Asia Softs-Indian cyclone ignored; cocoa awaits grindings data

Reuters

* Thai raws premiums in wide range; high futures may lead todrop

* Cocoa Q3 grindings data due, coffee premiums could fall

* TOCOM rubber seen in wide range this week

By Lewa Pardomuan

SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Thai raw sugar premiums couldtrade in a wide range this week, shrugging off a deadly cyclonein India, while the cocoa market is waiting for the release ofMalaysian third-quarter grindings for clues on demand, dealerssaid on Monday.

Among other soft commodities, benchmark Tokyo rubber futuresmay track movements in the yen, and the coffee market could seemore offers from top robusta producer Vietnam as its harvestprogresses, putting pressure on premiums.

Thai high polarisation raw sugar was offered at premiums ofbetween 50 and 100 points to New York's March contract inthin trade. The premiums, which stood at 70 to 80 points lastweek, could drop this week due to rallies in New York. Premiumsand futures often move in opposite directions.

Cyclone Phailin brought winds of 200 kph (125 mph) and heavyrain to the Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh onSaturday but the impact on sugar cane was minimal, dealers said.

"Whilst much destruction has been reported from areas inthe direct path of Phailin, in terms of sugar cane, Odisha is avery minor cane/sugar producing state. So any damage to Odisha'scane will have minimal impact on 2013/14 production," said TomMcNeill, director at commodities analyst Green Pool.

"There could be a benefit to the very dry conditions inAndhra Pradesh where cane is grown - but it's still early days."

India, the world's largest consumer, may export as much as 3million tonnes of sugar in the next season to reduce excessstocks, but New York futures rose to a seven-month high inOctober after wet weather hampered harvesting in main producerBrazil.

"The market is very much ignoring, at the present stage, thefact that Asian production looks very very strong if we look atThailand and India being the key areas," said Luke Mathews, acommodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"And the market is still looking at an overall surplus in2013/14, something which we think will ultimately weigh onvalues."

COCOA, RUBBER

In the cocoa market, Thursday's third-quarter grindingsfigures to be issued by the Malaysian Cocoa Board could offerclues on how grinders deal with soaring global bean prices.

The premiums for butter have hit a seven-year high in Asiadue to strong demand, but grinders are struggling to sellanother product, cocoa powder.

"We have to sell powder slowly and we still have long-termcustomers to service. We have no choice," said a grinder inMalaysia.

In rubber, the most active March contract on the TokyoCommodity Exchange could find support at 253.1 yen a kgand face resistance 276.4 yen, said Vanessa Tan, an investmentanalyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

"I am bullish for TOCOM rubber this week. It is unlikely theU.S. government will default on its debt as the debt ceiling wasalways raised at the eleventh hour before the deadline," saidTan.

"The easing of worries regarding a U.S. debt default willreduce demand for the Japanese yen as a safe haven asset. Theweaker yen will then support TOCOM rubber prices."

(Editing by Alan Raybould)

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