Softs this morning are mixed with May sugar -0.08 (-0.62%), May coffee +0.15 (+0.13%), May cocoa unch, May cotton +0.32 (+0.38%). Softs on Monday settled mixed: May sugar +0.09 (+0.70%), May coffee -0.70 (-0.58%), May cocoa +81 (+3.29%), May cotton -1.24 (-1.47%). May sugar on Monday closed higher as they consolidated recent losses. May sugar Friday fell to an 8-1/4 month nearest-futures low as signs of bigger global supplies spurred fund selling. India's SMA raised its 2017/18 India sugar production estimate to a record 29.5 MMT and said India may boost its sugar exports to a 4-year high of 2 MMT because of the record output. Also, researcher Green Pool Commodity Specialists raised their 2017/18 global sugar surplus estimate to 11.4 MMT from a prior estimate of 10.3 MMT and predicted the global sugar surplus will continue into 2018/19 with a surplus of 5.4 MMT. Data from Unica shows Brazil's Center-South 2017/18 sugar output in the crop year through Feb up +1.57% y/y at 35.840 MMT with the percent of sugar used for ethanol down to 53.16% from 53.50% last year. ISO projects a global 2017/18 sugar surplus of +5.03 MMT following the global 2016/17 deficit of -6.465 MMT. The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on Nov 17 raised its 2017/18 global sugar surplus estimate to 10.73 MMT from a May forecast of 8.07 MMT and raised its global 2017/18 sugar production estimate to a record 184.95 MMT from a May view of 179.64 MMT.

May coffee prices on Monday fell to a 2-week low and closed lower. Reduced Brazil coffee crop concerns have fueled fund selling of coffee futures after Somar Meteorolgia reported 108% of the historical average of rainfall over the past week in Brazil's Minas Gerais region, Brazil's largest arabica-bean producing area. May coffee on Feb 22 posted a contract low and nearest-futures (H18) slumped to an 8-1/2 month low as signs of robust supplies. ICE-monitored coffee inventories in Jan had climbed to a 2-1/4 year high of 2.017 mln bags, and Cooxupe, Brazil's largest coffee cooperative, said it sees Brazil's 2018/19 arabica coffee crop rising +20% y/y to 42 mln bags. Also, researcher Terra Forte predicts Brazil 2018/19 coffee output may climb +23% y/y to 59.2 mln bags. In addition, Vietnam said it expects its 2018 coffee exports to rise +9% y/y to 1.55 MMT. Supplies remain ample as ICO data 2017/18 global coffee exports from Oct-Jan are up +3.1% y/y at 40.74 mln bags. The ICO projects global 2017/18 coffee production will climb +0.8% y/y to a record 158.93 mln bags. The ICO projects a global 2016/17 coffee ending stocks surplus of 2.38 mln bags, the first surplus in 3 years. On the positive side, the USDA projects that global 2017/18 coffee ending stocks will fall -8.6% to a 5-year low of 29.3 mln bags. Also, Cecafe reported Brazil Feb green coffee exports of 2.12 mln bags were down -7.8% y/y and the lowest for a Feb in 5-years.

May cocoa prices on Monday posted a new 1-1/3 year nearest-futures high as Ivory Coast crop concerns spurred fund short-covering as Friday's CFTC data showed net short cocoa positions in ICE cocoa futures from hedge funds fell to a 16-month low as of Mar 6. Excessive dryness in the Ivory Coast has raised crop concerns and lit a fire under cocoa prices after a recent report from Speedwell Weather said that over the past month the Ivory Coast has received less than 75% of normal rainfall. Also, the ICCO projects 2017/18 global cocoa production will fall -2.3% y/y to 4.638 MMT with a global cocoa surplus falling to +105,000 MT from a 300,000 MT surplus in 2016/17, a 6-year high. Current supplies are tighter after data showed Ivory Coast farmers delivered 1.412 MMT of cocoa beans to Ivory Coast ports from Oct 1-Mar 11, down -1.4% y/y. Another supportive factor is signs of stronger global demand. Recent data from Barry Callebaut showed global chocolate sales rose +3.1% in the three months through Oct and the European Cocoa Association reported European Q4 cocoa processing rose +4.4% y/y to 353,286 MT, higher than expectations of +3.4% y/y and the most for a Q4 since the data began in 1999. However, Q4 Asia cocoa grindings rose +4.2% to 196,476 MT, below expectations of +8% y/y, and Q4 North American cocoa grindings unexpectedly fell -1.3% to 116,080 MT, weaker than expectations for a +2.5% increase. The Ivory Coast on Dec 21 boosted its 2017/18 main cocoa crop forecast to 1.40 MMT to 1.45 MMT from a prior forecast of 1.35 MMT. The ICCO projected 2016/17 global cocoa production at a record 4.748 MMT with a 6-year-high surplus of +300,000 MT. Ghana said its 2016/17 cocoa production rose +25% y/y to 969,438 MT, a 6-year high, although the ICCO projects Ghana's 2017/18 cocoa production will fall -7% y/y to 900,000 MT.

May cotton on Monday closed lower on fund liquidation as concern intensifies that foreign countries may retaliate for U.S. tariffs on imports by imposing tariffs on U.S. goods including cotton. May cotton last Tuesday posted a contract high and nearest-futures (H18) posted a 3-3/4 year high after the NWS forecast warmer-than-normal temperatures with limited precipitation over the next month for the drought-stricken southern Plains. Thursday's weekly data from the U.S. Drought Monitor showed moderate to extreme drought in Texas, the biggest U.S. cotton-producing state, expanded to 54% from 37% 3-months earlier. Signs of strong foreign demand is a major bullish factor for cotton after the USDA projects global 2017/18 cotton use will climb to 120.79 mln bales, a 10-year high. Cotlook projects a global 2018/19 cotton deficit of -583,000 MT from a 2017/18 surplus of +160,000 MT. Chinese cotton demand has been robust as China's 2017 cotton imports rose +28.9% y/y to 1.15 MMT and China Jan cotton imports rose +15.9% y/y to 133.7 MT. The Pakistan Textile Mills Association on Dec 6 said Pakistan may need to import 2.5 mln bales of cotton in 2018. Recent foods in Pakistan, the world's fourth-largest cotton producer, may reduce its cotton crop and prompt it to import as much as 1 mln bales this year, according to researcher Rose Commodity Group. On the negative side, the Cotton Advisory Board recently predicted 2017/18 cotton production in India, the world's biggest cotton producer, will climb +9.3% y/y to a 3-year high of 37.7 mln bales. Also, the USDA in Thursday's WASDE report unexpectedly raised its 2017/18 global cotton ending stocks estimate to 88.85 mln bales, more than expectations for a cut to 87.8 mln bales.