LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures were slightly lower on Wednesday, pressured by a firmer dollar and ample supply overall despite some short-term tightness, while arabica coffee dipped to a two-month low.
* May raw sugar was down 0.03 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 13.26 cents per lb at 1115 GMT.
* “The market is still dealing with a heavy surplus. But the surplus seems to have been kicked down the 2018 road,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey.
* Dealers noted that the March contract, which expires at the end of this month, continued to command a premium to May.
* “The strength in the spread suggests limited availability for the upcoming March expiry,” ING said in a market note.
* “Given the strength in domestic ethanol prices in Brazil, the early part of the 2018/19 crush is likely to be heavily ethanol focused, limiting sugar availability at the start of the crop,” the bank added.
* May white sugar fell $1.30, or 0.4 percent, to $356.60 a tonne.
* May arabica coffee was down 0.1 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $1.1960 per lb after dipping to a low of $1.1940, the weakest for the second position since Dec. 13.
* Dealers said recent weakness had led to an increasingly bearish outlook on technical indicators while the market was also weighed down by the prospect of a large crop in Brazil this year, an on-year in its biennial crop cycle.
* “The (technical) indicators point to lower prices as they all show weakness,” said Sucden Financial technical analyst Geordie Wilkes. “We anticipate prices will remain under pressure in the near term.”
* May robusta coffee was down $13, or 0.7 percent, at $1,757 a tonne.
* May New York cocoa was down $18, or 0.8 percent, at$2,130 a tonne, retreating further from last week’s three-month high of $2,157.
* May London cocoa was down 2 pounds, or 0.1 percent at 1,514 pounds a tonne, underpinned by the weakness of sterling.
* Ivory Coast’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) has banned Belgian trader Sopex from contracting with local cocoa exporters and processors for 10 years for failing to respect its commercial engagements, a CCC statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by David Goodman)