* New CME cocoa contract sees 240 lots
* NY cocoa OI exceeds 211,000 lots on March 27
* Arabica down more than 4 pct in late-day selling (Adds milestones, trade comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline; updates prices)
By Marcy Nicholson and David Brough
NEW YORK/LONDON, March 30 (Reuters) - Raw sugar on ICE fell below 12 cents a pound for the first time in more than six years on Monday, on abundant supplies and a weak Brazilian currency, while cocoa fell to seven-week lows as the new euro-denominated cocoa contracts saw a quiet start.
Arabica coffee futures fell more than 4 percent on chart-based pressure while the strong U.S. dollar weighed on prices across the board, traders said.
ICE raw sugar futures were choppy and Brazil’s currency, the real, steadied after falling once again against the U.S. dollar. The currency is down more than 12 percent in March.
“This market seems to be battling a reality that the real is very low, and a perception it could fall further,” said Tom McNeill, director of analyst Green Pool Commodities.
Green Pool slashed its forecast for a 2015-16 global sugar deficit to 2.96 million tonnes from a previous estimate of a 5.02 million tonnes gap.
The spot raw sugar contract settled down 0.14 cent, or 1.2 percent, at 11.99 cents, falling below 12 cents for the first time since January 2009. Total volume exceeded 141,000 lots, up nearly 50 percent from the 250-day average.
May white sugar ended down $2.50, or 0.7 percent, at $357.50 a tonne, after hitting a contract low of $357. Its premium LSU-SB1=R over the spot raw contract jumped to a session high of $94.52 per tonne, the highest since June 2014.
Cocoa futures fell to the lowest since Feb. 4, with heavy May/July spreading boosting volume in the New York market.
New York May cocoa closed down $49, or 1.8 percent, at $2,695 a tonne. Total open interest jumped by 2,557 lots to 211,444 lots on Friday, the highest since March 10, exchange data said.
London May cocoa finished down 18 pounds, or 0.9 percent, at 1,903 pounds a tonne.
Two new euro-denominated cocoa contracts were launched today with 240 lots trading on CME <0#1CCP:> and none on ICE <0#ECC:>.
“The new contracts have been a distraction in trading today. It will be interesting to see if that distraction grows or diminishes,” said Jonathan Parkman, joint head of agriculture at Marex Financial.
Chart-based selling accelerated losses in arabica coffee futures, with traders noting technical selling was triggered below $1.36, basis the spot contract.
May arabica settled down 5.85 cents, or 4.2 percent, at $1.3235 per lb, its biggest tumble since March 3. May robusta coffee closed down $66, or 3.7 percent, at $1,722 a tonne. (Editing by Susan Thomas and G Crosse)