LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures rose to the highest level since late 2016 on Friday, boosted by a reduced crop outlook in top grower Ivory Coast while raw sugar edged up, extending this week’s short-covering rally.
* May New York cocoa was up $9, or 0.4 percent, at $2,259 a tonne at 1138 GMT after rising to a peak of $2,283, the highest for the second position since December 2016.
* “The cocoa market continues to react to hot and dry weather in the Ivory Coast, with traders readjusting positions to price in the continued reductions in surplus forecasts,” analyst Darren Stetzel of INTL FCStone said in a market update.
* Ivory Coast’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) has sold forward up to 170,000 tonnes more main crop export contracts than it’s now expected to produce, two senior officials with the marketing board told Reuters on Thursday.
* May London cocoa was up 1 pound, or 0.1 percent, at 1,611 pounds a tonne after climbing to a 3-1/2 month high of 1,628 pounds.
* May raw sugar was up 0.03 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 13.74 cents per lb.
* Dealers said this week’s run-up had been fuelled largely by fund short covering with overall supplies seen ample despite an expected switch in Brazil towards more use of cane to produce ethanol rather than sugar.
* “We think investors covering short positions is sufficient explanation for the move,” said analyst Tobin Gorey of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
* Brazil shipped less sugar to foreign buyers in February compared with the same month a year before, according to official data released on Thursday.
* May white sugar fell $0.10, or 0.03 percent, to $368.40 a tonne.
* May robusta coffee fell $7, or 0.4 percent, to $1,761 a tonne as the market resumed its recent downtrend after Thursday’s short-covering rally.
* Dealers said the strong pace of exports from top robusta producer Vietnam helped to keep the market on the defensive.
* May arabica coffee was down 0.45 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $1.2350 per lb. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by John Stonestreet)