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Arabica steadies, sugar hovers near eight-month high

LONDON - ICE arabica coffee futures steadied near a one-month low on Thursday, while raw sugar hovered near the previous session's eight-month high, supported by signals the global sugar market was shifting into deficit after years of surpluses.

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Arabica coffee beans. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/Files.

LONDON - ICE arabica coffee futures steadied near a one-month low on Thursday, while raw sugar hovered near the previous session's eight-month high, supported by signals the global sugar market was shifting into deficit after years of surpluses.

Cocoa futures eased from Wednesday's one-month high on chart-based selling.

In coffee, arabica futures were little changed near one-month lows, with dealers expecting rains in top grower Brazil to aid crop flowering.

"The arabicas market needs to consolidate. It needs to find a base and hold," one senior European trader said.

December arabica coffee futures were flat at $1.1910 per lb at 1440 GMT, above Monday's one-month low of $1.1630.

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Robusta coffee futures edged higher, with upside capped by expectations of abundant supplies from the harvest just starting in top grower Vietnam.

"In the next month or so, we should see a bigger flow of sales, based on the historical trend," the European trader said.

January robusta coffee rose by $16, or 1 percent, to $1,593 a tonne.

The spot robusta spread <LRC-1=R> eased to a $39 discount, on a lack of demand ahead of the November contract's first notice day on Nov. 2.

Raw sugar futures inched lower as the market consolidated after a run-up to an eight-month peak on Wednesday, underpinned by rains in center-south Brazil hampering the cane harvest.

ICE March raw sugar traded down 0.07 cents, or 0.5 percent, at 14.58 cents per lb, having touched 14.80 cents on Wednesday, the highest for the spot contract since February.

"A correction down to 14.18 cents is not out of the question but we believe there will be further support by funds and speculators towards 14 cents and the 200-day moving average now at 13.99," said Nick Penney, a senior trader with Sucden Financial Sugar.

December white sugar was down $0.90, or 0.2 percent, at $392.70 a tonne.

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New York December cocoa futures were down $1, or 0.03 percent, at $3,218 a tonne, while London March cocoa rose by 1 pound, or 0.05 percent, to 2,186 pounds a tonne.

"A correction lower could see prices target the 40-day moving average at 2,153 pounds and then the 10-day moving average at 2,147 pounds, which holds as short-term support," said Myrto Sokou, a senior research analyst with Sucden Financial. 

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