Robusta Coffee Rises On Supply Tightness

By Dave Simpson
Robusta Coffee Rises On Supply Tightness

Robusta coffee futures on ICE closed more than 2% higher on Wednesday December 1 as a supply tightness continues to underpin the market for that variety.

Raw sugar futures rose earlier following higher energy prices, but ended little changed.


* January robusta coffee closed 2.3% higher to $2,314 a tonne.

* Dealers said the market for robusta continues well supported due to shipping difficulties in Asia and increased demand as roasters boost use of the variety which is comparatively less expensive than arabica.


* Indonesia exported 8,811.44 tonnes of Sumatran robusta coffee beans in November from Lampung province, local trade office data showed, down 70.8% from the same month last year.

* March arabica coffee rose 0.4% to $2.3325 per lb.


* March raw sugar rose early in the session following oil higher, but lost steam and ended flat at 18.60 cents per lb.

* "Fundamentally speaking, on sugar, things tend to look more bullish rather than bearish. But not many are still paying much attention to fundamentals these days remaining hypnotised by the bloodbath that happens especially in crude oil and in the energy complex," CovrigAnalytics said in a weekly update.


* March white sugar fell 0.3% to $484.20 a tonne, having hit the lowest price in 2-1/2 months earlier at $483.70.

* Sugar beet production in France is expected to reach 35 million tonnes this year in a recovery from a very poor 2020 crop, growers group CGB said.


* March London cocoa rose 0.1% to 1,639 pounds a tonne after dipping to a four-month low of 1,629 pounds.

* Dealers said concerns that the latest coronavirus variant could stall a recovery in cocoa demand have put the market on the defensive.


* An expected drop in production this year, however, helped to underpin the market.

* Cocoa production in top producer Ivory Coast was down 10% from the same period last season, port arrival figures show, and farmers and buyers worry the trend could continue through the end of the main-crop harvest.

* March New York cocoa gained $6 to $2,352 a tonne.

Sugar Hits Two-Month Lows As Omicron Fears Persist

Raw sugar futures on ICE hit their lowest in two months on Thursday December 2 as fears persisted that the Omicron coronavirus variant could hammer a nascent global economic recovery.

In contrast coffee prices edged higher as container shipping backlogs continue, keeping supplies tight.



* March raw sugar was flat at 18.60 cents per lb at 1123 GMT after hitting its lowest since late September at 18.51 cents.

* Dealers said sugar is unlikely to head higher despite positive fundamentals because the market remains fixated by the Omicron variant and has weeks to wait before the emergence of data on the scale of the threat it poses to global health.

* Indian sugar mills produced 4.72 million tonnes of sugar in October and November, nearly 10% more than a year ago, a trade body said.

* Top producer Brazil exported 2.67 million tonnes of sugar in November, against 2.9 million tonnes in the same month last year, data showed.

* March white sugar fell 0.1% to $483.80 a tonne, having hit its lowest in 2-1/2 months at $483.20.


* March arabica coffee rose 0.5% to $2.3445 per lb.

* Top producer Brazil exported only 175,104 tonnes of green coffee in November, versus 275,841 tonnes a year earlier, data showed.

* January robusta coffee rose 0.1% to $2,315 a tonne, having closed with a 2.3% gain on Wednesday December 1.

* The market for both robusta and arabica remains well supported by container shipping shortages and record high freight rates that are prompting consumers to dip into stocks to source supplies.


* March London cocoa rose 1.3% to 1,661 pounds a tonne after dipping to a four-month low of £1,629 on Wednesday December 1.

* March New York cocoa gained 0.9% to $2,372 a tonne, having hit a four-month low of $2,333 on Wednesday.

Suncity Says Macau Gaming Rooms Shut, CEO Resigns After Arrest

In other global hospitality industry-related news, Macau's Suncity Group Holdings Ltd said gaming rooms operated by a company owned by its former CEO and chairman, Alvin Chau, have been closed.

Chau, who was arrested with 10 others on Sunday November 28 over alleged links to cross-border gambling and money laundering, is also the founder of Macau's biggest junket operator which brings in high rollers to play at casinos.

Suncity Group also confirmed in its statement issued late on Wednesday December 1 that Chau had resigned from all positions at the listed company, but did not announce a new CEO or chairman.

In a watershed development for the sector, Macau and mainland Chinese authorities are adopting a zero-tolerance approach to the promotion of gambling in mainland China where it is illegal. In tandem, they are seeking to rein in the flow of Chinese gambling-related funds into Macau and other gaming hubs - outflows that China last year deemed a national security risk.

Chau's junket operations are estimated to have accounted for a quarter of Macau's gambling revenues, and the closure of his gaming rooms is expected to exacerbate pain for casino operators in the world's largest gambling hub that has already been hit hard by the pandemic.

Shares in Wynn Macau have plunged 20% since Chau's arrest while Sands China and MGM China have both slid 15%, though declines logged on Thursday December 2 were much milder than earlier in the week.

Suncity Group, which describes itself as a gambling sector investment company with hotel and other retail assets, has sought to draw a distinction between its businesses and Chau's junket operations, but analysts see them as inextricably linked.

"Suncity junket was the cash cow, the money-making entity, that supported financially the rest of the group," said Carlos Lobo, a Macau-based gaming consultant.

He added that the certain demise of Chau's junket operations following his arrest would lead to closures in other areas of the group such as restaurants, bars and hotels.

Suncity Group said in the statement that its travel-related businesses would be "adversely affected" by the crackdown on Chau's junket operations.

Its stock was down 5% in Thursday December 2 afternoon trade, off a record low marked earlier in the day, after being suspended on Wednesday December 1. The shares have halved in value this week and are now worth HK$847 million ($110 million).

Macau authorities have accused Chau and 10 others of using the former Portuguese colony as a base for an illegal "live web betting platform" in the Philippines that attracted mainland Chinese gamblers.

A warrant for Chau's arrest has also been issued by the mainland Chinese city of Wenzhou, accusing him of forming an extensive junket agent network that helps citizens engage in gambling activities and of setting up a company that helps gamblers make cross-border fund transfers.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.