(Updates with closing prices, adds comments)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE closed down on Thursday, retreating from a near nine-month peak set earlier this week, although the market remained underpinned by tightening supplies with a global sugar deficit expected in the current 2020/21 season.
* March raw sugar closed down 0.17 cent, or 1.1%, at 15.28 cents per lb. The front month had peaked at 15.66 cents on Tuesday, its highest since mid-February.
* Dealers said some profit taking had emerged after the recent run-up but the market remained underpinned by poor crop prospects in several major producing regions including the European Union.
* “The past few days have seen several forecasters make hefty cuts to their estimates of EU sugar production. The news flow continues to support a rally,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey said.
* Sugar cane producers in Central America are checking possible damages to the crop after the hurricane Iota.
* Ample rains in center-south Brazil continue to be favourable to the recovery of cane fields.
* March white sugar fell $2.2 at $414.70 a tonne.
* March New York cocoa closed up $85, or more than 3%, at $2,665 a tonne after rising to a peak of $2,670 earlier in the session, the highest since Sept. 21.
* Dealers said the huge premiums commanded by the December contract in recent days had created a more bullish mood in the market with low exchange stocks limiting the amount of cocoa available to deliver against the contract.
* “Some players are positioning themselves to receive the certifieds,” said a Chicago-based broker.
* March London cocoa also closed sharply up, gaining 48 pounds, or 2.2%, at 1,791 pounds a tonne after peaking at 1,796, the highest since Sept. 30.
* March arabica coffee closed up for the fourth consecutive session, gaining 0.35 cent, or 0.3%, to $1.2320 per lb, edging up towards the prior session’s two-month high of $1.2430.
* The market was seeking to assess the damage caused by storm Iota in central America, a major producing region for arabica coffee.
* Forecasters said Honduras, the main source for New York high-quality certified coffee stocks, was severely impacted.
* January robusta coffee lost $11, or nearly 1%, to $1,291 a tonne. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Nigel Hunt; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle, Susan Fenton and Cynthia Osterman)
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