Softs

Softs this morning are mixed with Mar sugar +0.09 (+0.62%), Mar coffee -0.50 (-0.40%), Mar cocoa +12 (+0.63%), and Mar cotton -0.02 (-0.03%). Softs on Wednesday settled mixed: Mar sugar -0.45 (-3.02%), Mar coffee -1.30 (-1.02%), Mar cocoa -26 (-1.35%), Mar cotton +0.29 (+0.40%). Mar sugar on Wednesday tumbled to a 4-week low as a slide in crude oil prices to a 2-week low spurred fund selling in sugar on concern weaker ethanol prices will prompt Brazil's sugar producers to divert less sugar toward ethanol production, thus increasing sugar supplies. Sugar supplies are already ample as Unica reported that sugar production in the crop year through mid-Nov in Brazil's Center-South region was up +2.4% y/y at 34.357 MMT. Mar sugar on Nov 24 rallied to a 6-1/2 month nearest-futures high on carry-over support from a rally in crude oil to a 2-1/3 year high, which benefits ethanol prices and may prompt Brazil's sugar mills to divert more sugar supplies toward ethanol production. ISO projects a global 2017/18 sugar surplus of +5.03 MMT following the global 2016/17 deficit of -6.465 MMT. India projects that its 2017/18 sugar crop will increase by +23% y/y to 25 MMT, the first gain in 3 years. The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on Nov 17 raised its 2017/18 global sugar surplus estimate to 10.73 MMT from a May forecast of 8.07 MMT and raised its global 2017/18 sugar production estimate to 184.95 MMT from a May view of 179.64 MMT.

Mar coffee prices on Wednesday fell to a 2-week low and closed lower on abundant supplies after ICE-monitored coffee inventories on Tuesday rose to a 2-year high of 1.93 million bags. Mar coffee had posted a 1-1/2 month high last Thursday on Brazil crop concerns after Ecom Trading forecasted that Brazil's 2017/18 coffee crop will be between 52 mln and 53 mln bags, below government estimates of 55 mln bags, due to uneven rains in Brazil's coffee-growing regions. Mar coffee on Nov 20 tumbled to a 5-1/2 month nearest-futures low on robust global supplies. ICO data shows global arabica coffee exports in the year through Oct up by +5.4% y/y to 76.23 mln bags. Also, the ICO recently revised up its global 2016/17 coffee ending stocks estimate to a surplus of 2.38 mln bags, the first surplus in 3 years, as it raised its global 2016/17 coffee production estimate to a record 157.44 mln bags. The Green Coffee Association reported that U.S. Oct coffee inventories rose +13% y/y to 7.04 mln bags, modestly below the 23-1/3 year high of 7.413 mln bags from Jul. Brazil's 2016/17 coffee output according to Confab may fall as much as -15% to 43.7 mln bags from 51.4 mln bags in 2016 since crops are in their lower-yielding half of their 2-year cycle.

Mar cocoa prices on Wednesday slid to a 3-1/4 month low on robust supplies. Ivory Coast data showed farmers there delivered 504,000 MT of cocoa beans to Ivory Coast ports from Oct 1-Dec 3, up +3.5% y/y. Also, the ICCO last Thursday hiked its 2016/17 global cocoa production estimate to a record 4.73 MMT from a prior estimate of 4.70 MMT, which will result in a 6-year-high global 2016/17 surplus of +335,000 MT. Mar cocoa rallied to an 8-month high Nov 10 signs of stronger global chocolate demand after Barry Callebaut reported a +9.2% increase in volume in the three months through Aug. Current cocoa output appears robust after Ghana, the world's second-largest producer, said its 2016/17 cocoa production rose +25% y/y to 969,438 MT, a 6-year high. Cocoa demand is generally strong with Q3 Asia cocoa grindings up +13% y/y to 167,737 MT, European Q3 cocoa grindings up +3% y/y to 353,544 MT, and Q3 North American cocoa grindings up +0.7% y/y to 125,263 MT. The Ivory Coast, the world's biggest cocoa producer, reported cocoa purchases, a sign of production, rose to 2.015 MMT from Oct-Sep 24, up +29% y/y and a record high.

Mar cotton on Wednesday closed higher after Pakistan's Textile Mills Association said Pakistan may need to import 2.5 mln bales of cotton in 2018. Recent foods in Pakistan, the world's fourth-largest cotton producer, may reduce its cotton crop and prompt it to import as much as 1 mln bales this year, according to researcher Rose Commodity Group. Mar cotton last Wednesday posted a 2-1/2 month high as signs of strong foreign demand for U.S. cotton spurred fund buying. The USDA projects global 2017/18 cotton use will climb to 119.25 mln bales, the most since 2009. China's Oct cotton imports surged +88.9% y/y to 78 MMT and its Jan-Oct cotton imports are up +40.7% y/y to 982,400 MT. On the negative side, the USDA in the Nov 9 WASDE report unexpectedly raised its U.S. 2017/18 cotton production estimate to an 11-year high of 21.4 mln bales and raised its global 2017/18 cotton production estimate to a 5-year high of 12.46 MMT from an Oct estimate of 120.8 MMT. The USDA also unexpectedly raised its U.S. 2017/18 cotton ending stocks estimate to a 9-year high of 6.1 mln bales.