* Spot raw sugar spread trades at premium
* Cocoa trade focused on next week’s grind data
By David Brough
LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Cocoa and coffee futures dipped under pressure from a stronger dollar on Thursday, while sugar eased slightly underpinned by talk of tight nearby supplies and firm ethanol demand in Brazil.
New York cocoa edged lower, weighed by the dollar and talk that Ghana may have re-entered the market to forward sell.
“Most of the weakness in cocoa is dollar-driven,” a senior cocoa trade source said.
The source added that the cocoa market was also focused on expectations for weak European and North American grind data, a measure of demand, due next week.
New York May cocoa traded down $20, or 0.7 percent, at $2,787 a tonne at 1140 GMT, while London May cocoa was down 2 pounds, or 0.1 percent, at 1,942 pounds a tonne.
Raw sugar futures eased on technically driven selling, drifting further from Wednesday’s three-week high, underpinned by tight nearby sugar supplies before the new cane harvest in Brazil, and firm demand for ethanol in Brazil.
Increased demand for cane-derived ethanol biofuel reduces availability of sugar.
Michael Liddiard of consultancy Agrilion said the market was supported by a slow start to Brazil’s cane harvest due to rains.
May raw sugar futures on ICE were down 0.11 cent, or 0.85 percent, at 12.86 cents a lb, with May trading at an 11-point premium over July.
May white sugar traded down $2.10, or 0.6 percent, at $364.30 per tonne.
Arabica futures eased on chart-based selling, pressured by the firm dollar.
May arabica was down 0.65 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $1.3505 per lb.
Traders said talk that a major trade house raised its crop forecast for Brazil may have added pressure.
London May robusta coffee futures traded down $6, or 0.3 percent, at $1,784 per tonne. (Editing by Keith Weir)