LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE were lower on Thursday with the prospect of strong exports from India and weak demand in Asia helping to keep the market on the defensive.
* October raw sugar was down 0.02 cents, or 0.2% at 11.77 cents per lb at 1209 GMT.
* Dealers said the possibility that India could export up to eight million tonnes of sugar remained a key bearish influence.
* “This would be more than enough to compensate for the expected decline in production in other regions. It is thus questionable whether the market will be able to easily absorb this additional quantity,” Commerzbank said in a market note.
* The tendering of Thai sugar against the August whites contract which expired this week has also heightened concerns about weak demand in Asia.
* October white sugar was up $2.20, or 0.7%, at $314.50 a tonne.
* Suedzucker, Europe’s largest sugar refiner, said on Thursday that trading conditions remained intensely difficult with low sugar prices and no turnaround likely for the company’s current financial year.
* September New York cocoa was up $20, or 0.8%, at $2,444 a tonne.
* Dealers said the market was underpinned by the potential for a drop in production in Ghana this season linked to swollen shoot disease.
* Ghana’s Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) has postponed about 50,000 tonnes of cocoa export contracts from the current crop that it will not be able to execute, sources at Ghana’s marketing board Cocobod said on Wednesday.
* September London cocoa rose 12 pounds, or 0.65%, to 1,848 pounds a tonne.
* September arabica coffee was up down 0.60 cents, or 0.6%, at $1.0680 per lb.
* September robusta coffee was down $5, or 0.35%, at $1,418 a tonne.
* Vietnam’s domestic coffee prices were unchanged on Thursday from a week earlier, while Indonesian premium narrowed slightly on abundant supplies. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by Deepa Babington)