January 31, 2019 / 7:12 PM / in 6 months

SOFTS-Coffee rises alongside Brazilian real, cocoa at seven-week lows

    * GRAPHIC-Monthly commods performance: tmsnrt.rs/2Tku3Tn

 (Recasts throughout; updates prices, comments; adds NEW YORK to
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures
on ICE surged on Thursday, lifted by a firmer currency in top
grower Brazil, while cocoa futures slipped to seven-week lows.  

    * March arabica coffee        settled up 3.8 cents, or 3.7
percent, at $1.059 per lb. This was the March contract's best
daily performance in about three months. In January, the
contract gained about 4 percent.  
    * Prices were lifted by a stronger Brazilian currency,
dealers said.              
    * The Brazilian real jumped to a three-month high, buoyed by
market optimism towards pension reforms promised by the
government of President Jair Bolsonaro.                
    * A stronger real reduces prices in local currency terms for
commodities such as coffee and sugar and can deter producer
    * Dry weather conditions in Brazil also supported prices
though recent showers and forecasts for more rain in the coming
days helped somewhat alleviate concerns, dealers said.
    * March robusta coffee         settled up $24, or 1.6
percent, at $1,551 per tonne. The contract rose about 3 percent
on the month.
    * Coffee shipments from Vietnam are expected to fall sharply
next week because of the Lunar New Year holiday, while trade in
Indonesia is being curbed by low stocks and will not pick up
until March.             

    * March New York cocoa        settled down $8, or 0.4
percent, at $2,168 per tonne, after hitting a seven-week low of
    * The contract lost over 10 percent in January, among the
worst commodity performances for the month.
    * Prices have been pressured by expectations of a
record-large crop in top grower Ivory Coast as last year's El
Nino-linked weather concerns have diminished.  
    * "The fundamental picture isn't so bullish now, the threat
of dry weather seems to be receding. (Port) arrivals (in Ivory
Coast) have been beyond expectations. I suppose it is only
natural that prices have fallen," a dealer said.
    * May London cocoa         settled down 8 pounds, or 0.5
percent, at 1,589 pounds per tonne after falling to 1,585, the
contract's lowest since Dec. 11. 
    * March raw sugar        settled up 0.2 cent, or 1.6
percent, at 12.73 cents per lb, buoyed by the stronger Brazilian
real, dealers said. 
    * The contract rose 5.8 percent in January, supported by the
gains made by crude oil over the course of the month. 
    * March white sugar         rose $2, or 0.6 percent, to
$341.30 a tonne.
    * Suedzucker          , Europe's largest sugar refiner, said
on Thursday it plans to close two German sugar production plants
as part of a restructuring program announced this week.

 (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in
London; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Grant McCool)
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