July 19, 2016 / 6:07 PM / 4 years ago

SOFTS-NY cocoa drops below $3,000 per tonne, pressured by weak sterling

* British pound falls as BoE seen easing monetary policy
    * Above freezing temperatures in Brazil coffee belt -MDA
    * Trade sees brisk cane crush in center-south Brazil

 (Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, second
byline, NEW YORK dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and David Brough
    NEW YORK/LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures
on ICE fell below $3,000 per tonne for the first time in two
weeks on Tuesday, as the weak British pound pressured
prices and extended losses below key technical levels.
    Arabica coffee futures turned lower as the coffee region in
top grower Brazil warmed slightly after an unexpected moderate
frost hit parts of its main growing region on Monday. Sugar was
little changed after a volatile session that was briefly buoyed
by talk of a forecast for dry conditions in Brazil to curb
production.
    September New York cocoa settled down $87, or 2.8
percent, at $2,998 per tonne, falling below the 200-day and then
the 50-day moving averages.
    Traders said the dollar-traded market was pressured by the
weak sterling, which fell against the greenback amid
expectations for the Bank of England to ease monetary policy.
 
    September London cocoa settled down 33 pounds, or
1.3 percent, at 2,437 pounds per tonne.
    Coffee prices also fell, with September arabica 
closing down 2.9 cent, or 1.9 percent, at $1.4655 per lb. 
    Traders said they were closely monitoring temperature
forecasts in Brazil after Monday's surprise frost.
    "Dry conditions in most areas this week will maintain
favorable conditions for coffee harvesting," said Maryland-based
MDA Information Systems in a weather forecast report.
    "Temperatures will be a touch below normal this week but
will remain above frost levels." 
    September robusta settled down $2, or 0.1 percent,
at $1,812 per tonne.
    Robusta futures were underpinned by a poor harvest in
Brazil, a late start to harvesting in Indonesia, and concerns
over the impact of adverse weather on output in top grower
Vietnam.
    October raw sugar on ICE settled down 0.01 cent, or
0.05 percent, at 19.36 cents per lb, holding above Monday's
three-week low of 19.13 cents.
    "As long as it remains dry, the market remains capped," one
analyst with a broker said, referring to Brazil's main
center-south region.
    Another broker said he expected Brazilian cane industry data
to show a rapid crush in the first half of July, adding that the
market was "over-long".
    "It seems we will be drifting lower in the short term," said
Tom Kujawa, co-head of the softs department at broker Sucden
Financial Sugar.
    "We seem most likely to test 19 cents a lb."
    October white sugar settled up $1.50, or 0.3
percent, at $535.50 per tonne.

 (Editing by Louise Heavens and Diane Craft)
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