LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - London cocoa futures on ICE rose on Wednesday as the British pound retreated and more upbeat chart signals inspired speculative buying, while raw sugar climbed as technicals improved.
* December London cocoa was up 13 pounds, or 0.9 percent, at 1,489 pounds a tonne by 1119 GMT, after hitting a session high of 1,495 pounds.
* Dealers said the technical structure had improved when prices managed to climb over key resistance levels.
* This triggered some buy stops and inspired light speculative short-covering, although dealers noted volumes remained modest and industry demand was still lacklustre.
* “The market hasn’t been able to follow through successfully on the downside,” said one dealer. “On that basis, it seems it’s a little bit oversold. But there’s still hardly any fireworks.”
* A softer British pound, which eased off one-year highs, also helped support the London market, dealers said.
* September cocoa, which expires on Thursday, was up 6 pounds, or 0.4 percent, at 1,438 pounds a tonne. Open interest had dropped 1,420 lots to 21,005 lots as of Sept. 12.
* December New York cocoa rose $16, or 0.8 percent, to $1,967 a tonne.
* October raw sugar rose 0.12 cents, or 9 percent, to 14.14 cents per lb, partially recovering the previous day’s losses.
* Sentiment was boosted by firmer technicals and the fact that global raw sugar prices remain below ethanol parity in Brazil.
* Data this week signalled ethanol demand is picking up and Brazilian mills seem to be shifting some production away from sugar and towards the biofuel.
* “That sub-ethanol level seems to be having an impact in Brazil,” said Tobin Gorey of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
* October white sugar was up $2.50, or 0.7 percent, at $368.00 a tonne, after tumbling over 3 percent in the previous session.
* The spot white sugar premium slipped to its lowest in more than 2-1/2 years on Tuesday, as the market braced for a surge in supply from the likes of the European Union, Thailand and Pakistan.
* China will start a series of auctions from mid-September to sell around 370,000 tonnes of sugar from its state reserves, the state planner said on Wednesday.
* December arabica coffee was up 1.05 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $1.361 per lb, after technical buying lifted prices to $1.3645, the highest since August 16.
* November robusta coffee rose $12, or 0.6 percent, to $1,981 a tonne. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by Edmund Blair)