June 22, 2016 / 5:57 PM / 3 years ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar falls for 3rd day, cocoa steadies ahead of vote

* Pound firms as EU vote campaign in final stretch
    * Robusta coffee focused on poor Brazilian crop

 (Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, second
byline, NEW YORK dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and David Brough
    NEW YORK/LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on
ICE fell for the third straight session on Wednesday, on
late-day selling and as port congestion in top grower Brazil
eased, while cocoa steadied as many traders sat on the sidelines
ahead of Britain's referendum.
    Arabica coffee eased on pressure from ample supplies in
Brazil. This was in line with the 19-commodity Thomson Reuters
CoreCommodity Index, which fell for the second
straight day as markets focused on Britain's vote on whether to
remain in the European Union on Thursday.
    October raw sugar settled down 0.17 cent, or 0.9
percent, at 19.17 cents per lb, extending losses in a flurry of
selling in the final 10 minutes of trade.
    "It seems the path of least resistance is back into the
recent range above 19 cents to 19.50 cents," said Tom Kujawa,
co-head of softs at Sucden Financial Sugar.
    August white sugar settled down 50 cents, or 0.1
percent, at $530.70 per tonne.
    In cocoa, upside in the London sterling-based cocoa futures
was capped by the firmer pound, which briefly neared the prior
session's 5-1/2-month high against the dollar, as investors cut
bets against the pound a day before Britain's EU vote. 
    Cocoa prices are influenced by the British pound,
which typically influences London cocoa prices to move in the
opposite direction and dollar-traded U.S. market prices in the
same direction.
    Because of this currency relationship, cocoa dealers have
been keeping a close eye on expectations for the vote results on
Thursday.
    "Cocoa traders were taking the wait-and-see approach," said
Peter Mooses, senior market strategist for RJO Futures in
Chicago.
    "The markets are focused on the Brexit possibilities coming
June 23. Extreme volatility is expected in all sectors," Mooses
said.
    "A vote to stay in the EU will most likely be bullish for
commodities. An exit will bring a negative tone across the
board." 
    London September cocoa settled up 11 pounds, or 0.5
percent, at 2,264 pounds per tonne.
    New York September cocoa settled up $10, or 0.3
percent, at $3,156 per tonne.
    Arabica coffee futures edged lower, weighed by an abundant
harvest now under way in Brazil.
    Andrea Thompson, analyst with CoffeeNetwork, said concerns
over a very poor robusta coffee harvest in Brazil supported
those futures, which traded near a 10-month peak.
    September arabica futures settled down 1.25 cent, or
0.9 percent, at $1.397 per lb. 
    September robusta coffee settled down $7, or 0.4
percent, at $1,708 per tonne.


 (Editing by William Hardy and Marguerita Choy)
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