11 de enero de 2016 / 19:39 / en 2 años

SOFTS-Cocoa, coffee, sugar at multi-month lows as commodities retreat

* European Q4 cocoa grind may rise by 2 to 3 percent

* Coffee weighed by improving production outlook

* Raw sugar futures at 2-month low (Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline)

By Marcy Nicholson and Nigel Hunt

NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Cocoa, coffee and sugar futures tumbled to multi-month lows in heavy volume on Monday, swept along with a broad-based decline in commodities led by crude oil and driven by gloom about the economic outlook in China.

The 19-market Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity Index sank more than 2.7 percent to a 13-1/2-year low as oil prices fell to 12-year lows amid continued ructions in the Chinese stock market.

“A lot of funds are getting burnt. I think it is a general evacuation (from commodity markets),” one cocoa trader said.

On Friday, data showed that speculators cut their net long position in cocoa futures and options for the fourth straight week, while they cut it in sugar for the second straight week.

March New York cocoa settled down $115, or 3.8 percent, at $2,902 per tonne, the weakest settlement for the spot contract in eight months and the biggest one-day tumble since October 2014.

This takes it more than $500 below the 4-1/2 year peak of $3,422 reached on Dec. 7.

Prices for London cocoa also tanked with the spot March contract closing down 87 pounds, or 4 percent, at 2,068 pounds per tonne, the weakest finish since August and the biggest one-day drop since December 2012.

“Chinese stock markets are down today. That tells people that China issues lead to weak demand,” one U.S. trader said.

Traders said European fourth-quarter grind data, to be issued on Friday, could help stem the market’s slide if it surpasses current expectations of a year-on-year rise of about 2-3 percent.

March arabica coffee > settled down 4.55 cent, or 3.8 percent, at $1.1445 per lb, after hitting a contract low at $1.136.

“Besides general issues such as concerns about China and risk aversion, not to mention a weaker Brazilian real, a more relaxed assessment of the coffee supply situation is also contributing to this price movement,” Commerzbank said in a market note.

Commodity broker Marex Spectron also said on Friday that a larger crop in top grower Brazil could create a small global surplus in 2016/17.

March robusta coffee settled down $41, or 2.8 percent, at $1,444 per tonne, the lowest since November 2013.

Sugar futures also sank in heavy volume, with March raws ending down 0.31 cent, or 2.1 percent, at 14.15 cents per lb, a two-month low. March whites closed down $4.90, or 1.2 percent, at $414.80 per tonne. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson and Nigel Hunt; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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