June 6, 2018 / 1:39 PM / 17 days ago

SOFTS-NY cocoa regains some ground, raw sugar also rises

(Recasts, adds quote, updates prices)

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures on ICE were slightly higher on Wednesday, edging away from the prior session’s three-month low, while raw sugar prices also rose.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa was up $21, or 0.9 percent, at $2,310 a tonne at 1315 GMT, regaining some ground after the prior session’s slide to a three-month low of $2,278.

* Dealers said the rise was partly a technical correction, with the market becoming oversold after a prolonged slide which has seen prices fall around 15 percent during the last month.

* Concern that dry weather in top grower Ivory Coast could hurt the mid-crop has helped to underpin prices.

* “Farmers in Ivory Coast fear that insufficient rainfall could still hamper the remaining mid-crop. If this is reflected in the shipment data, the price could rise quickly again,” Commerzbank said in a market note.

* July London cocoa rose 3 pounds, or 0.2 percent, to 1,642 pounds a tonne after dipping to a three-month low of 1,626 pounds.

* Dealers said the strength of sterling against the dollar helped to keep a lid on London prices.

SUGAR

* July raw sugar was up 0.14 cent, or 1.2 percent, at 12.16 cents per lb.

* Dealers said the market remained choppy but there were signs that the long-term downtrend may be running out of steam, while concern about dry weather in Centre-South Brazil had also helped to underpin prices.

* They noted speculators had also more than halved their net short position in raw sugar from 171,218 lots in the week to April 24 to a 79,590 lots as of May 29.

* “The sharp reduction in the net-short positions held by hedge funds can be interpreted as an indication of speculators’ expectations of a limited downside price potential from current levels,” the International Sugar Organization said in a monthly report issued on Wednesday.

* August white sugar rose $3.00, or 0.9 percent, to $346.70 a tonne.

* India has decided to build a 3 million tonne stockpile of sugar to soak up excess supply from the domestic market, and grant soft loans worth 44.4 billion rupees ($661.4 million) to help millers expand ethanol output capacity, the food minister said.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee was down 0.10 cent, or 0.1 percent, at $1.1935 per lb after dipping to a two-week low of $1.1890.

* Dealers said the prospect of a huge crop in Brazil continued to keep the market on the defensive, with the weather generally favourable in the world’s top grower.

* July robusta coffee was unchanged at $1,747 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Mark Potter)

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