(Updates throughout; adds comment, details)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures rose for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday as speculative short-covering helped prices climb off their lowest in nearly four months, while London cocoa extended losses on pressure from the stronger pound.
* December arabica coffee settled up 0.9 cent, or 0.7 percent, at $1.241 per lb, paring gains after rising to $1.253.
* The spot contract hit a low of $1.2285 in the previous session, its weakest since June 28.
* Dealers said the market was supported by short-covering by speculators.
* “We’re not seeing any selling from the farmers,” said one dealer. “It’s a waiting game to see if the funds can hold or increase their short position, or if the Brazilians can wait for the market to move higher.”
* Focus stayed on the weather in top grower Brazil where crop-friendly rain has arrived, although it is not yet clear if it will be enough to relieve dryness in the key coffee regions.
* “Most areas will need to see some consistent rainfall now to keep the potential for a big crop alive as trees need to recover from stress from the production year last year,” said Jack Scoville, vice president of Price Futures Group in Chicago.
* 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, said Marex Spectron.
* January robusta coffee settled up $16, or 0.8 percent, at $1,961 per tonne.
* December London cocoa settled down 13 pounds, or 0.8 percent, at 1,548 pounds per tonne, falling for the fourth straight session.
* Prices were pressured by a surge in the British pound after data showed the economy picking up speed.
* December New York cocoa settled down $5, or 0.2 percent, at $2,079 per tonne.
* Markets shrugged off farmers’ reports of brown rot disease in top grower Ivory Coast.
* Ivorian farmers say they are selling cocoa beans below the minimum farm gate price on a lack of buying interest, blamed on reduced lending to exporters.
* March raw sugar settled down 0.1 cent, or 0.7 percent, at 14.18 cents per lb.
* Prices consolidated after Tuesday’s 3 percent surge fueled by data showing Brazilian mills reduced sugar output in favor of ethanol.
* December white sugar settled down 70 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $374.10 per tonne. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Ana Ionova in London; Editing by David Evans and Jeffrey Benkoe)