July 5, 2019 / 6:15 PM / 15 days ago

SOFTS-Arabica coffee falls from 7-month high, focus on frost

(Updates prices and market activity; adds comments, NEW YORK to dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell on Friday after hitting a fresh seven-month high as dealers weighed forecasts of cold, potentially frost-inducing weather in top-grower Brazil against predictions that the frost may not cause much crop damage.

COFFEE

* September arabica coffee settled down 2.55 cent, or 2.2%, at $1.111 per lb, after peaking at $1.1565, its highest since Nov. 20, 2018.

* Still, on the week, the contract gained 1.5%, its third consecutive positive weekly finish.

* The market has been buoyed over the past week by expectations that cold temperatures in major coffee growing areas of Brazil could prompt a crop-damaging frost.

* The Parana Meteorological System (Simepar) has issued a frost alert for this weekend for the state of Parana, which produces about one million bags of coffee.

* Still, some dealers thought that the concerns about the cold may have been overblown.

* “I don’t think it is as big (a threat) as some others are saying,” one dealer said, adding a relatively small proportion of Brazil’s crop was threatened.

* A weaker Brazilian real was also a bearish factor, as it can encourage producer selling of dollar-denominated commodities like coffee.

* September robusta coffee settled down $30, or 2%, at $1,444 per tonne, after touching a one-month peak of $1,493. The contract slipped nearly 0.5% on the week.

COCOA

* September New York cocoa settled up $30, or 1.2%, at $2,463 per tonne.

* The contract rose 1.6% on the week.

* Prices got some support from concerns about dry weather in top-grower Ivory Coast, dealers said.

* Uncertainty about the details of how a recently announced floor price for cocoa from Ivory Coast and Ghana would work continues to hang over the market, dealers said.

* The two countries failed on Wednesday to come to an agreement with the chocolate industry on how to introduce the floor price.

* September London cocoa settled down 9 pounds, or 0.5%, at 1,839 pounds per tonne after rising sharply on Thursday when New York-based markets were shut for the U.S. Independence Day holiday.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar settled down 0.18 cent, or 1.4%, at 12.36 cents per lb.

* The contract rose 0.3% on the week, its fourth positive weekly finish in five weeks.

* August white sugar settled down 50 cents, or 0.2%, at $319.80 per tonne.

* The premium of white sugar over raw sugar LSU-SB1=R fell to its lowest in nearly three months. India’s unloading of low-quality white sugar to reduce stock overhang has pressured the premium, one U.S. dealer said. (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt and Maytaal Angel in London; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Richard Chang)

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