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NEW YORK: Speculators increased their net long position in futures of raw sugar, cotton and arabica coffee on ICE US in the week to Aug. 17, and switched from short to long net position in cocoa, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

Money managers and hedge funds added 6,129 contracts to their bullish bets in sugar to a total long of 201,522 lots as frosts last month in top producer Brazil are expected to further reduce the output this season.

The frosts in Brazil have also driven higher buying in arabica coffee futures, as fields in the largest producer and exporter also suffered from the unusual cold. Speculators raised their net long position in coffee by 1,543 contracts to 30,495 in the week to Aug. 17.

They also boosted a net long position in cotton futures by 8,936 contracts to 85,209 in the period. Cotton hit a seven-year high on Tuesday on concerns about production, but has since lost some of those gains.

Speculators have switched from short to long net position in cocoa, as expectations for better demand for the chocolate-making ingredient improved. Their long position in cocoa was at 10,087 contracts by Aug. 17. Commodities futures, however, went through a broad sell-off on Thursday and Friday after the Fed minutes indicating possible cuts on liquidity measures.

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