LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures edged higher on Thursday as selling pressure eased against a backdrop of a firmer Brazilian currency, while arabica coffee extended gains and a weaker pound boosted London cocoa.
* March raw sugar was up 0.07 cent, or 0.5 percent, at 14.25 cents per lb by 1024 GMT as selling waned.
* Dealers noted prices were supported by a firmer Brazilian real, after the country’s central bank cut its benchmark rate to near an all-time low.
* A sharp drop in the real this week had brought out producer selling in the prior session, since it boosts returns in local currency terms from dollar-denominated commodities like sugar.
* Signs Brazilian mills are allocating more cane to ethanol rather than sugar has also boosted sentiment in recent days.
* However, a backdrop of plentiful global supplies limited the upside potential and kept the market locked in a range, dealers noted.
* “We still think this is an unstable stalemate rather than a comfort zone,” said Tobin Gorey of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
* December white sugar rose $0.40, or 0.1 percent, to $374.50 a tonne.
* December arabica coffee rose 0.60 cent, or 0.5 percent, to $1.247 per lb, extending the prior session’s gains.
* A bout of speculative short-covering on Wednesday helped boost prices off their weakest in nearly four months.
* “We saw the trading volumes improve on the upside yesterday, although they still remain weak,” said Sucden Financial technical analyst Geordie Wilkes.
* Supplies of prompt Brazilian coffee have tightened in the United States and Europe as importers say some shipping companies are cutting container availability from the world’s biggest grower.
* November robusta coffee climbed $2, or 0.1 percent, to $2,012 per tonne, steadying after a string of volatile days on the back of waning worries that wet weather in top grower Vietnam could delay the harvest.
* While dealers said new crop beans should be available for shipment starting from mid-November, they noted speculators holding long positions are still reluctant to sell.
* Vietnam is expected to see intermittent rainfall over the next 10 days, which together with recent crop-friendly rains may affect harvesting, traders said on Thursday.
* December London cocoa gained 7 pounds, or 0.5 percent, to 1,555 pounds a tonne, reversing the previous day’s losses as the British pound slumped.
* December New York cocoa rose $6 or 0.3 percent, to $2,085 a tonne. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; editing by Alexander Smith)