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LONDON: ICE raw sugar futures hit 3-1/2 week lows on Thursday as supply prospects in key producing countries continue to improve, though rising oil prices kept losses in check.

SUGAR: March raw sugar fell 0.4% to 19.43 cents per lb at 1454 GMT, having hit a low of 19.40.

Dealers said raw sugar, which hit its highest since February 2017 in late December, is yet to find support as funds slowly liquidate longs.

They noted good rains in top producer Brazil suggest a possible early start to the harvest, with higher production widely expected. Also, the Brazilian government’s fuel policy is set to prompt cane mills to favour sugar output over ethanol.

At the same time, production in India is progressing well and the Thailand harvest is off to a good start.

March white sugar fell 0.8% to $538.60 a tonne.

COFFEE: March arabica coffee fell 0.4% to $1.6065 per lb after dipping to a three-week low of $1.5925 on Wednesday.

Colombia’s production of washed arabica coffee fell by 12% last year to 11.1 million 60-kg bags because of extended wet weather, data showed, helping coffee.

Overall though, arabica is under pressure from favourable weather for crop development in top producer Brazil.

March robusta coffee fell 0.6% to $1,861 a tonne.

Coffee prices in top robusta producer Vietnam rose this week on weather concerns, while the Indonesian market remained subdued on weaker supplies.

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