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LONDON: Raw sugar futures on ICE slid to a three-week low on Friday, weighed by a drop in crude oil prices and an improving outlook for crops in India and Pakistan, while cocoa prices also fell following declines in North American and Asian grindings during the first quarter of this year.

May raw sugar was down 2.6% at 19.36 cents per lb by 1423 GMT after sliding to a three-week low of 19.31 cents. Dealers said stronger-than-expected production in the Indian sub-continent could lead to a small global sugar surplus in the current 2021/22 season.

A Reuters poll issued on February had a consensus of a global deficit of 1.25 million tonnes in 2021/22. EU sugar production is seen falling in 2022/23 as farmers reduce plantings in favour of more profitable crops, according to a report issued by the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service post in Brussels. * August white sugar fell 1.7% to $531.80 a tonne.

July New York cocoa fell 2.7% to $2,523 a tonne after dipping to a five-week low of $2,516.

North American cocoa grindings fell in the first quarter of 2022 to 114,694 tonnes, down 2.77% from the same period a year earlier, according to data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) released on Thursday.

Asia’s first quarter cocoa grind dipped 0.25% year on year to 213,313 tonnes, data from the Cocoa Association of Asia showed on Friday. July London cocoa fell 1.5% to 1,761 pounds a tonne.

July arabica coffee rose 0.3% to $2.2870 per lb, after surging by nearly 4% on Thursday. Dealers noted it remained dry in most coffee regions of Brazil, potentially reducing bean size, although there may be some rains in Parana during the next few days.

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