about 1 million tonnes of sugar from cane this season, which runs from January through May. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 19 - Weekly Pepper Bulletin,Week 15-19 January 2018 (WPB)
Pepper price in India decreased further as the harvest in Kerala and Karnataka is on the peak season. In Lampung and Bangka the price also decreased marginally. In Viet Nam, Sarawak and Sri Lanka the price of pepper were reported stable as last week. In dollar terms however, local price of Sarawak pepper increased marginally by 1% due to strengthening of Malaysian Ringgit against US Dollar. Trade source in Dubai reported that Brazil pepper price was unchanged at the level of US$ 3,300 and US$ 3,200 per Mt for BASTA and B1 respectively.

Jan 19 - Export of Pepper from India (WPB)
According to Trade Statistics of ITC, India exported (including import for re-export) 23,863 Mt of pepper in 2016, consisting of 11,816 Mt of whole pepper and 12,047 Mt of ground pepper. The United States of America was the main market for India. To meet huge internal demand, India also imported significantly mainly for industrial use of oil and oleoresin. In 2016 India imported 23,484 Mt mainly from Viet Nam and Indonesia. In 2017, production of pepper in India is reportedly higher than 2016. However, total export from India in 2017 is estimated to be lower, while import would be higher. This was due to limited stocks brought forward from last year and increased internal demand. During January - September 2017, export from India was 13,530 Mt as against 17,790 Mt in the same period last year; while for import it has reached 21,700 Mt as against 17,712 Mt in the corresponding period of last year.

Jan 19 - Ghana May Follow Ivory Coast in Cutting Farmer Cocoa Price (Dow Jones)
Ghana may consider reducing the price it pays cocoa farmers if prices remain at current levels, according to ING analysts in a note. Currently cocoa farmers in Ghana receive a minimum price of $1,700 a ton, compared to neighbouring Ivory Coast where they receive closer to $1,250 a ton. The world's two largest producers of cocoa maintained prices similar to one another last year, but record yields prompted Ivorian authorities to cut their prices as a disincentive to even heavier production. At the time, traders feared widespread smuggling into Ghana from the Ivory Coast across the two countries' porous border, but since then reports have been minimal. London cocoa futures are down 1.5% at GBP1382 a ton.

Jan 19 - Brazil forecasts record coffee crop, sees exports rebounding

Brazil will harvest its largest ever coffee crop this year, as much as 58.5 million 60-kg bags, as weather conditions favor a recovery in both arabica and robusta production, government agency Conab said in its first forecast for the new crop. Conab on Thursday forecast production of between 54.44 million and 58.51 million bags, which would easily surpass Brazil's previous record in 2016 of 51.37 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 19 - Ghana planning cut to cocoa prices for farmers, peg to world price 

Ghana is considering cutting the price it pays its cocoa farmers, pegging it at 70 percent of world market prices to help protect the country's finances, government sources said on Thursday. The world's second largest producer might implement the pricing policy in this year's July-September light crop season, Deputy Finance Minister Charles Adu Boahen told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 19 - N. American Q4 cocoa grind falls, 5-year low for 2017 

North American cocoa grindingstook a surprise fall in the fourth quarter of 2017 and nudged down to a five-year low for the full calendar year, data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) showed on Thursday. Cocoa processors in the United States, Canada and Mexico reported grinding 116,080 tonnes of beans from October through December, down 1.28 percent from the same period a year earlier and the lowest for the fourth quarter since 2009, NCA data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Rise at Auction (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee prices rose by an average of 8% at this week's auction, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday.
  The average price across all grades for the Jan. 16 auction was $237.84 for a 50-kilogram bag compared with $219.65 at the previous auction, although the prices of some individual grades didn't rise week-on-week.
  A total of 24,198 bags were offered for this week's auction compared with 17,957 bags in the previous sale.
  Prices have generally risen at recent auctions due to more higher-quality coffees from the Mount Kenya region being offered, and because of the year-end break, Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of the exchange house, said. Buyers usually purchase more coffee after the break in order to meet their contracts. The auction was in recess from Dec. 13 until Jan. 9.

Jan 17 - Brazil considers lifting tariff on U.S. ethanol

Brazil is studying the removal of a 20-percent tariff on ethanol imports from the United States, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Wednesday, in a decision that could depend on Washington lifting a ban on fresh beef exports from Brazil. Last year, Brazil imposed a 20-percent tax on ethanol imported from the U.S. that exceeds a 600 million liter annual quota to protect local producers as imports spiked. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Brazil ships less coffee in 2017, sees 2018 recovery

Brazil exported 10 percent less coffee in 2017 than in 2016 as a smaller crop and slow farmer sales reduced shipments to the lowest volume since 2012 but volume will likely pick up this year,exporters association Cecafe said on Tuesday. Exports should improve in 2018 as Brazil is expected to produce a larger crop, but monthly volumes will only recover around June when the new harvest starts to reach warehouses, the association said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Unrest in Cameroon fuels cocoa smuggling to Nigeria

Unrest in Cameroon's English-speaking regions, the central African nation's cocoa-growing heartland, is fuelling bean smuggling into neighbouring Nigeria, farmers and buyers said on Tuesday. Cameroon has been gripped by spiralling violence since November 2016, when government forces crushed a peaceful movement of Anglophone teachers and lawyers protesting against their perceived marginalisation by the French-speaking majority. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 16 - Coffee Falls After Brazilian Exports Data (Dow Jones)
Coffee extends recent declines despite data showing Brazilian coffee exports fell in December from a year earlier, according to exporters group Cecafe. Arabica coffee for March falls 1.4% to $1.2050 a pound. Prices have fallen steadily since crossing $1.30 earlier this month. Nicholas Gentile, managing partner at NickJen Capital Management, says the market is still well-supplied and that he expects range-bound trading moving forward. "I just think this is basically technical selling that we're seeing here," based on chart trends, he says. "The fundamentals are more neutral right now on coffee. This could be a fair price right now unless we have a strong La Niña and get really dry weather to put some stress on the crop," he adds.

Jan 16 - London Cocoa Funds Extend Shorts for Seventh Week (Dow Jones)
Managed money funds extend their bets on falling London cocoa prices for the seventh straight week up to Jan. 9, ICE market data show. Net short positions rose to 62,570 from 61,310. Traders continue to show concern about the prospect of another heavy-yield season in the run-up to quarterly grindings results due later this month. Better-than-expected European grind figures announced today will likely affect positioning in the coming weeks. London cocoa futures fell 0.51% during the Jan. 2-Jan. 9 period. New York funds' net shorts position grew to 25,019 lots from a 22,032 lots in the week to Jan. 2. London-traded cocoa is up 0.22% at GBP1,383 a ton and New York futures aren't trading due to a public holiday.

Jan 16 - Rains boost prospects for record coffee crop in Brazil, but risks linger

Ample rains in producing regions recently have boosted prospects for Brazil's 2018 coffee crop to reach a record, but questions remain regarding how big the output will be considering negative impacts of dry spells last year. Initial estimates by market participants and statistics agencies indicate the world's largest coffee exporter will produce more coffee than the last record in 2016 of 51.4 million 60-kg bags. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 16 - Ivory Coast light rains, Harmattan mixed for cocoa mid-crop

Dusty Saharan winds hampered cocoa crop development in Ivory Coast last week, though some light rain provided respite for the main crop, farmers said on Monday. The 2017/18 season in the world's top cocoa producer opened on Oct. 1 and the West African nation is in the midst of the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March. Farmers said their focus was beginning to shift to the April-to-September mid crop. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 15 - COCOA market (Dow Jones)
  European Cocoa Grindings data, released early Monday, revealed a 4.4% increase in demand during 4Q 2017 and a 2.6% increase on year, representing the largest seasonal increase since 2012/13. That quarterly increase represented a stronger-than-expected showing when compared with 3.8% increase expected by traders polled by the Wall Street Journal.
  "The grindings were slightly stronger than we expected. I think it's a combination of prices being so low and chocolate sales being so strong," said one Europe-based trader. "Europe's a difficult place to exploit spare capacity, so it shows everyone here is running at full capacity," the trader said.
  Traders and analysts continue to predict heavy surpluses out of West Africa this season, although a slightly less heavy one than the record-breaking ones seen last season. In addition, Ivorian port arrivals reached about 991,000 tons by Jan. 14 since the beginning of the season in October, down from 1,027,000 tons at the same point the previous year, according to Reuters.
  That was reflected in the most recent commitment of traders numbers, which showed that London-managed money funds increased their net-short position for the seventh consecutive week in the period to Jan. 9. This week's European grindings--as well as North American and Asian grindings due in the coming days--will likely affect positioning in the coming weeks.
  London-traded cocoa was last flat at GBP1,404 a metric ton, with New York futures not trading due to the U.S. public holiday.

Jan 15 - COFFEE market (Dow Jones)
  Low-grade robusta futures were last down 0.12% at $1,727 a metric ton, with arabica last at $1.22, not trading in New York over the public holiday. With market expectation of a large crop in Brazil and an abundant Vietnamese yield nearing its end, there is little fresh fundamentals news, a Europe-based trader said. The weather in the two countries, which are the world's two largest coffee producers, is also in focus, he said.
  Any significant price moves during recent weeks have largely been dictated by speculative action, the trader said, pointing to some surprising short-covering from arabica traders recently. With traders already re-establishing their short-positions, the boost provided by that speculative change may not last long, he said.
  Traders will also likely be watching the Brazilian real, which has recently strengthened against a sagging U.S. dollar. Brazilian growers are holding back their crops and waiting for a more profitable moment, another trader said.

Jan 15 - SUGAR market (Dow Jones)
  New York-based raw sugar trading was suspended Monday due to the U.S. public holiday, but sugar was last at 14.18 U.S. cents, down 4.1% on week.
  Market expectations of growing crop yields out of India and Thailand are "gathering pace," with that increase outweighing the benefits of a greater shift towards ethanol crushing among Brazilian sugar mills, said ED&F Man in a note.
  The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association's most recent bi-weekly data shows that falling demand for Brazilian Very High Polarization raw sugar means a lower likelihood of supply tightness before the new crop becomes available, ED&F Man said.
  That said, commitment of trader data showed that speculators were covering their short positions, according to ING.

Jan 15 - Deluge stalls Cuban sugar mills after crop slammed by drought, storm 

Cuban sugar mills were shuttered this week in eastern and central parts of the country, due to a stalled cold front that dumped heavy rainfall on the area already reeling from crop losses due to drought and Hurricane Irma. The area accounts for some 70 percent of the crop. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 12 -  Weekly Pepper Bulletin,  Week 08-12 January 2018 (WPB)
- Pepper price at main origins decreased during the week but local price in Kuching, Lampung and Sri Lanka were reported stable. In India the price decreased by 5%. This may be due to pepper harvest in India is now in the peak season. In Viet Nam local price of pepper were reported at the level of VND 66,500 per Kg for black and VND 107,500 for white pepper. FOB price of black 550g/l was US$ 3,550 per Mt and US$ 5,050 for white pepper as quoted by Namagro.
- In Indonesia, local price of black pepper in Lampung was reported stable at IDR 43,000 per KG while for white pepper decreased to IDR 65,000. In Sarawak, the prices stood at the level of MYR 13.40 per Kg for black and MYR 20.19 for white pepper. In dollar terms however, the price increased marginally by 1% due to strengthening of Malaysian Ringgit against US Dollar. Trade source in Dubai reported Brazil pepper price was US$ 3,300 and US$ 3,200 per Mt for BASTA and B1 respectively.

Jan 12 - Export of Pepper from INDONESIA (WPB)
- In 2016 Indonesia exported 53,100 Mt. of pepper (32,100 Mt. of black and 21,000 Mt of white pepper). The export decreased by 9% from the export of 58,075 Mt in 2015. The decrease was mainly due to decreased production of black pepper in Lampung.
- In 2017 export of pepper from Indonesia is estimated to be more or less same as last year or marginal decrease. Export of black pepper is estimated to decrease significantly, following a continuous decrease of black pepper production reported in Lampung. While export of white pepper is estimated to increase this year since production of white pepper in new producing areas in Kalimantan and Sulawesi increased. During January-August 2017, Indonesia exported 27,100 Mt of pepper due to sufficient material from last year crop. Export in the remaining months (September-December 2017) is estimated lower when compared to export over the same period last year.

Jan 12 - Brazil's IBGE forecasts 2018 coffee crop at 53.2 mln bags 

Brazil's 2018 coffee crop should reach 53.2 million 60-kg bags, 14.9 percent more than last year, mostly due to a positive year for arabica in a biennial production cycle, statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday. The agency said arabica production will be 41.4 million bags, 18.6 percent more than in 2017.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 12 - Cargill's Cameroon venture targets 100,000 T of cocoa purchases in 2018/19 

A joint venture between agri-food giant Cargill and a Cameroon businesswoman plans to boost sustainable farming and increase cocoa exports to 100,000 tonnes by the 2018/19 season, a rise of a third from last season's volumes. Telcar Cocoa Ltd, Cameroon's leading cocoa exporter which is a partnership between Cargill and businesswoman Kate Kanyi Fotso Tometi, launched a programme in 2011 to boost production of sustainable certified cocoa. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 12 - Cocoa firm Transmar Group's woes mount as ABN Amro, others sue for fraud 

Eight banks including a unit of ABN Amro, Société Générale and BNP Paribas have sued executives of New Jersey-based Transmar Group for defrauding them of $360 million in credit lines, just a year after a unit of the firm filed for bankruptcy. The group of banks, which include some of the world's top commodities lenders, claim the eight executives including founder and Chief Executive Peter G. Johnson knowingly overstated the value of assets and the company's financial state to qualify credit lines, according to a document filed in a U.S. District Court in New Jersey on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 12 - Tokyo Rubber Rises as Oil Keeps Climbing (Dow Jones)
Tokyo rubber futures climb in early trading despite fresh dollar-yen declines as oil prices remain at 3-year highs. More-expensive crude boosts the cost of synthetic rubber. Tocom benchmark natural rubber is up 1.9% at Y210.9/kilogram.

Jan 10 - Demand Rallies Cameroon's Robusta Coffee Prices - Farmers, Traders
Robusta coffee prices rose this week at Cameroon's farmgates because of increasing demand for beans, according to farmers and traders who spoke to Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday. A kilogram of robusta coffee sold for between 600 and 625 Central African francs ($1.09 and $1.14), up 6.5% from last week, farmers and traders said.
  The price rise overturns months of falling prices caused by weak crop supplies which prompted buyers to leave the farmgates. But many buyers returned this week, demanding robusta coffee to replenish their stocks, traders said.

Jan 10 - Kenyan Arabica Coffee Prices Rise at Auction After Year-End Break (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee prices rose by an average of 7.1% at this week's auction, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Wednesday. The average price across all grades for the Jan. 9 auction was $219.65 for a 50-kilogram bag, compared with $205.08 at the previous auction, although the prices of some individual grades did rise week-on-week.
  A total of 17,957 bags were offered for this week's auction, a rise compared with 14,034 bags in the previous sale.
  The prices at auction have generally risen in recent auctions on more better-quality coffees from the Mount Kenya region and a year-end break, said Daniel Mbithi, chief executive of the exchange house. Buyers normally purchase more after the break to meet their contracts.
  The auction was in annual recess from Dec. 13 until Jan. 9.

Jan 10 - Global coffee output seen rising to new record in 2017/18 - ICO

World coffee output is seen rising to a fresh record in 2017/18 as a recovery in robusta production offsets a decline in the arabica variety, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Tuesday. Global coffee output is expected to reach about 158.8 million 60-kg bags in 2017/18, up 0.7 percent from last season's record production, the ICO said in a monthly report. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 09 - Ivory Coast resold 100,000 T of defaulting cocoa contracts

Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) marketing board resold in late December 100,000 tonnes of cocoa export contracts that were headed for default, a senior CCC official and exporters said on Monday. The CCC official, who asked not to be identified, said further resales were expected. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 08 - Kenya Arabica Coffee Volumes Fall, Prices Rise in December (Dow Jones)
Kenyan arabica coffee sold at auction fell 43% in December compared with the month before, while prices rose 8.5%, largely due to an end-of-year break, as well as a greater amount of beans and better-quality coffee coming into the market from the Mount Kenya region, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said Friday.
  In December 2017, 1,320 metric tons of coffee were sold, compared with 2,310 tons in November, while the average price of a 50-kilogram bag rose to $219.70 from $202.56, the exchange said in its monthly report.
  The auction was closed between Dec. 13 and Jan. 9, 2018 for an end-of-year break, according to the exchange house.
  A total of 5,250 tons of coffee beans have been traded at the weekly auction that started in September 2017, at an average price of $205.32 for a 50-Kilogram bag, the report said.
  In the same period the previous season ending October 2016, 5,613 metric tons of coffee beans were sold at an average price of $228.64, the report said.

Jan 08 - China fruit, veg prices surge as blizzards cut off roads, damage crops

Fruit and vegetable prices in major cities in central and northern China have surged after severe winter weather cut off highways and damaged crops, the government said late on Saturday. Parts of highways connecting Henan, Shanxi, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces were blocked. In northern Shanxi province, greenhouses for vegetables collapsed under the weight of snow, footage on state television showed on Sunday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 08 - Global coffee exports fall 9.2 pct in Nov - ICO

Global coffee exports fell 9.2 percent in November from a year earlier to 9.02 million 60-kg bags, data from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) showed on Friday. For the first two months of the 2017/18 season, which began on Oct. 1 last year, coffee exports fell 11.3 percent to total 17.62 million bags. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 08 - Speculators cut bearish arabica coffee, sugar, cocoa bets - CFTC

Speculators reduced their record net short position in arabica coffee contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Jan. 2, as they also cut bearish stances in raw sugar and cocoa, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. Speculators again raised their net long position in cotton futures and options, bringing it to the highest in over seven months, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - Bangladesh tea prices rise on strong winter demand 

Tea prices in Bangladesh rose at the weekly auction for the second time in a row, thanks to strong winter demand and tight supplies. Bangladeshi tea fetched an average price of 238.25 taka ($2.80) per kg at the auction held on Tuesday, compared with a revised price of 236.80 taka at the previous sale, National Brokers said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - Green Pool raises forecast for 2017/18 global sugar surplus 

Commodity analyst Green Pool said on Wednesday it had raised its forecast for a projected global sugar surplus in the 2017/18 season to 10.43 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 9.80 million. The Australia-based analyst also reduced the size of an expected deficit for the 2016/17 season to 1.11 million tonnes, down from 1.78 million forecast previously. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 03 - Sugar Traders Unperturbed by Another Surplus Forecast Increase (Dow Jones)
Raw sugar futures are down 0.26% at 15.29 U.S. cents a pound on a placid day for commodities. Traders appear unmoved by commodity specialist Green Pool's announcement that it has raised its global sugar surplus forecast for 2017/18 to 10.43 million tons from 9.8 million. The Australian analysis firm also cuts its 2016/17 deficit forecast to 1.11 million tons from 1.78 million tons. Green Pool cites a particularly heavy Asian monsoon, and increasingly worrying consumption figures as contributing factors. "There remains some disconnect between current market prices and the potential for a surplus of the size we are forecasting...[we] think [the surplus] could increase over time," Green Pool adds. Green Pool's is the latest in a long line of sugar industry surplus forecast increases.

Jan 03 - Orange Juice Futures Rise on Frost Fears (Dow Jones)
Orange juice futures are up 2.5% at $1.399 a pound, with temperatures in the Florida citrus belt threatening the state's already decimated crop. Rains over the next few days could slow harvesting, says MDA Weather Services, and temperatures are expected to remain cold through the weekend, with some frost likely in northern citrus areas by Thursday. But the firm says no hard freeze is expected. In past years, hard freezes in Florida have devastated the state's citrus groves. Raw sugar for March is down 0.3% at 15.29 cents a pound, cocoa for March loses 1.2% at $1,912 a ton, arabica coffee for March is down 0.7% at $1.2925 a pound and March cotton rises 0.5% to 77.87 cents a pound.

Jan 03 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers concerned by wave of hot, dry weather 

Hot, dry weather last week in most of top grower Ivory Coast's cocoa regions has raised fears about bean quality and production for the remainder of the main crop, farmers said on Tuesday. Ivory Coast's cocoa season started on Oct. 1. The country is currently in the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 02 - Speculators raise record bearish arabica coffee bet - CFTC 

Speculators hiked their net short position in arabica coffee contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to a record in the week to Dec. 26, and they boosted their bullish cotton stance to a seven-month high, U.S. government data showed on Friday. They slashed a bearish raw sugar bet and again added to a net short position in cocoa during the abbreviated holiday week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. ICE soft agricultural commodities futures and options markets were closed on Monday for the Christmas holiday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 02 - Russia's beet sugar output seen at record in 2017/18 

Russia's sugar production from its own beet is expected to rise to a new record of 6.6 million tonnes in the 2017/18 marketing season which started on Aug. 1, up from 6.2 million tonnes in the previous season, its Sugar Producers' Union said. The country has been increasing production to reduce a reliance on sugar imports. It has doubled output over the past 10 seasons and has already started exporting some production, mainly to its neighbours in Central Asia. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 02 - U.S. biodiesel output falls to 146 million gallons in October -EIA 

U.S. biodiesel production fell to 146 million gallons in October from 147 million gallons a month earlier, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report on Friday. Soybean oil remained the largest biodiesel feedstock, with 577 million lbs used in October. In September, soyoil used in biodiesel production was 604 million lbs. Click here to read full stories.