November 2, 2017 / 12:11 PM / in a month

SOFTS-Raw sugar pulls back from 3-month high, robusta coffee climbs

LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE fell on Thursday, as producer selling pushed prices further away from a three-month high touched a day earlier, while robusta coffee climbed off 14-month lows as speculative buying lent support.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar was down 0.13 cent, or 0.9 percent, to 14.48 cents per lb by 1151 GMT, retreating further away a three-month high hit in the prior session as short-covering stalled.

* The market was also weighed by producer selling, as Brazilian mills took the opportunity to hedge their sugar at higher prices, dealers said.

* Market participants were closely monitoring whether the second month will hold above the 40-day moving average, a key support level.

* “Should these support areas be breached, we would expect March NY to go all the way back town to test the area below 14 cents,” said Nick Penney, senior trader at Sucden Financial.

* Focus was also on weather in Brazil, where crop-friendly rains are expected to benefit cane development after a dry spell.

* December white sugar fell $1.00, or 0.3 percent, at $381.40 a tonne.

* Dealers noted focus was on potential nearby supply tightness, as little sugar from the EU will be available for delivery against the December contract.

* “Most of the exportable (EU) sugars have been/will be priced against the March contract, leaving the December reliant on Central America and Brazil for deliverable sugars,” Penney said.

COFFEE

* January robusta coffee was up $23, or 1.3 percent, at $1,861 per tonne, rebounding from losses in the prior session.

* Prices slumped to their weakest since September 2016 on Wednesday, pressured by the approaching harvest in top grower Vietnam and waning worries about delays to the crop.

* The market managed to climb off the lows in thin volume on Thursday, supported by light speculative buying.

* Storms in Vietnam also lent some support, with rains expected in the key Central Highlands coffee belt over the weekend, which will prevent farmers from harvesting and drying coffee beans.

* December arabica coffee slipped 0.20 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $1.2315 per lb.

* Prices fell to their weakest since late June in the previous session, pressured by a wave of fund selling.

COCOA

* December London cocoa fell 3 pounds, or 0.2 percent, to 1,568 pounds a tonne.

* December New York cocoa eased $11 or 0.5 percent, to $2,112 a tonne. (Reporting by Ana Ionova, editing by David Evans)

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