July 14, 2017 / 6:57 PM / in 4 months

SOFTS-ICE arabica coffee hits 6-1/2-week high, cocoa gains

 (Recasts; updates prices, adds market comments, NEW YORK
    NEW YORK/LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee prices
hit a 6-1/2-week high on Friday as a stronger currency and signs
of tighter supplies in Brazil prompted short-covering, and cocoa
rose amid hopes of improving demand. 
    Raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. extended Thursday's gains.
    * September arabica coffee        settled up 2.5 cents, or
1.9 percent, at $1.337 per lb after hitting $1.3405, its highest
since May 31.
    * Prices        finished the week up 3.7 percent, its third
straight gain.
    * Lower exports and talk of smaller beans in Brazil lifted
prices, said Julio Sera, senior risk consultant for INTL FCStone
in Miami.
    * The Brazilian real        rose against the dollar. Its
gains typically reduce exporters' incentive to sell
greenback-traded commodities like coffee and sugar in the top
    * "The Brazilian real is the icing on the cake," said Sera.
"The market’s behaving very well on a technical standpoint on
the back of all this fundamental news."
    * Sentiment has been shifting, dealers said. Arabica has
been weighed by a large speculative short position in recent
    * September robusta coffee         settled up $1, or 0.1
percent, at $2,146 per tonne.
    * Brazil's farmers had harvested slightly less of this
season's crop through July 11, versus the same period last year
amid persistent rains and a labor shortage.             
    * September New York cocoa        settled up $43, or 2.3
percent, at $1,915 per tonne and finished the week up 2.3
    * September London cocoa         settled up 17 pounds, or
1.1 percent, at 1,509 pounds per tonne.
    * The front-month July contract's         premium to the
second-month widened ahead of Friday's expiry before settling at
a slight discount. 
    * "It probably reflects the uptick in demand for cocoa,"
said Edward George, head of group research at Ecobank. "Grinders
have got to replenish their stocks."
    * October raw sugar        settled up 0.16 cent, or 1.1
percent, at 14.3 cents per lb, extending Thursday's rally.
    * The front-month        saw a third straight weekly gain,
the longest such streak since October 2016.
    * August white sugar         settled down 20 cents, or 0.1
percent, at $418 a tonne ahead of a contract expiry on Friday.
ICE October white sugar           settled up $1.20, or 0.3
percent, at $399 per tonne.

 (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Ana Ionova in
London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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