February 8, 2019 / 7:25 PM / 4 months ago

SOFTS-Arabica coffee erases February gains; cocoa, sugar also fall

 (Recasts throughout; updates prices, comments; adds NEW YORK to
dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on
ICE fell on Friday, pressured by a weaker currency in top grower
Brazil and improving weather conditions in the country, while
cocoa and sugar also fell.     
    
    COFFEE
    * March arabica coffee        settled down 1.7 cents, or 1.6
percent, at $1.026 per lb. The contract largely erased the
modest gains it had made so far this month. 
    * On the week, arabica shed 1.1 percent. 
    * Prices were weighed down by a softer currency in top
grower Brazil, where the real touched its weakest levels against
the U.S. dollar since Jan. 29.
    * A weaker Brazilian real        encourages producer selling
by boosting local returns on dollar-traded commodities.
    * Improving weather conditions in Brazil, where crops had
been threatened by dry weather, have also pressured prices,
dealers said. 
    * There has been little volatility in the market of late,
which has led to more subdued options activity, noted Steve
Platt, futures strategist at Archer Financial Services.
    * March robusta coffee         was down $7, or 0.5 percent,
at $1,540 a tonne.
    * "We have the end of the new year holiday in Vietnam this
week ... the question is whether we'll see some renewed selling
there next week," Platt said.    
                    
    SUGAR
    * March raw sugar        settled down 0.02 cent, or 0.2
percent, at 12.71 cents per lb.
    * On the week, the contract gained 0.9 percent. 
    * The contract has been trading in a tight range since the
end of January, with the prospect of Indian exports keeping a
lid on prices. 
    * Prices were also rangebound ahead of a major sugar
conference in Dubai, which starts next week, dealers noted. 
    * March white sugar         settled down $3.80, or 1.1
percent, at $333.90 a tonne.
    * The March contract, which expires on Wednesday, traded at
a discount of as much as $10.90 to May, indicating little
appetite to take delivery.
    * Germany's second largest sugar refiner Nordzucker said it
had agreed to purchase 70 percent of Australia's Mackay Sugar
Limited, giving it access to Australian and wider Southeast
Asian markets.             
             
    COCOA
    * May New York cocoa        settled down $19, or 0.8
percent, at $2,235 per tonne.
    * On the week, the contract rose 1 percent, its first
positive weekly finish in 2019. 
    * An improving West African weather outlook has boosted the
supply expectations in the top-growing region. 
    * May London cocoa         settled down 3 pounds, or 0.2
percent, at 1,667 pounds per tonne.
    * The weakness of the British pound, which was headed for
its worst weekly decline since October, helped underpin London
prices, dealers said.       
 

 (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in
London; editing by Alexander Smith and Grant McCool)
  
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