October 18, 2017 / 5:58 PM / in a month

SOFTS-Arabica coffee turns up amid mixed Brazil forecasts

 (Rewrites throughout; updates prices; adds comment, details)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures
firmed slightly on Wednesday, changing direction after matching
the prior session's 3-1/2-month low as traders weighed forecasts
for much-needed rain in top grower Brazil amid largely warm and
dry conditions.
            
    COFFEE
    * December arabica coffee        settled up 0.15 cent, or
0.1 percent, at $1.243 per lb. 
    * The spot contract fell to a session low of $1.23, matching
 Tuesday's 3-1/2-month low and forming a so-called double
bottom, a potential technical support level.
    * Total open interest has risen for the past seven sessions
to 229,958 contracts by Tuesday, exchange data showed, as prices
fell more than 5 percent after rains spurred flowering in
Brazil's coffee belt following a dry September.
    * Below-normal rainfall was forecast in some of Brazil's
coffee regions while above-normal precipitation was expected in
others over the next six to 10 days, meteorologist MDA
Information Systems said in a report.
    * Traders said they were waiting to see if there will be
enough timely rain to ensure the crop's flowers are pollinated.
    * November robusta coffee         settled up $19, or 1
percent, at $2,000 per tonne.
    
    SUGAR
    * December white sugar         settled up $2, or 0.5
percent, at $370.30 per tonne, after slipping to a two-week low
in the previous session. 
    * "We need to see (the premium) go back up toward $65-$70
for people to start stepping up to sell again," said one dealer.
    * The market remained vulnerable to short-covering, as
speculators watched for signs of a nearby supply crunch, since
much of the EU's massive crop may not be available for December
delivery. 
    * "The market, or the players, are still adapting to the new
EU rules with December expiring in under a month," Agrilion
Commodity Advisers said in a market note.
    * March raw sugar        settled up 0.05 cent, or 0.4
percent, at 14.08 cents per lb.

    COCOA
    * December London cocoa         settled up 4 pounds, or 0.3
percent, at 1,560 pounds per tonne.
    * December New York cocoa        settled up $3, or 0.2
percent, at $2,067 per tonne.
    * Prices were lightly supported by some industry buyers,
dealers said.
    * The market awaited third-quarter cocoa grind data from
North America on Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), with
expectations for a year-over-year rise of 2 percent to 3
percent, which would mark a three-year high
    * Asian grinding data, expected on Friday, was seen up about
10 percent.

 (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Ana Ionova in
London; editing by David Evans and Meredith Mazzilli)
  

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