SOFTS-ICE coffee, sugar futures drop; cocoa strikes 3-week high

miércoles 21 de mayo de 2014 12:45 GYT

* Benchmark arabica coffee down 17 pct from last month's highs

* China April sugar imports down 24 pct, year-on-year

* Cocoa lifted by bullish charts, long-term deficit worries (Updates prices, adds market comment, details throughout; adds byline, NEW YORK dateline)

By Chris Prentice and Nigel Hunt

NEW YORK/LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE sank on Wednesday, under pressure from position rolling out of the spot contract and uncertainty over the severity of crop damage in top grower Brazil due to drought earlier this year.

ICE raw sugar fell on sluggish demand and cocoa futures crawled to a three-week high.

July arabica coffee futures on ICE Futures U.S. were down 3.85 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $1.8185 per lb by 12:25 p.m. EDT (1625 GMT), hovering above Tuesday's six-week low.

The benchmark contract has toppled 17 percent from a peak of $2.19 set almost a month ago as traders cut their outlooks for Brazil supplies.

The country's arabica harvest should pick up speed next month with most estimates for crop losses from dry, hot weather from January through mid-March around six to seven million bags.   Continuación...