SOFTS-Arabica coffee at 2-year top following meager Brazilian rain

lunes 10 de marzo de 2014 14:03 GYT

* Dry weather set to cut Brazil coffee crop for two seasons

* ICE raw sugar trades in wide 0.95-cent range

* Cocoa dealers worry about quality despite good weather (New throughout, updates closing prices; adds trader comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline)

By Marcy Nicholson and Nigel Hunt

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee prices on ICE climbed to a two-year high in light volume on Monday after top grower Brazil's parched coffee belt received less weekend rain than expected, raising the prospect of a 2014/15 global deficit.

Liffe robusta coffee climbed in sympathy, reaching a one-year high, while raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. turned firm. Cocoa was up a shade after nearing 2-1/2-year highs.

The cost of green arabica beans has surged more than 80 percent since the start of the year in its biggest rally since mid-1994, boosted by concerns that dry weather in Brazil will not only cut the size of the 2014/15 crop but also curtail production in 2015/16.

A Reuters poll published on Friday indicated forecasts for Brazil's 2014/15 coffee crop fell more than 10 percent to a median result of 48.9 million (60-kg) bags.

"Less-than-expected rains really caused that market to take off this morning," said one U.S. dealer, adding that the buying appeared to be primarily speculative.   Continuación...