LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures hit their highest level in more than seven months on Wednesday as the market continued to pick up, while robusta coffee edged away from the prior session’s 14-month low.
* March New York cocoa had risen $14, or 0.65 percent, to $2,153 a tonne by 1111 GMT after peaking at $2,163, the highest for the second position since late March.
* Dealers said the market was slowly beginning to regain ground after a prolonged slide driven by a huge global surplus in the 2016/17 season.
* The 2017/18 season is expected to see a more balanced market with production in top producer Ivory Coast expected to decline while demand has been picking up, particularly in Asia.
* “We had a fantastic harvest last year with a major surplus. For this year, we are a bit more cautious, but not pessimistic at all. The crop started a bit slower, but it is now accelerating,” chocolate maker Barry Callebaut’s Chief Financial Officer Victor Balli told reporters on Wednesday.
* “It looks reasonably good for this year ... Maybe a little deficit or a little surplus, that’s why the price is holding up quite nicely at the lower level,” he added after the company reported results for the 2016/17 fiscal year.
* December London cocoa was up 10 pounds, or 0.6 percent, at 1,606 pounds a tonne.
* January robusta coffee was up $1, or 0.05 percent, at $1,825 a tonne. The second month had dipped to a low of $1,800 on Tuesday, its weakest since late August 2016.
* Dealers said the market had been weighed down by rising supplies, as the harvest in Vietnam begins to gather pace, and sluggish demand.
* Vietnam, the world’s top robusta producer, exported 79,000 tonnes (1.32 million 60-kg bags) of coffee in October, customs data showed on Wednesday.
* December arabica coffee rose by 0.60 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $1.2530 per lb.
* The International Coffee Organization on Tuesday estimated there was a global surplus in 2016/17 following a rise in production in several countries including Honduras.
* “Now the ICO is already confirming a well-supplied market at the start of the (2017/18) season – which promises little upside potential for prices,” Commerzbank said in a market note.
* March raw sugar was off by 0.06 cents, or 0.4 percent, at 14.66 cents per lb as the market continued to consolidate just below a three-month peak of 14.84 cents set a week ago.
* March white sugar fell by $0.70, or 0.2 percent, to $382.20 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Susan Fenton)