March 9, 2018 / 8:20 PM / a year ago

SOFTS-NY cocoa falls from 16-mth high; sugar slips to 8-1/2-mth low

(Updates throughout with closing prices, market comment; adds NEW YORK dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - Cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. touched and then toppled from a 16-month high on Friday, as raw sugar slipped to an 8-1/2-month low and arabica coffee eased.

ICE sugar, coffee and cocoa markets will open an hour later than usual from March 21-23. The daily settlement window for cocoa will also be an hour later during that time.


* May New York cocoa settled down $28, or 1.12 percent, at $2,465 per tonne after hitting a peak of $2,539, the highest since November 2016.

* A recent run-up has been fueled by technically driven fund buying and a diminished outlook for production in Ivory Coast, lifting benchmark prices 6.6 percent this week alone.

* The market now appeared heavily overbought, raising the prospect there could be a setback in prices, traders said.

* “From a technical perspective the market is still considered the most overbought in the past ten years,” INTL FCStone said in a market update.

* May London cocoa settled down 32 pounds, or 1.80 percent, at 1,741 pounds per tonne after touching a peak of 1,799 pounds, the highest for the second position since January 2017.

* Ivory Coast’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) will suspend programmes for the 2018-19 season that boost cocoa output, it said on Friday, aiming to reduce production in the face of global oversupply.

* Traders attributed a recent leg of cocoa’s 2018 rally to expectations of the move.

* “I would think the rally we have seen was in response to this news which insiders knew was coming well before the announcement,” said Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors in Boca Raton, Florida.


* May raw sugar finished down 0.05 cent, or 0.39 percent, at 12.84 cents per lb after slipping to 12.75 cents, a contract low and the weakest for the front month since June 2017.

* Prices fell 4.3 percent from the previous Friday’s close, under pressure as a higher forecast for production in India added to concerns about excess supplies.

* May white sugar settled up 60 cents, or 0.17 percent, at $357.30 per tonne.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday raised its forecast a record domestic crop.


* May arabica coffee settled down 0.15 cent, or 0.12 percent, at $1.2015 per lb.

* May robusta coffee settled up $20, or 1.14 percent, at $1,780 per tonne. (Reporting by Chris Prentice in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by David Evans and Lisa Shumaker)

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