* Cocoa falls most since Aug 21 on bearish price patterns
* Raw sugar consolidates from 6-1/2 month highs
* Arabica and robusta coffee rebound from recent lows
By Barani Krishnan and Nigel Hunt
NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 3 U.S. cocoa futures had
their sharpest tumble in more than a month on Thursday after
technical selling triggered by bearish price patterns.
Raw sugar turned flat from a 6-1/2 month high in the
previous session while arabica coffee rose modestly for a second
straight day, bucking the weaker trend on the softs complex.
"It's a quiet day in softs except for what's happening in
cocoa, which really is a technically-driven long liquidation due
to a lack of fundamental news," said Boyd Cruel, analyst at
Vision Financial Markets in Chicago.
ICE Futures' most active cocoa contract, December,
settled down $53, or nearly 2 percent, at $2,585 a tonne in New
It was the contract's sharpest one-day decline since Aug 21,
when cocoa tumbled on forecasts that rains in top growing
country Ivory Coast could alleviate the dry weather that had
been threatening the 2013/14 crop.
In Thursday's session, sellers crowded the cocoa market
after a bearish signal triggered by the December contract's
inability to rise beyond its Oct 1. high of $2,646, Cruel said.
LONG LIQUIDATION IN COCOA
"We went into heavy long liquidation from there, although
we're back at a good support level right now in the $2,560
Cocoa has reacted more to technical factors than fundamental
news this week.
The market was lukewarm on Wednesday to a Reuters story that
that Cargill was in the final stages of a deal to buy Archer
Daniels Midland's cocoa business.
Prices also barely budged after Ivory Coast announced it had
raised the guaranteed minimum farmgate price for cocoa to 750
CFA francs ($1.55) per kilogram for the 2013/14 main crop, from
725 CFA francs in the last season.
Derrick Lewis, technical analyst for softs at Chicago's
Cleartrade Commodities, said a close above $2,610 on ICE's
December contract might have stemmed the selling pressure in
"Otherwise, we may see the market drifting further down," he
London's December cocoa contract on Liffe closed
down 24 pounds, or 1.4 percent, at $1,663 pounds a tonne.
Technicals aside, the cocoa market's focus could soon turn
toward third quarter European grind data due next Thursday,
brokers in London said.
The market is expecting the grind numbers to be higher after
the method for calculating the data was adjusted to compensate
for discrepancies in recent quarters caused by the exclusion of
a German grinder.
RAW SUGAR FLAT
Raw sugar futures were flat, taking a breather from
Wednesday's 6-1/2 month highs which came after the market
reacted positively to the biggest sugar purchase in more than
two decades by a single merchant, Louis Dreyfus.
Concerns over the impact of rains on Brazil's cane output
had also underpinned raw sugar in recent sessions.
In Thursday's trade, ICE's raw sugar for March closed
up 0.1 cent at 18.52 cents a lb. It hit 18.56 cents on
Wednesday, the highest since mid-March for a front-month raw
Some in the market, like Thomas Kujawa, co-head of softs at
London's Sucden Financial, see the contract having potential to
rise as high as 18.90 cents.
"However, from a medium term perspective, it doesn't seem to
be a buy opportunity," Kujawa told Reuters.
London's white sugar for December slipped $1, or 0.2
percent, to $491.20 per tonne.
Arabica coffee climbed for a second day as the weaker dollar
helped it recover from recent lows, although the market's
upside was capped by excessive supplies of the commodity.
Arabica's benchmark December contract on ICE rose 0.9
cent, or 0.7 percent, to finish at $1.1535 a lb.
The market had slumped to a more than four-year low of
$1.1105 on Sept. 17, burdened by huge stockpiles around the
world and a looming large crop from No. 1 producer Brazil.
Robusta coffee also rose, from a 3-year low hit last Friday
on worries about a potential bumper harvest in top producing
Robusta's second month position on Liffe closed up
$31, or nearly 2 percent, at $1,693 a tonne.