June 18, 2018 / 6:10 PM / in 2 months

SOFTS-Cocoa drops as rain pours in Ivory Coast, arabica at five-week low

(Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, ICE data, NEW YORK dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE fell on Monday, partially giving up the prior session’s steep gains on selling spurred by much-needed rain in top grower Ivory Coast and a pause in the markets’ upward momentum.

Arabica coffee fell to a five-week low.

COCOA

* September New York cocoa settled down $43, or 1.7 percent, at $2,476 per tonne, after falling 3.5 percent to $2,432.

* Despite trading in a wide $90 range, prices remained within Friday’s range when prices rallied 3.5 percent and total open interest rose for the first time in 12 sessions, ICE data showed.

* Rain in Ivory Coast attracted some selling, as well as spillover pressure from larger commodity markets, traders said, with the Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity Index at a two-month low.

* Most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions received plenty of rain last week, farmers said on Monday, raising hopes for the April-to-September mid-crop after a prolonged period of below-average rainfall.

* A lack of follow-through buying from Friday’s rally and higher weekly bean arrivals in Ivory Coast also spurred some selling, traders said.

* September London cocoa settled down 28 pounds, or 1.6 percent, at 1,768 pounds per tonne.

COFFEE

* September arabica coffee settled down 0.85 cent, or 0.7 percent, at $1.167 per lb, a five-week low, as top grower Brazil began to harvest what is expected to be a record crop.

* September robusta coffee settled down $3, or 0.2 percent, at $1,687 per tonne.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar settled down 0.07 cent, or 0.6 percent, at 12.28 cents per lb, well below an earlier session high of 12.5 cents.

* The market largely shrugged off a forecast by Brazil’s Copersucar, the world’s largest sugar and ethanol seller, which expects smaller sugar production in the Brazilian center-south region in the current season and sees a more positive outlook for sugar prices going forward.

* A slightly weaker Brazil real pressured sugar prices below early gains, traders said, as it makes dollar-denominated prices more attractive in local currency terms and potentially leading to a pick-up in producer selling.

* The prospect of a large global surplus in the 2017-18, despite lower production in Brazil, also helped to keep prices in check with any significant rally likely to trigger exports from India and a switch in Brazil to using more cane for sugar rather than ethanol.

* August white sugar settled down 10 cents, or 0.03 percent, at $342 per tonne. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by Toby Chopra and Bill Trott)

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