Will Sugar’s Price Outlook Sweeten In 2013?

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updated | Author's Website

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Psychologically, Sugar prices have turned bullish for the near-term, as prices rallied off recent lows after a rather bearish surplus estimate failed to draw in short-sellers. Though current momentum is now favoring Sugar bulls, we may not see any major fresh buying by large speculators unless we can see a strong close through the 20-cent per pound level.

Fundamentals

After trading at 28-month lows, Sugar futures prices are beginning to rebound, as some traders start to exit bearish trades going into the new year. Sugar futures were one of the worst performing commodities in 2012, as a large supply surplus and average demand sent prices to lows not seen in over 2 years. The International Sugar Organization (“ISO”) raised its estimate for the world Sugar surplus to 6.16 million tons this season. This upward revision initially sent prices to multi-year lows, though prices have since rebounded sharply, which may be signaling that near-term lows are in place. Despite the prospects of another large Sugar surplus, the outlook for Sugar prices may be starting to brighten going into 2013. Improvements in the global economy could help spur increased demand for commodities, especially if Chinese growth prospects rebound. In addition, a large short position being held by small speculators has many market technicians looking for a short-covering bounce for prices, especially if it appears that recent lows are holding.

Technical Notes

Looking at the daily chart for March Sugar, we notice a “reversal” on the daily chart, as prices failed to follow-through to the downside after Thursday’s move to 28-month lows. Prices have since rebounded above 19-cents per pound, as weak bears run for the exits. The 14-day RSI has rebounded from near oversold conditions and is now reading a neutral 50.11. The next resistance level for March Sugar is seen at the 20-cent price level, with this past Thursday’s low of 18.31 acting as strong support.

Mike Zarembski, Senior Commodity Analyst

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