Sugar has longest winning streak in five months

April 15, 2010

LONDON: Sugar rose, led by the longest winning streak in five months in New York, on speculation that importers will seek to expand stockpiles because of concern that supply will fail to keep pace with demand.

Trading Corp. of Pakistan plans to complete its initial target of buying 500,000 metric tons of white sugar by this weekend, Chairman S. Anjum Basheer said by phone yesterday.

Russia may import no less than 1 million tons of raw sugar next month after customs officials cut the tax on imports, Sergey Gudoshnikov, an analyst at the International Sugar Organization in London, said yesterday.

Raw sugar traded in New York plunged 42 percent since the beginning of February, when prices reached a 29-year high. Still, the ISO is forecasting an 8 million-ton shortfall in supply in the 12 months ending in September, spurring consumers to take advantage of the plunge in prices to restock.

“There is still physical scarcity on the market,” Eugen Weinberg, an analyst with Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report today. “Reports on greater imminent imports by Pakistan and Russia show that importers’ constraint when prices were on the descent is now easing.” Raw sugar for July delivery rose 23 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to 17.46 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, as of 12:34 pm in London.

The contract rose for four days, the longest winning streak since November. White, or refined, sugar for August delivery climbed $1.90, or 0.4 percent, to $500.50 a ton on the Liffe exchange in London, for a fifth daily gain. Sugar prices more than doubled last year as too much rain in Brazil and a weak monsoon in India hurt output in the biggest sugar-cane growers.

“We have ended our period of freefall,” said Nicholas Snowdon, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London. Cocoa for May delivery was unchanged at 2,121 pounds ($3,271) a ton on Liffe Robusta coffee for May delivery slipped $4, or 0.3 percent, to $1,342 a ton.