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(Corrects day of week in first paragraph)
By Marcelo Teixeira
NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) - Deliveries of raw sugar on the expiry of the July contract on ICE U.S. exchange were seen at 9,897 lots, or around 502,000 tonnes, historically not very large, according to preliminary information from traders on Thursday.
Louis Dreyfus Company was said to be the largest receiver of that sugar with 5,128 lots, or around 260,000 tonnes, while commodities trader Viterra was seen as the largest deliverer with 4,528 lots, or 230,000 tonnes.
Brazil's Raizen and Asian trader Wilmar International were also seen as receivers of smaller amounts of sugar. ICE will release official data on the July contract expiry on Friday.
Traders and analysts said the size of the delivery was not large considering previous volumes for the July contract such as in 2019 when more than 41,000 lots were delivered, a record for that month. Last year the number was small at only 2,587 lots.
"Brazil was not motivated enough and cash premiums are higher than the inverse (futures market)," said sugar analyst Claudiu Covrig, referring to the lack of more deliveries from top producer Brazil and current prices in the physical market being higher than at ICE.
In fact, the line-up of sugar shipments at Brazilian ports grew sharply recently to around 3.4 million tonnes compared to only 1.23 million tonnes at this time last year, showing positive demand for raws in the market.
July open interest had fallen sharply in the days prior to the expiry, as commodities traders gave up on plans for higher deliveries, brokers said.
Traditionally, large deliveries at the exchange are seen as bearish, since traders could probably not find better deals in the broader physical market. Smaller deliveries are usually seen as bullish for futures prices. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Richard Chang)