April 4, 2018 / 10:49 AM / 16 days ago

SOFTS-NY cocoa futures extend retreat, sugar also lower

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures extended the prior session’s fall on Wednesday as an improving crop outlook in top grower Ivory Coast helped to trigger a bout of profit-taking after prices climbed to a 1-1/2 year high on Monday.

COCOA

* May New York cocoa was down $29, or 1.2 percent, at $2,469 a tonne at 1023 GMT, retreating further from a 1-1/2 year high of $2,647 set on Monday.

* Ivory Coast cocoa farmers said their trees were loaded with ripe cocoa pods and sunny intervals last week enabled crops to dry, quelling fears low rainfall earlier this year might have hit production.

* A government spokesman said last week the Ivory Coast mid-crop was expected to reach about 500,000 tonnes, well above the 400,000 tonnes seen recently by a senior source at the Coffee and Cocoa Council.

* “Hopes are rainfall in the next month or so will bolster the situation further,” INTL FCStone in Singapore said in a market note.

* May London cocoa was down 21 pounds, or 1.2 percent, at 1,712 pounds a tonne.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar was down 0.13 cent, or 1.0 percent, at 12.34 cents per lb.

* Dealers said the market was drifting back down towards last week’s 2-1/2 year low of 12.18 cents with rising production in India and Thailand contributing to oversupply.

* Indian sugar mills produced 28.18 million tonnes sugar in the first six months of 2017/18 marketing year that started on Oct. 1, the Indian Sugar Mills Association said on Tuesday.

* “This is a 49 percent increase year-on-year and it is looking very likely that India will produce a record crop this season,” ING said in a market note, adding at the end of March 331 out of 524 mills were still operating.

* May white sugar fell $2.00, or 0.6 percent, to $352.70 a tonne.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee was down 0.10 cent, or 0.1 percent at $1.1650 per lb. The front month fell to a low of $1.16 on Tuesday, its weakest since June.

* Colombia’s coffee federation on Tuesday asked the government for direct help for growers of the bean, amid lower prices - both international and internal - and a strengthening peso currency.

* May robusta coffee was up $1 at $1,740 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Mark Potter)

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