October 25, 2017 / 12:10 PM / in 24 days

SOFTS-Arabica coffee climbs off 4-month lows, London cocoa slips

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures edged higher on Wednesday, as light buying helped the market climb off nearly 4-month lows, while London cocoa extended losses as a stronger pound weighed.

COFFEE

* December arabica coffee was up 0.50 cent, or 0.4 percent, at $1.237 per lb by 1140 GMT, as light-volume buying helped offset some of the prior day’s losses.

* Prices dipped on Tuesday, led by weakness in robusta, and speculative selling eventually pushed the spot contract to $1.2285, its lowest since June 28.

* Sentiment has been broadly battered recently as crop-friendly rains in Brazil have arrived, although it is not yet clear if they will be enough to relieve dryness in the key coffee regions.

* Precipitation for October is still at about 25 percent of typical levels, Marex Spectron said in an update, but another 40-50 millimetres of rain are expected by the end of the month, bringing it closer to the long-term average.

* “The forecast for November is still characterized by a great uncertainty,” the broker said. “The month may begin ‘wet’ but then turning drier.”

* The global coffee market will see a smaller supply shortfall in 2017/18 than previously expected, partly due to stronger production in Vietnam and Honduras.

* November robusta coffee rose $6, or 0.3 percent, at $1,999 per tonne.

COCOA

* December London cocoa fell 6 pounds, or 0.4 percent, to 1,555 pounds a tonne, extending losses from the previous session.

* Prices were pressured by a surge in the British pound after data showed the economy picking up speed.

* December New York cocoa rose $14 or 0.7 percent, to $2,098 a tonne, recouping some of Tuesday’s losses.

* Brown rot disease will reduce the cocoa harvest in Ivory Coast, farmers said, as heavy rainfall has bolstered the spread of the disease in cocoa growing areas.

* Ivorian farmers say they are selling cocoa beans below the minimum farm gate price amid a lack of buying interest, blamed on reduced lending to exporters.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar slipped 0.07 cent, or 0.5 percent, to 14.21 cents per lb, consolidating after rallying in the previous session.

* Prices surged nearly 3 percent on Tuesday, boosted by friendly data showing Brazilian mills reduced sugar output in favour of ethanol.

* However, dealers noted upside was limited as short-selling continued to pressure the market.

* December white sugar fell $1.80, or 0.5 percent, to $373.00 a tonne. (Reporting by Ana Ionova, editing by David Evans)

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