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LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE were weaker on Monday, drifting towards a recent three-and-a-half-week low, while cocoa crept higher and coffee was flat.

SUGAR

March raw sugar slipped by 0.6% to 18.12 cents per lb by 1533 GMT.

Dealers said funds have been scaling back long positions against the backdrop of improving outlooks for production in India and Thailand.

Speculators reduced their bullish bets in raw sugar futures on ICE US in the week to Feb. 1, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.

There appears to be solid support, however, around last week’s low of 17.77 cents, they added.

Broker Marex said the market was underpinned by several factors including uncertainty about this year’s crop in Centre-South Brazil and low stocks.

“These residual bullish stories are not strong enough to pull the price up to the old highs but are strong enough to prevent prices falling much further,” the broker said. March white sugar fell 0.7% to $495.20 a tonne.

COCOA

May New York cocoa rose 0.4% to $2,734 a tonne.

Dealers said the market was underpinned by concerns about dry weather in top producer Ivory Coast.

Dry weather for three straight weeks in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions has damaged the quality of beans and threatens to reduce the size of the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.

May London cocoa rose 0.1% to 1,818 pounds a tonne.

COFFEE

March arabica coffee was unchanged at $2.4245 per lb. * Dealers said that recent rains in Brazil had improved the outlook for this year’s crop in the world’s top producer. May robusta coffee fell 0.1% to $2,211 a tonne.

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