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Q1 Vietnam Exports Up 44%

COFFEE

May NY coffee was lower overnight but stayed inside Thursday’s range. The market finished last week with a gain of 4.00 cents and a second positive week in a row, but it remains in a sideways, consolidative pattern in place for roughly three months. May London (robusta) coffee was lower overnight after trading to another new contract high last week on tight old crop supply and concerns about the upcoming crop. Traders said on Thursday that Vietnamese farmers had sold most to their stocks and were unwilling to cut prices. There are also concerns that less rainfall and higher temperatures in their coffee growing area could reduce the output next season. Reports that Vietnam exported 799,000 tonnes of coffee in the first three months of 2024, up 44% from the same period last year may have sparked some selling overnight. Strength in robusta coffee provides underlying support to the NY Arabica futures, but the steady increase ICE exchange stocks is a limiting factor.

coffee beans in hand

COCOA

May cocoa has spent the past couple of sessions consolidating last week’s move to all-time highs above $10,000, and with no relief in sight to the tight supply, the market could make a move towards another new high this week. Ivory Coast and Ghana are expected to see some rain in the coming week that could be beneficial to the crop, but the exceptionally hot and dry conditions this year have lowered expectations for the mid-crop, which officially begins this week. Expectations for Ivory Coast’s mid-crop production have been reported around 400,000-500,000 tonnes, down from 600,000 last year. Traders also warn of long-term factors that will limit cocoa production, including rampant illegal gold mining, climate change, sector mismanagement, and rapidly spreading disease.

COTTON

May cotton was higher overnight, extending its gains in the wake of Thursday’s USDA prospective plantings report. The report put US 2024/25 cotton planted area at 10.673 million acres, below the average expectation of 10.906 million and down from a forecast of 11.0 million at the USDA outlook forum in February. This was up from 10.23 million planted in 2023/24 but well below the 13.75 million in 2022/23. The weekly drought monitor showed 6% of US cotton production area under drought as of March 26, down from 7% the previous week and 47% a year ago. However, the drought monitor shows abnormally dry to severe drought conditions persist in some Texas growing areas, indicating they need more rains US cotton export sales for the week ending March 21 came in at 98,150 bales for the 2023/24 (current) marketing year and 72,225 for 2024/25 for a total of 170,375. Crops in Brazil are rated favorably, and the South Africa and Australian crop harvests are just getting started.

SUGAR

May sugar was higher overnight and traded to its highest level since February 29, as concerns remain about Brazil’s upcoming crop. Recent rainfall has been appreciated, but drier than normal weather since the start of the year is expected to adversely affect upcoming yields. Rabobank said that Brazil may have a strong early harvest but that cane volumes may disappoint later in the year. Unica reported last week that first-half March cane crushing in Brazil’s Center-South region was 267% higher than last season, which suggests that the 2024/25 harvest has gotten off to a strong start. Nearby crude oil has reached its highest level since October, which makes ethanol more competitively priced. However, high sugar prices and Brazil’s interest in using corn as a feedstock limits the attraction of using sugar cane for that purpose.

 

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