September 21, 2017 / 11:53 AM / in 3 months

SOFTS-Arabica coffee slips as sellers return; raw sugar also down

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures fell on Thursday, pressured by persistent speculative selling against a more crop-friendly weather outlook in top grower Brazil, while raw sugar also eased.

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee was down 1.7 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $1.384 per lb by 1124 GMT after hitting a session low of $1.3785.

* Prices gained in the previous session, partially rebounding from a recent sell-off triggered by forecasts for crop-friendly rains in Brazil.

* However, selling pressure resumed on Thursday, with dealers saying there was little technical inspiration for speculators to cover short positions.

* “If (forecast rains in Brazil) they materialise, the market will keep going down,” said Carlos Mera, senior commodities analyst at Rabobank. “We still need to see more rains (in the key coffee areas). But it’s the start of the wet season - more rains will come.”

* November robusta coffee was down $17, or 0.8 percent, at $2,018 a tonne after rallying 2.6 percent to a two-week high in the previous session.

* Uganda’s August coffee exports rose 44 percent from the same month last year, boosted by an extra crop from new maturing trees, the state-run coffee development authority said.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar was down 0.03 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 14.04 cents per lb.

* Brazil’s center-south region may increase ethanol output in the current cane crop by 1 billion litres, compared with a previous estimate of 23.8 billion litres, according to Canaplan consultancy.

* December white sugar was unchanged at $371 a tonne.

* Prices have been under pressure as the European Union prepares to liberalise its sugar regime in October, with expectations for ample output reinforced this week when the European Commission boosted its estimate for sugar beet yields in the bloc.

* “These stronger yields suggest the EU will have a significantly larger harvest in the first season of production quotas having been lifted,” ING said in a market note.

COCOA

* December London cocoa rose by 1 pound, or 0.1 percent, to 1,481 pounds a tonne.

* December New York cocoa eased by $13, or 0.7 percent, to $1,985 a tonne.

* Olam International’s top cocoa official on Wednesday said he expects top grower Ivory Coast’s production during the October-to-March main crop to fall by at least 10 percent from last year’s record 1.5 million tonnes. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by David Goodman)

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