* European Q4 cocoa grind may rise by 2 to 3 percent
* Centre-south Brazil cane crush data due to be released
By David Brough
LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - ICE raw sugar futures steadied near a two-month low on Tuesday before the release of centre-south Brazil cane crush data, while cocoa edged down with a focus on fourth quarter European grind data due on Friday.
Arabica coffee futures dipped, with dealers assessing prospects for the next harvest in top grower Brazil.
Sugar consolidated after a sell-off on Monday, in which it was swept along with a broad-based decline in commodities led by crude oil.
“The wet weather in Brazil was bad for the 2015 crop but should be good for the 2016 crop,” said Hamish Smith, commodities economist with Capital Economics.
He said he did not expect the crush data from cane group Unica for the second half of December, expected to be released later on Tuesday, to have any market impact because centre-south Brazil was in the very final stages of crushing in that period.
“The focus now will be prospects for the next harvest in centre-south Brazil,” Smith said.
Platts Kingsman has forecast a cane crush of 10.02 million tonnes in centre-south Brazil in the second half of December.
March raws were up 0.06 cents, or 0.4 percent, at 14.21 cents a lb at 1103 GMT, just above Monday’s two-month low of 14.03 cents a lb. March whites were down $0.60, or 0.1 percent, at $414.20 per tonne.
New York cocoa edged down, pressured by a stronger dollar.
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.
“If the data shows weak demand, that can weigh on the market,” Smith said.
March New York cocoa was down $32, or 1.1 percent, at $2,870 per tonne, after falling to $2,865, the lowest in eight months.
Prices for London cocoa also fell, with the March contract down 14 pounds, or 0.7 percent, at 2,054 pounds per tonne, after dropping to 2,044 pounds, the lowest since August.
Arabica coffee dipped, weighed down by the stronger dollar, and expectations that Brazil’s next crop could rise.
Commodity broker Marex Spectron said on Friday that it projected Brazil’s next crop could rise by around 8 million bags, helping to create a small global surplus.
March arabica coffee was down 0.15 cent, or 0.1 percent, at $1.1430 per lb.
March robusta coffee was down $12, or 0.8 percent, at $1,432 per tonne, a contract low, pressured by ample supplies from top grower Vietnam. (Reporting by David Brough; Editing by Mark Potter)