LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures fell on Tuesday, retreating from the prior session’s 1-1/2 year high, while arabica coffee prices hovered just above a nine-month low.
* May New York cocoa was down $36, or 1.4 percent, at $2,599 a tonne at 1033 GMT, after the front month hit a 1-1/2 year high of $2,647 on Monday.
* Dealers said the market remained focused on the extent to which production in West Africa will fall this season.
* “We believe that short-term cocoa prices have more than priced in the lower crop in West Africa stemming from the tendency of tree crops to rest the year after a large output year,” Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors, said in a market note.
* May London cocoa was up 26 pounds, or 1.5 percent, at 1,779 pounds a tonne with the market adjusting to gains in New York on Monday when London-based contracts did not trade due to a public holiday.
* May arabica coffee was unchanged at $1.1640 per lb. The front month fell to a low of $1.1615 on Monday, its weakest since June.
* Dealers said the market was consolidating after a prolonged downtrend driven largely by the prospect of a large crop in top grower Brazil this year.
* “Prices appear to be shifting lower week by week on the same news that has been public knowledge for at least the last month,” INTL FCStone in Singapore said in a report.
* “You would expect any sentiment on the back of this should be well priced into the market by now.”
* May robusta coffee was down $1, or 0.1 percent, at $1,724 a tonne.
* Brazil coffee exports fell to 2.24 million 60-kg bags in March, down from 2.49 million in the same month last year, according to trade ministry data published on Monday.
* May raw sugar was down 0.19 cent, or 1.5 percent, at 12.33 cents per lb.
* Dealers said the market was back on the defensive after a shortlived bounce which took prices from a 2-1/2 year low of 12.18 cents on March 28 to a peak on Monday of 12.55 cents.
* Oversupply driven partly by rising production in India and Thailand remained the main bearish influence.
* “The market’s momentum remains firmly negative,” said analyst Tobin Gorey of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
* May white sugar rose $0.20, or 0.1 percent, to $351.40 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Susan Fenton)