March 4, 2019 / 6:59 PM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-NY cocoa tumbles to 2019 lows, coffee also falls

(Recasts throughout; updates prices, adds market activity, comments, NEW YORK dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures on ICE fell on Monday to their lowest since mid-December, weighed down by plentiful supplies in top grower Ivory Coast, while arabica prices also fell, eyeing the more than five-month lows set last week.

COCOA

* May New York cocoa settled down $61, or 2.8 percent, at $2,156 per tonne. Prices slumped to a 2-1/2-month low of $2,148, pressured by ample supplies.

* Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast reached 1.547 million tonnes between Oct. 1 and March 3, exporters estimated on Monday, up about 10 percent year on year.

* “A neutral supply and demand outlook for the 2018-19 crop has kept cocoa prices within a familiar range for the past six months,” said Eric Bergman, vice president at JSG Commodities.

“A combination of good weather over the summer months and during the Harmattan period helped boost production in West Africa by a wide enough margin to keep the market in surplus for the current year,” Bergman said.

* May London cocoa settled down 47 pounds, or 2.8 percent, at 1,625 pounds per tonne.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee settled down 2.85 cents, or 2.8 percent, at 97.35 cents per lb, after dipping to 97.05.

* Prices were approaching the more than five-month low of 96.35 cents touched last week, squeezed by plentiful global supplies.

* “Shipments in the first four months of coffee year 2018-19 increased by 6.6% to 41.96 million bags, reflecting the ample supply of coffee on the international market,” the International Coffee Organization wrote in its February coffee report, released on Monday.

* An improving production outlook for top-grower Brazil in the 2019-20 season has helped put the market on the defensive.

* Brazil’s 2019-20 crop is forecast at 57.6 million 60kg bags, comprising 38 million bags of arabica and 19.5 million bags of robusta, Rabobank said on Monday after its crop survey.

* “Both arabica and robusta estimates came in above our expectations,” Rabobank analyst Carlos Mera said after a tour through the Brazilian coffee heartland, during which more than 350 farms were visited.

* May robusta coffee settled down $13, or 0.9 percent, at $1,521 per tonne, after touching a nearly six-week low of $1,517.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar settled down 0.26 cent, or 2.1 percent, at 12.36 cents per lb, after dipping to a more than two-week low of 12.35.

* Prices appeared to be testing support at 12.34 cents, last month’s low, dealers said.

* May white sugar settled down $3.10, or 0.9 percent, at $341.3 per tonne. (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; editing by Mark Potter and Grant McCool)

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