* Arabica plunges nearly 5 pct on sell-stops in late trade
* Brazil crop doubts set to keep trading volatile -analyst
* Raw sugar set for up week as drought hurts Brazil output (Updates with closing prices, details on late-day trade)
By Chris Prentice and David Brough
NEW YORK/LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - ICE arabica coffee futures tumbled by 8 cents a lb on Friday as traders booked profits at the end of a fifth straight weekly gain that sent prices to a 26-month high on estimates for lower output in top grower Brazil because of a drought.
Raw sugar futures crawled to their first weekly gain in four weeks after this week’s Brazil industry data showed drought has hurt early harvesting in the top producer.
ICE cocoa futures eased and saw their biggest weekly loss since January.
The benchmark July arabica coffee contract on ICE Futures U.S. tumbled nearly 5 percent as sell-stops propelled the losses in late trade and settled down 7.8 cents, or 3.6 percent, at $2.07 per lb.
This week the second-month climbed to $2.19, the highest for the second-month since February 2012 and up over 80 percent year-to-date.
“We’re getting a setback after the move higher on profit-taking,” said Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup in Chicago, who on Thursday lowered his estimate for Brazil’s 2014/15 output by 7 percent.
“We’re seeing good selling in Brazil of stocks that’s piled up. That’s helping put pressure on prices, but the end result will be a tighter situation down the road.”
Even with Friday’s losses, coffee notched 1.4-percent weekly rise after a string of volatile sessions as traders cut their Brazil output outlooks on drought damage, raising the prospect of a substantial world deficit in the 2014/15 season.
“The market is set for more volatility. The earliest coffee to be harvested in Brazil may have suffered most from the drought. Conditions could improve later in the season,” said Birgit Wippler, soft commodities analyst at F.O. Licht.
July robusta coffee on Liffe finished down $16, or 0.7 percent, at $2,150 a tonne, tracking arabica’s price swings.
Traders digested news that the CEO of Louis Dreyfus Commodities is stepping down after only a year in the role, a move that comes amid an overhaul of the firm’s corporate structure.
Louis Dreyfus is the “D” of the so-called ABCD majors that dominate agricultural commodities trading, and is one of the world’s biggest traders of coffee and sugar.
Raw sugar prices rallied 3 percent this week and hit a three-week high of 17.59 cents on Thursday.
May raw sugar futures on ICE rose 0.08 cent, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 17.20 cents a lb.
Brazil’s cane industry group Unica said this week that a severe drought early in the year led to a forecast for the world’s biggest sugar grower’s main cane region’s output at 32.5 million tonnes, down 5 percent from 2013/14. This was at the low end of expectations.
Even so, prices “are or will be capped” by huge supplies from key producers, said Nick Penney, a senior trader at broker Sucden Financial Sugar, in a market note.
The sugar market is focused on next week’s expiration of the ICE May contract, with some dealers seeing Central American and Mexican sugars potentially delivered against the expiration.
August white sugar on Liffe closed up $1.50, or 0.3 percent, at $477.60 a tonne.
Cocoa futures fell as weather in West Africa, the world’s key growing region, has been favorable to production.
ICE July cocoa closed down $26, or 0.9 percent, at $2,953 a tonne and finished the week down 2.2 percent.
The July Liffe contract slipped 15 pounds, or 0.8 percent, to finish at 1,848 pounds a tonne. (Editing by David Goodman, David Evans and Peter Galloway; Editing by Diane Craft)