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softs-ice sugar dips pre-delivery as rally on india fizzles

raw sugar futures on ice turned lower on wednesday as a short-lived rally linked to india's importation of sugar for the first time in two years ran out of steam and the market's focus turned to the prospect of a large delivery.
robusta coffee futures fell after hitting a six-week high while arabica coffee and cocoa markets also dropped as a strong dollar and broad-based weakness in financial markets put
commodities on the defensive.
world shares fell and the euro slipped to a two-week low against the dollar as spain's economy weakened sharply and borrowing costs rose, increasing worries that the euro zone debt crisis is worsening.
a firm greenback can prompt selling of dollar-priced commodities by investors holding other currencies.
the thomson reuters-jefferies crb index, a global benchmark for commodities, dropped roughly 1.3 percent to the lowest since aug. 20 at 302.59.
sugar futures fell for the first time in five sessions, with the focus on expectations for a potentially large delivery when the october contract expires at the end of the week.
although the session's tumble caused the spot contract's discount to narrow slightly, it remained large. on monday, the discount widened to 0.86 cent per lb, matching a three-year high reached earlier this month.
"with the switch at a discount, as wide a discount as it is, that means the market hasn't found a better buyer anywhere," one new york dealer said.
october raw sugar on ice eased 0.29 cent, or 1.5 percent, to settle at 19.57 cents a lb. most-active march ended down 0.34 cent, or 1.6 percent, at 20.38 cents per lb.

sugar firmed briefly after news that indian mills had signed deals to buy up to 450,000 tonnes of brazilian raw sugar for delivery from october to december as a gap between domestic and overseas prices widens, making room for the first imports in more than two years.
"the bigger picture remains unchanged. for the next six months or so it appears the market will be in good surplus," said analyst muktadir ur rahman of capital economics, adding global economic concerns may also weigh on prices.
"when india becomes a net importer of sugar it does have an impact on the sugar price. however, i don't think based on the domestic production scenario, that india is going to be a net importer of sugar in 2012/13," rahman said.
one of brazil's largest sugar-milling groups, copersucar, said on tuesday that farmers may have to leave some cane standing in the fields until next harvest.
"if it rains, as is forecast, at the end of october, november and december, i believe that some 20 million tonnes of cane will be left over," copersucar's president luís roberto
pogetti told journalists.
december white sugar on liffe fell $5.80, or 1 percent, to close at $570.30 per tonne.

ivory coast reforms
cocoa futures were down a shade as the market took a breather after falling 10 percent from a 10-month high reached in early september. weak demand remains a concern with
third-quarter european grind data, to be issued in mid-october, expected to show a year-on-year decline of up to 20 percent.
"we're seeing quite a good crop in west africa, but much more marked is the poor demand we're seeing for cocoa. that poor demand on its own wouldn't normally be enough to get the market down," said a european commodity fund manager.
confidence in reforms of the cocoa sector in top grower ivory coast, including a fixed farmer price for the 2012/13 season starting oct. 1, was picking up as the government slowly
clarifies details.
"if you'd have asked me a month ago if i thought we could have a smooth transition to the new system i would have put the chances at 10 percent. now i'd actually put them at 60-70 percent," a european commodities analyst said.
ivory coast cocoa merchants have backed away from threats to boycott the start of the forthcoming harvest season, after the country's marketing board increased allowances for the costs of collection and transportation at the heart of a row.

ice december cocoa closed down $14, or 0.6 percent, at $2,469 per tonne.
the weakness of sterling against the dollar helped to underpin prices on liffe, where december eased 1 pound to finish at 1,597 pounds a tonne.

coffee futures weakened.
ice december arabica coffee futures settled down 4.20 cents, or 2.4 percent, at $1.6945 per lb. november robusta coffee futures on liffe ended down just $14, or 0.7 percent, at $2,130 a tonne, after hitting a six-week high at $2,150.
ice certified arabica stocks have been rising steadily to the highest level in more than two years and the market is anticipating an increase in production in colombia, where the
harvest is getting under way.

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