(Updates with market activity, comments and closing prices)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) –
Raw sugar futures on ICE hit a one-month peak – above 20 cents per lb – on Thursday, boosted by technical momentum, India export jitters and upbeat sentiment in the wider financial markets. Cocoa and coffee also rose.
* March raw sugar settled up 0.57 cent, or 2.8%, at 20.68 cents per lb, having risen as far as 20.85 cents.
* Dealers noted little selling appetite and said that, with sugar having closed above 20 cents on Wednesday, technical momentum should push prices higher in the near term.
* The sweetener is also being boosted by widespread expectations that India’s government will confirm a ban on additional sugar exports this season.
* Brazil’s center-south sugarcane crushing totalled only 440,000 tonnes in the first half of January, as just a few mills continue with operations in the between-harvests period, industry group Unica said.
* Sentiment was upbeat in wider financial markets, with oil up on China demand hopes and global equities rising, while the dollar index was near an eight-month low.
* March white sugar rose $8.00, or 1.5%, to $555.00 a tonne.
* March arabica coffee settled up 4.7 cents, or 2.9%, at $1.6715 per lb, having touched a three-week peak of $1.6775.
* Prices have been edging back up during the past couple of weeks after hitting a 1-1/2-year low of $1.4205 on Jan. 11.
* Dealers said there were some short covering in the market on Thursday. They also said that ICE certified arabica stocks should peak soon, as there is not much more coffee pending grading.
* ICE certified stocks rose slightly on Thursday to 870,722 bags, with only around 93,000 bags pending grading.
* May robusta coffee rose $23, or 1.2%, at $1,962 a tonne, having hit a three-month high of $1,974 on Wednesday.
* March New York cocoa settled up $37, or 1.4%, to $2,629 a tonne.
* Second-biggest cocoa producer Ghana is experiencing continuing crop problems linked to swollen shoot virus outbreaks, though the outlook is generally favorable in other parts of West Africa.
* March London cocoa rose 29 pounds, or 1.4%, to 2,033 pounds per tonne. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Maytaal Angel Editing by David Goodman, Kirsten Donovan)