July 8, 2019 / 6:35 PM / a year ago

SOFTS-Coffee tumbles as market assesses frost impact; cocoa at one-year high

 (Updates prices and market activity; adds analyst comments, NEW
YORK to dateline)
    NEW YORK/LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) - Coffee futures on ICE
plunged from their 2019 highs on Monday as the impact of a
weekend frost in top-grower Brazil appeared to be less damaging
than some traders had feared, though the market was still
gauging the frost's full impact on the crop. 
    Cocoa futures, meanwhile, rocketed to one-year highs on
technical buying and continued concerns about the implementation
of the floor price that top growers Ivory Coast and Ghana
announced last month. 
    * September arabica coffee        settled down 4.7 cents, or
4.2%, at $1.064 per lb, after plunging to a nearly two-week low
of $1.0530.
    * Prices had been steadily climbing in the preceding weeks
and hit a seven-month high on Friday on forecasts for cold,
frost-inducing weather in Brazil. 
    * "It's going to take a few days to figure out what's really
wrong ... but right now, the market is perceiving that there was
little damage," said one U.S. trader. 
    * Frosts were reported in Brazilian coffee and sugarcane
areas over the weekend, and cooperatives and companies expected
some impact as they assessed the situation. 
    * Coffee cooperative Minasul, in top producer Minas Gerais
state, said frosts hit mostly low-lying areas and mountaintops.
"We are still evaluating, but it seems clear that there will be
some impact to production," cooperative president José Marcos
Magalhães said.             
    * September robusta coffee         settled down $18, or
1.3%, at $1,426 per tonne.
    * September New York cocoa        settled up $114, or 4.6%,
at $2,577 per tonne, after hitting a one-year peak of $2,589. 
    * Prices broke through resistance around the $2,552 level,
the June 12 high.  
    * "I think this market is perceiving this floor price of
$2,600 per tonne as where the futures should trade. That's how
the specs are perceiving this," said one U.S. trader. 
    * Ivory Coast and Ghana set a $2,600 floor price in June,
but failed last week to come to an agreement with the chocolate
industry on its implementation.             
    * Arrivals of cocoa at Ivorian ports are slowing down, which
is also supporting prices, dealers said. Still, arrivals are
about 11% over last year's levels.             
    * September London cocoa         settled up 96 pounds, or
5.2%, at 1,935 pounds per tonne, after peaking at 1,939, a May
2018 high. 

    * October raw sugar        settled up 0.09 cent, or 0.7%, at
12.45 cents per lb.
    * Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Sao Martinho SA
           said 12,000 hectares of its cane fields were hit by
weekend frosts, according to a securities filing.             
    * August white sugar         rose $1.70, or 0.5%, to $321.50
per tonne.

 (Reporting Ayenat Mersie in New York and Maytaal Angel in
Editing by David Evans and Matthew Lewis)
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