LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE were lower on Thursday, depressed by weakness in the currency of top producer Brazil, while raw sugar prices also declined.
* May arabica coffee fell 0.60 cents, or 0.6 percent, to 93.25 cents per lb by 1226 GMT, slipping towards a contract low of 92.60 cents set on Monday.
* Dealers said weakness in Brazil’s real currency remained a key factor driving the current decline in prices, improving returns in local currency terms in the world’s top grower and encouraging producer selling.
* The currency has fallen to the lowest level in around six months amid a deepening political crisis in Brazil.
* May robusta coffee fell $7, or 0.5 percent, to $1,497 per tonne.
* Vietnam’s coffee exports in March are estimated to fall 28.8-33.5 percent from a year earlier to 140,000-150,000, traders said on Thursday, as activity in Indonesia remained muted this week.
* May raw sugar fell 0.09 cent, or 0.7 percent, to 12.49 cents per lb.
* Dealers said bearish factors including the weakness of Brazil’s currency and a decline in crude oil prices.
* A fall in energy prices can make it more attractive to use cane in Brazil to make sugar rather than biofuel ethanol.
* May white sugar was down $3.40, or 1.0 percent, at $331.80 per tonne.
* India’s monsoon, crucial for Asia’s third largest economy, is likely to be a robust and healthy one this year provided there isn’t a surprise El Nino phenomenon, Indian’s top government weather official said on Wednesday.
* May London cocoa rose 3 pounds, or 0.2 percent, to 1,694 pounds per tonne while May New York cocoa was up $4, or 0.2 percent, at $2,252 per tonne.
* The farmgate price for Ivory Coast’s cocoa mid crop will remain at 750 CFA francs ($1.29) per kilo, the same price as the main crop which ends on March 30, said two sources at the marketing board, the Coffee and Cocoa Council. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)