SOFTS-Coffee hits two-year high on Brazil drought damage fears

martes 11 de marzo de 2014 14:31 GYT

* Analysts see damage to Brazil coffee from drought

* Cocoa underpinned by expected 2013/14 global deficit

* Sugar prices pressured by ample supplies (New throughout, updates closing prices; adds analyst/meteorologist comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline)

By Marcy Nicholson and David Brough

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Arabica futures extended their steep rally on Tuesday, touching a two-year high as parts of top grower Brazil's coffee belt failed to receive enough rain, while robusta rose to a one-year high.

Cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. and Liffe rose to 2-1/2-year highs on chart-based buying, while sugar eased.

May arabica coffee futures on ICE closed up 2.25 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $2.0565 per lb, after peaking at a two-year high of $2.0890.

The cost of arabica beans has surged by about 85 percent since the start of the year, boosted by concerns that an unprecedented drought in Brazil, which took place as cherries were developing on the trees, would cut the size of the 2014/15 crop and could curtail production in 2015/16.

While some parts of Brazil's coffee belt have been receiving much-needed rain, others have not and forecasts for below-normal precipitation remain.   Continuación...