Sugar Rebounds as Bets on Lower Prices Reach Record; Cocoa Rises

Sugar rebounded in London and New York on speculation supplies from top producer Brazil are tighter than initially anticipated just as speculators’ bets on lower prices climbed to a record. Coffee fell and cocoa gained.

Raw sugar from Brazil was offered for sale at the same price as the March futures on ICE Futures U.S., while buyers were looking to get a discount of 0.1 cent to the exchange price, according to Green Pool Commodity Specialists Pty. The discount narrowed 0.3 cent a pound from a week earlier, the Brisbane, Australia-based researcher said in an e-mailed report. Speculators held record bets on lower prices in the week ended Jan. 22, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.

“The new fund record could cause another knee jerk reaction to the upside,” Michael McDougall, head of the Brazil desk at Newedge Group in New York, said by e-mail on Jan. 25.

White, or refined, sugar for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to $490 a ton by 10:23 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London, after dropping as much as 0.8 percent on Jan. 25. Raw sugar for March delivery was 0.8 percent higher at 18.52 cents a pound in New York. It closed 0.6 percent down in the previous trading session, after falling as much as 1.2 percent.

Large and small speculators excluding index funds boosted their net-short position, or bets on lower prices, by 49 percent in the week ended Jan. 22, the Washington-based commission said in its Commitments of Traders report. Net-short positions were a record 90,249 contracts, up from 60,509 a week earlier. NYSE Liffe will update trader holdings later today.