October 23, 2017 / 11:10 AM / a month ago

SOFTS-Cocoa slips as buyers retreat, arabica coffee also falls

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE fell on Monday as buying interest waned and worries about weather in top grower Ivory Coast began to subside, while arabica coffee extended losses as crop-friendly rains in Brazil weighed on sentiment.

COCOA

* December New York cocoa was down $30, or 1.4 percent, at $2,108 a tonne by 1054 GMT, after hitting a session low of $2,105.

* Prices were partly pressured by a stronger U.S. dollar.

* December London cocoa also fell 22 pounds, or 1.4 percent, to 1,570 pounds a tonne.

* Dealers noted both markets were giving back some of the gains made last week, when prices rallied sharply on currency and expectations of strong grind data from Asia and North America.

* However, the speculative short-covering has now petered out and dealers noted the higher prices had pushed some emerging buyers away.

* “I suspect that we’re just finding overall equilibrium,” said one dealer. “You have to wonder though what’s really going to take us higher from here.”

* Sentiment was also dampened by drier weather in Ivory Coast where rains have raised concerns about delays to the harvest, lending support to prices.

* “We’ve certainly had slower arrivals,” the dealer said. “But the recent rains have subsided and things are looking a little bit better. So I think the immediate concerns may be have been a little bit premature.”

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee was down 0.80 cent, or 0.6 percent, to $1.2445 per lb.

* Prices slumped on Friday, pressured by the dollar and forecasts for favourable rains in top grower Brazil.

* Dealers said participants continued to monitor the weather in the country, as it is still not clear whether the rains will be sufficient to relieve recent dryness in key coffee regions.

* Speculators increased their net short position in arabica coffee to the highest since July’s record in the week to Oct. 17, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

* November robusta coffee was down $7, or 0.4 percent, at $2,013 per tonne.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar was up 0.05 cent, or 0.4 percent, at 14.05 cents per lb.

* December white sugar was up $1.50, or 0.4 percent, at $370.30 a tonne.

* China’s sugar imports in September fell two-thirds from a year earlier as hefty tariffs on foreign arrivals continued to dent buying appetite, customs data showed on Monday. (Reporting by Ana Ionova, editing by Ed Osmond)

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