July 12, 2018 / 11:09 AM / 5 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar slips to 2-1/2 month low, coffee steadies

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures fell to their lowest in 2-1/2 months on Thursday, pressured by technicals and lingering concerns about abundant supplies, while cocoa edged higher.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar was down 0.16 cents, or 1.4 percent, at 11.13 cents per lb by 1046 GMT. It earlier touched 11.08 cents, the lowest level since late April.

* Dealers said sentiment was partly dampened by the previous session’s weak close on broader weakness in commodity markets and a decline in the Brazilian real.

* Prices fell further on Thursday after slipping below key technical support levels, which triggered automatic sell orders and attracted fresh short-selling, dealers said.

* Focus also remained on ample global supplies, though participants were monitoring dry weather in Brazil that could curb output further.

* “The region is now much drier than a month ago,” said Tobin Gorey of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “And with little prospect of meaningful rainfall soon, the dry period is now growing into something more serious.”

* October white sugar fell $2.70, or 0.8 percent, to $328.60 a tonne.

* Suedzucker reported a 49 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit on Thursday, with Europe’s largest sugar refiner pointing to a slump in prices.

COCOA

* September New York cocoa rose $12, or 0.5 percent, to $2,492 a tonne.

* September London cocoa was up 11 pounds, or 0.6 percent, at 1,819 pounds a tonne.

* The market was awaiting second-quarter grind data for Europe and North America next week. A year-on-year rise of about 3 percent is expected in Europe, while the North America grind could be flat.

* The European Union must set mandatory rules to tackle child labour and deforestation in the cocoa and coffee sectors after years of voluntary action has failed to spur widespread change, stakeholders and policymakers said on Wednesday.

COFFEE

* September arabica coffee was down 0.05 cents, or 0.04 percent, at $1.1200 per lb but remained above last week’s 4-1/2 year low of $1.0690.

* Prices were consolidating on Thursday after tumbling sharply in the previous session, weighed down by commodity weakness, bearish speculative momentum and an easing real.

* September robusta coffee rose $6, or 0.4 percent, to $1,678 a tonne.

* Coffee trading in Vietnam has been sluggish for weeks as the 2017/2018 crop year winds down, with low stock among farmers and unattractive prices because of an expected surge in output in the next harvest, traders said. (Reporting by Ana Ionova Editing by David Goodman )

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