September 25, 2018 / 7:12 PM / in 2 months

SOFTS-Arabica coffee slides as Brazil currency weaker; raw sugar steadies

 (Updates prices; adds comment; adds NEW YORK to dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - ICE arabica coffee
futures fell on Tuesday, pressured by a weaker Brazilian
currency and as producers hedged supplies and speculators
unwound long positions, while raw sugar edged up from a
one-month low. 
    
    COFFEE
    * December arabica coffee        settled down 1.4 cents, or
1.4 percent, at 97.1 cents per lb, extending losses from the
prior session. 
    * Dealers pointed to selling by Brazilian producers, who
were encouraged by the top grower's real currency extending
losses on Tuesday.       
    * A weaker Brazilian real boosts local returns on
dollar-traded commodities like coffee and sugar, encouraging
producer hedging and pressuring prices.
    * Dealers also said speculators were unwinding long
positions, disillusioned by the market's failure to rebound on
data showing funds extended their bearish stance to a record.
            
    * "The market is in search of a short-term low," said Keith
Brown, a commodities trader in Moultrie, Georgia. 
    * Earlier this month, arabica coffee futures        sank to
a 12-year low.             
    * November robusta coffee         settled down $6, or 0.4
percent, at $1,507 per tonne.
    
    SUGAR
    * October raw sugar        settled down 0.02 cent, or 0.19
percent, at 10.36 cents per lb, a day after plunging to a
one-month low. 
    * Mills in Brazil's center-south region produced 2.147
million tonnes of sugar in the first half of September, cane
group Unica said on Tuesday.             
    * Market watchers focused on India, which is poised to
consider support measures for its sugar sector on Wednesday.
            
    * "The most bearish aspect of the expected Indian subsidy
package is that it encourages Indian farmers to keep growing
cane," Marex Spectron said in a note, adding this would boost
stocks and pave the way for "maximum exports in 2019/20."
    * December white sugar         settled down 20 cents, or
0.06 percent, at $317.50 per tonne.
    
    COCOA
    * December London cocoa         settled down 34 pounds, or
2.1 percent, at 1,563 pounds per tonne.
    * December New York cocoa        settled down $40, or 1.8
percent, at $2,195 per tonne, after rallying more than 4 percent
in the prior session. 
    * Meanwhile, cocoa arrivals at ports in top-grower Ivory
Coast are down about 8 percent so far this season compared with
a year earlier, exporters estimated this week, which would be
deemed bullish for prices. This comes ahead of the end of the
2017/2018 crop year.              
    * "The crop outlook is great for the main crops in West
Africa, putting pressure on the market," said Judy Ganes of J.
Ganes Consulting.

 (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Ana Ionova in
London; Editing by Alison Williams and Mark Potter)
  
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