SOFTS-Sugar steadies, coffee dips on firm dollar, cocoa edges up

viernes 10 de abril de 2015 07:40 GYT

* Arabica trade eye 2015/16 Brazil crop forecasts

* Cocoa trade focused on next week's grind data

By David Brough

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures steadied and coffee eased under pressure from a firmer dollar on Friday, while cocoa edged up but was capped by expectations of weak first-quarter European and North American grind data next week.

Raw sugar on ICE was flat, buoyed by a slow start to Brazil's cane harvest and talk of tight nearby supplies due to firm demand for cane-based ethanol, with the upside in prices limited by the stronger dollar against a basket of currencies.

A stronger dollar increases the cost of dollar-denominated sugar, coffee and New York cocoa contracts in other currencies.

"As Brazil's cane harvest starts, a lot of cane will be diverted to ethanol production," said Hamish Smith, commodities analyst with Capital Economics. "We think there is a possibility raw sugar prices could move a little higher."

Nick Penney, a senior trader with Sucden Financial Sugar, said: "Reports of a delayed start due to rainy weather are emerging and some Brazilian mills are now only expecting to begin operations at the end of this month."

May raw sugar on ICE was flat at 12.80 cents a lb at 1116 GMT.   Continuación...