LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures rose on Thursday, hovering just below the previous day’s 2-1/2 month high as chart-inspired speculative buying lent support, while raw sugar also edged higher.
* May New York cocoa was up $16, or 0.8 percent, at$2,100 a tonne by 1209 GMT, just below the prior session’s 2-1/2 month high of $2,114.
* Prices surged as much as 3.8 percent on Wednesday, lifted by currency and speculative buying.
* Dealers pointed to a softer dollar and a positive technical picture as supportive factors on Thursday, as prices remained above the 100- and 200-day moving averages.
* May London cocoa rose 5 pounds, or 0.3 percent, to 1,490 pounds a tonne, after earlier hitting its highest since Nov. 30.
* However, dealers said the advance was stalled by producer pricing.
* “Origin has been active and that’s why London has been sluggish,” the dealer said. “They have been taking advantage of the rise.”
* Focus was on ample supplies, as port arrivals in the Ivory Coast showed no sign of slowing, raising concerns that this season’s crop could be bigger than expected, dealers added.
* Meanwhile, recent worries about dry weather in West Africa were subsiding as rains were expected to improve conditions in the coming days, dealers said.
* March raw sugar rose 0.11 cent, or 0.8 percent, to 13.51 cents per lb, after slipping 1 percent in the prior session.
* “The falls were sharper in the season 2018 contracts, leaving the New York March at unnerving premium as its expiry approaches,” Tobin Gorey of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a note.
* The premium for the March contract, which expires at the end of the month, has rallied on expectations for less deliverable raw sugar amid reduced supplies from Brazil and increased flows of Central American sugar to China.
* May white sugar climbed $1, or 0.3 percent, to $358.10 a tonne.
* An Ethiopian government body is tendering to buy up to 100,000 tonnes of white cane sugar for June, July and August delivery.
* May robusta coffee rose $6, or 0.3 percent, to $1,817 a tonne, after rising to its highest in nearly three months on Wednesday.
* March arabica coffee was unchanged at $1.2280 per lb.
* Brazil will harvest a record 59.15 million 60-kg bags of coffee in the 2018/19 season, up from 48.17 million bags the prior year, Terra Forte said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Ana Ionova, Editing by Alexandra Hudson)